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Dissertation zugänglich unter
The Policy Choices of Bureaucrats : An institutional analysis
Dokument 1.pdf (1.997 KB)
European Doctorate in Law & Economics (EDLE)
Heine, Klaus (Prof. dr.)
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung:
Kurzfassung auf Englisch:
This dissertation analyzes the over-arching question of how the institutional and social
context of public bureaucracy impact the choices of bureaucrats. These choices are
introduced in the form of inertial-preferences and identity-driven preferences in the
decision-making of bureaucrats. The study proposes theoretical frameworks to explain
policy drift. These frameworks determine how “context-oriented preferences” moderate
the trade-off between budget maximizing motivations and the policy choice of bureaucrats.
In order to understand the context of bureaucratic choices directly stemming from
organizational, institutional and social factors, the study encompasses two generic research
routes that are covered in the three content chapters.
In the first research route, the impact of history on present organizational structures is
investigated with the theory of organizational imprinting. This refers to the process through
which economic, social and institutional factors that prevailed at the time of founding shape
present organizational forms and attributes.
The second research route builds on the notion that a bureaucratic organization is a
formalized social system. The bureaucrats consider it as essential to comply with
organizational goals in order to be considered as a member of the organization. In order to
analytically seize the social context of the bureaucratic organization, the notion of identity
is conceptually integrated into the decision calculus of the bureaucrat.
Apart from the introductory chapter, which sets the stage for the dissertation, there are three content chapters and a concluding chapter.
Chapter 2 provides a long-term temporal perspective on the persistence of organizational
design. The long-term view on the matter allows us to better explore and explain why
corruption and rent-seeking remain entrenched in many bureaucracies, although history
has provided ample chances for an organization to change its path. The chapter identifies
the triggers of bureaucratic rigidity with the help of the bureaucracy in Pakistan, which has
not essentially changed over the last 150 years.