By John O. Brehm, Scott Gates
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Extra info for Working, Shirking, and Sabotage: Bureaucratic Response to a Democratic Public
Third, none of these models accounts for variation in the subordinates' disposition to work or to shirk. 4 Payoffs are tied to maximizing production regardless of what is being produced. Because previous models never explicitly link subordinate payoffs to the production of particular outputs, the capacity to understand the effort of subordinates who like their jobs or have goals favoring production is lost. Unless we acknowledge that some agents may prefer to work, we cannot conceptualize such problems as the efforts of policy-oriented bureaucrats, social workers with guiding agendas, police officers who honestly prefer to enforce the law, or professors who like to teach.
With this chapter we conclude that effective supervision depends on the characteristics of subordinates, not on the characteristics of supervision. 4. The notion of residuals is difficult to apply to public bureaucracies as there often is nothing "left-over" to distribute. 5. An extensive set of work has built up arguing that incentives alone fail to alter long-term behavior. See, for example, Freedman et a1. (1992), Kohn et a1. (1993), Locke et a1. (1968), and Pittman et a1. (1982). 28 Working, Shirking, and Sabotage An Enhanced Principal-Agent Model of Bureaucratic Management The "Perils of Pauline" might picture the saboteur as a mustachioed man with a detonator, but the term "sabotage" has more pedestrian origins.
5) An assumption of divergent preferences, even when cloaked in theological robes, constitutes neither a demonstration of the presence of those differing preferences, nor proof that those preferences are consequential. We will demonstrate that the very best explanation for why some bureaucrats work and others don't is that many bureaucrats share the principal's preferences. Integrating Two Literatures At the end of the two literatures' treatment of the problem of bureaucratic control, we are left with many puzzles.