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Effect of Managers on Public Service Performance
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Effect of Managers on Public Service Performance

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This report provides an overview of the PhD dissertation “Effects of Managers on Public Service Performance” carried out at the Department of Political Science, Aarhus University and SFI – The Danish National Centre for Social Research. The dissertation is part of the research project “School Management, Teaching, and Student Performance” supported by the Danish Strategic Research Council (now Innovation Fund Denmark) and headed by professor Søren Winter. The dissertation explores the effects of managers on public service performance. By combining theoretical insights and research designs from general management and labor economics with public management theory, the dissertation contributes with new and important insights that are critical for the progression of public management research and research on classic public administration themes such as: “Do private and public organizations differ?”, “How can we improve organizational performance?”, and “How can we measure public service performance?”

The setting for the dissertation is Danish middle schools (folkeskoler). The education system is generally considered an important service area as it affects later life outcomes of individual children and society as a whole (Esping-Andersen 2002; Grossman 2006; Heckman, Lochner, and Todd 2006). Teaching quality and school performance have attracted much academic as well as political attention and debate in recent decades. Particularly in Denmark, which for a number of years has been among the OECD countries spending most on education (OECD 2014a), while still performing at the OECD average in PISA tests and on equity measures (OECD 2014b). Studying ways of improving school performance is therefore important in its own right. Another advantage of using Danish schools as the setting for the dissertation is access to high-quality panel data on schools and students via the Danish administrative data archives. Specifically, this dissertation utilizes a never before used option of merging panel data on Danish school principals with data on students and schools.
In addition to this report, the dissertation consists of five papers. The report summarizes the main results of the papers and their combined contribution to research and practice. The papers are:

A. Mikkelsen, Maria Falk, Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen and Lotte Bøgh Andersen 2015, “Managing Employee Motivation. Exploring the Connections between Managers’ Enforcement Actions, Employee Perceptions, and Employee Intrinsic Motivation.” International Public Management Journal, Online before print [referred to as “Managing motivation”].

B. Mikkelsen, Maria Falk and Poul Aaes Nielsen 2015, “Does Managerial Authority Improve Performance? The Interplay between Decentralized Authority and Managerial Factors.” Invited for revise and resubmit [referred to as “Decentralized authority”].

C. Mikkelsen, Maria Falk 2015, “Trade-offs or Superman(agers)? The Effect of Public Managers on Production and Process Performance.” Under review [referred to as “Performance trade-offs”].

D. Mikkelsen, Maria Falk 2015, “Pushing or Persuading? Estimating the Effect of School principals’ “Soft”, “Mixed” and “Hard” Enforcement Actions on Student Performance.” Under review [referred to as “Pushing or persuading”].

E. Mikkelsen, Maria Falk 2015, “Similar but Different? Analyzing the Impact of Managers on Organizational Performance in Public and Private Organizations” Working paper [referred to as “Public vs. private”].
Forfattere Maria Falk Mikkelsen, SFI
Udgivelsesdato 15.01.2016
Udgiver Aarhus Universitet
Sprog Engelsk
E-ISBN 978-87-7335-201-4
Sidetal 69
Publikationsnr.

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