Confucius Meets Weber or 'Managerialism Takes All'? Comparing Civil Servant Values in China and the Netherlands

International Public Management Journal. Forthcoming

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 15-04

23 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2015

See all articles by Zeger Van Der Wal

Zeger Van Der Wal

LKYSPP

Lijing Yang

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Date Written: March 21, 2014

Abstract

This paper assesses the validity of normative claims on how civil servant values in East Asian and Western European administrations differ. By triangulating quantitative and qualitative survey data from a sample of Chinese (n=508) and Dutch (n=238) civil servants we aim to answer two main research questions: “How and why do ideal-type and real-life rankings of civil servant values differ between Chinese and Dutch civil servants?” and “Do differences reflect administrative traditions of both countries?” Our findings demonstrate that similarities exceed differences between value rankings. Surprisingly, ideal-type value rankings are more similar than real-life rankings, with only few idiosyncratic differences reflecting administrative traditions. Chinese civil servants perceive institutional and systemic factors as reasons for incongruence between ideal-type and real-life rankings whereas Dutch civil servants emphasize meso-level factors such as organizational public management reforms. We theorize on our results and we provide suggestions for future research.

Keywords: Public Values, China, The Netherlands, Administrative Traditions, Public Management

Suggested Citation

Van Der Wal, Zeger and Yang, Lijing, Confucius Meets Weber or 'Managerialism Takes All'? Comparing Civil Servant Values in China and the Netherlands (March 21, 2014). International Public Management Journal. Forthcoming; Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 15-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2548903

Zeger Van Der Wal (Contact Author)

LKYSPP ( email )

Singapore
Singapore

Lijing Yang

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) ( email )

Amsterdam Roeterseilandcampus
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Amsterdam, 1018 WV
Netherlands

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