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Exit, Voice, and Sabotage: Public Service Motivation and Guerrilla Bureaucracy in Times of Unprincipled Political Principals

Schuster, Christian; Mikkelsen, Kim Sass; Correa, Izabela; Meyer-Sahling, Jan Hinrik

Exit, Voice, and Sabotage: Public Service Motivation and Guerrilla Bureaucracy in Times of Unprincipled Political Principals Thumbnail


Authors

Christian Schuster

Kim Sass Mikkelsen

Izabela Correa



Abstract

Democratic backsliding has multiplied "unprincipled"political principals: governments with weak commitment to the public interest. Why do some bureaucrats engage in voice and guerrilla sabotage to thwart policies against the public interest under "unprincipled principals,"yet others do not? Despite its centrality in contemporary governance, this conundrum has not seen quantitative research. We address this gap with survey evidence from 1,700 Brazilian public servants during the Temer Presidency, widely perceived to lack democratic legitimacy and integrity. We focus on one key explanator: public service motivation (PSM). We argue that bureaucrats with greater PSM are more likely to engage in voice and sabotage of "unprincipled policies,"and exit to avoid implementing "unprincipled policies."Structural equation models support these hypotheses. Public service-motivated bureaucracies are thus short-run stalwarts against "unprincipled"political principals. Over time, they look to depart, however, leaving "unprincipled"principals a freer hand to pursue policies against the public interest.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 16, 2019
Online Publication Date Jul 24, 2021
Publication Date Apr 1, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 6, 2021
Publicly Available Date Sep 6, 2021
Journal Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Print ISSN 1053-1858
Electronic ISSN 1477-9803
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 2
Pages 416-435
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/jopart/muab028
Keywords Marketing; Public Administration; Sociology and Political Science
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/6184867
Publisher URL https://academic.oup.com/jpart/article/32/2/416/6327462

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