What motivates individuals to not only work hard but to go above and beyond their job requirements when working for organizations that deliver social goods?
This is the question that prompts some of my and colleagues’ most recent research. We think that this is an important topic to study for not only public management, but for its policy implications as well.
Governmental public policies provide a framework for programs, services, and resource allocations to address societal problems. The bicameral nature of the United States Congress provides a setting for conflict not just on whether to reform existing policy, but on what policy instruments to employ. When Congress decides to address a problem, the policy tools at their disposal include more or less regulation, direct service provision versus subsidies to other entities, and delegations of authority, to name a few.
Policies such as community benefits agreements (CBAs) and project labor agreements (PLAs) have recently proliferated in urban governance. These community development agreements similarly attempt to leverage urban growth and public participation within the development process to promote community development.
Does transparency enhance the ability for voters to evaluate candidates for office, and reward those candidates who are transparent and honest? Did the random audit policy formerly used by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) have positive benefits for both citizens and candidates? We theorize that increased transparency creates a stronger democratic process by providing more information to voters about candidates. From a public policy perspective, our research also suggests that re-instituting a more robust random audit procedure in the FEC may result in beneficial outcomes for citizens and some candidates for office (those least likely to violate campaign finance laws).