Sanctions (punitive measures) are traditionally crucial in public sector accountability. However, recent doctrines such as New Public Governance propagate collaborative intra-organizational relationships which stand at odds with punitive measures. Further, empirical studies show that principals are often reluctant to use punitive measures and also point at the prevalence of informal mechanisms of accountability where punitive measures are absent. This raises the questions when and why non-punitive accountability is effective.
Non-punitive accountability is studied in a conjoint experiment establishing the antecedents of prioritization decisions (N=761) in varying non-punitive accountability conditions. The experiment was conducted with administrative leaders in Denmark. The results point at the importance of formal account-holding settings, as well as the presence of prior relationships and expectable demands. Non-punitive accountability can be effective when drawing on leaders’ extrinsic and relational motivation. The study expands our theoretical and empirical knowledge of the behavioural effects of accountability in contemporary public administration.
How to attend this seminar
This seminar is free to attend with no need to register in advance.
We welcome you to join us online on Wednesday 22 March at 2pm.
Professor Thomas Schillemans
Thomas Schillemans is Professor in Public Governance at Utrecht University school of governance, the Netherlands, with a special focus on Accountability, Behavior and Institutions. His research focuses on the interactions of public sector organizations with various relevant stakeholders from their environment. He is one of the editors of the Oxford Handbook of Public Accountability. Amongst others he has published on horizontal accountability, stewardship theory, media and accountability and behavior and accountability. Schillemans is further scientific director of the Netherlands Institute of Governance.