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Vrij artikel

Verantwoorden met gevoel

Taalkundige analyse van de impact van verantwoordingsrapporten in het openbaar bestuur

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2020
Auteurs Prof. dr. Thomas Schillemans en Marija Aleksovska Msc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper analyzes the impact of linguistic characteristics of accountability reports on public sector organizations. It does so by analysing hundreds of accountability reports by four public sector bodies using the linguistic tool LIWC. The research question is: what linguistic characteristics of accountability reports are related to a bigger impact on the evaluated organization? The impact of three strategic choices is assessed. First of all, the impact of strategic positioning. Authors of texts can maintain a position of power in the choice of language (high clout) and speak top down to the recipient or they can take a more egalitarian, face to face, position. Secondly, authors can choose to use many complex linguistic phrasings, with causal reasoning for instance, or they can opt for simpler texts. Finally, the text can be littered with emotional, positive and negative, wordings or can be set in a neutral tone. Our analyses suggest that more emotional accountability reports are consistently related to a better reception and seem to have more impact. This has important consequences both theoretically and practically, which are discussed in the paper.


Prof. dr. Thomas Schillemans
Prof. dr. T. Schillemans is hoogleraar Bestuur en beleid aan de Universiteit Utrecht, Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap. Daarnaast is hij als co-decaan verbonden aan de Nederlandse School voor Openbaar Bestuur.

Marija Aleksovska Msc
M. Aleksovska, Msc is promovenda aan de Universiteit Utrecht, Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap.
Kroniek

Bestuurders: onderbelicht, maar onder het vergrootglas

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden boards, board capacity, good governance, public sector, inspection
Auteurs Dr. Marieke van Genugten en Dr. Marlies Honingh
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The number of boards in the public domain has risen sharply in recent decades and so has the number of reports containing guidelines for effective and good governance. The question, however, is what this flow of advice is based on and what we actually know about board capacity. In this paper, we discuss theoretical expectations on boards, recent developments in governance based inspection, and empirical research on this topic. All in all, it appears that relatively little empirical research is conducted into boards in the public domain. And the research that is available is as yet not very optimistic. Based on these observations, we conclude that it is necessary to re-examine the policy assumptions with regard to board capacity in the public domain.


Dr. Marieke van Genugten
Dr. M.L. van Genugten is universitair docent bij de sectie Bestuurskunde van de Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit.

Dr. Marlies Honingh
Dr. M.E. Honingh is universitair hoofddocent bij de sectie Bestuurskunde van de Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit.
Vrij artikel

20 jaar Verantwoordingsdag: Inzicht voor Kamercommissies

Hoe inhoudsanalyse inzicht geeft in prestatiegegevensgebruik door Kamerleden

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden performance information, accountability, Parliament, annual reports, Performance-based Budgeting
Auteurs Dr. Sjoerd Keulen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The 20th Accountability Day of the Netherlands House of Representatives is a fitting occasion to investigate whether Dutch Members of Parliament use performance information (PI). Performance information used by managers and politicians is a basic assumption for managing and guiding Performance-based Budgeting. Ironically, based on a literature review on performance use, we know that politicians and especially parliamentarians do not use performance information for decision making or scrutiny. This is specifically so when PI reports are long. Using the framework of accountability of Bovens (2007) and using content analysis of the questions, motions and debates of the Standing Committees on the annual reports, this article shows that MPs use performance information in all phases (informing, debating, sanctions). Contradicting earlier research on parliamentarians, we found that they use annual reports and reports of the Court of Audit as their main sources in the debates. This article shows that the use of PI in parliament is steadily rising. The growing importance of performance information for accountability is further illustrated by the strengthening of the accountability forum.


Dr. Sjoerd Keulen
Dr. S.J. Keulen is onderzoeker bij de Algemene Rekenkamer en universitair docent Bestuurskunde aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Vrij artikel

Weinig consistent, beperkt zelfkritisch

De uitwerking van de beleidsconclusie binnen de rijksverantwoording

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden accountability, policy evaluation, policy conclusion
Auteurs Bram Faber MA en Dr. Tjerk Budding
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Dutch central government has a long history in its search to meaningfully present policy effects. One of the instruments that was developed to this end is the Policy Conclusion (beleidsconclusie). This part of the annual report, which has been mandatory since 2013, should provide a judgement for every policy article on its results in the year 2017. To what extent has the Policy Conclusion been successful in its aims? And how do various governmental departments give substance to it? For this article, all policy conclusions that were composed for the most recent reporting year were examined. Among others, our analysis shows that departments differ greatly in their interpretation of what the Policy Conclusion should include, such as the usage of sources and the way in which intended results are (re)addressed. In addition, it was found in the Policy Conclusions that a tendency exists to put a strong focus on positive outcomes.


Bram Faber MA
A.S.C. Faber MA is promovendus bij het Zijlstra Center van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Dr. Tjerk Budding
Dr. G.T. Budding is opleidingsdirecteur van de public controllersopleidingen van het Zijlstra Center van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Thema-artikel

Van procedure naar praktijk

Inzet op effectieve onafhankelijkheidsborging bij het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden policy research organizations, research independence, political pressure, coping strategies, independence safeguards
Auteurs Dr. Femke Verwest, Dr. Eva Kunseler, Dr. Paul Diederen e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    If the stakes are high, policy researchers can find themselves under strong pressures from politicians or policy makers to compromise on issues like scope of a research project, research methodology, reporting, framing and interpretation of results, and timing of publication. Research organizations experiment with various formal and informal arrangements to cope with such pressures and guard their independence.
    This article describes six coping strategies that are being explored by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). These are: i) taking control in determining the project scope and the research questions; ii) making responsibilities explicit and guarding respective roles; iii) installing a broad based societal project advisory group; iv) having some researchers in a project that interact with stakeholders, while keeping others at a distance; v) having a differentiated communications strategy; vi) being fully transparent as to hypotheses and uncertainties regarding data and models.
    Safeguarding independence in research through formal rules and provisions is generally insufficient to protect research from undue stakeholder influence. Also changes in labor routines, relationship management and organizational cultures are needed, not only on the researcher side, but on the stakeholder side as well. This calls for dialogue and joint learning processes.


Dr. Femke Verwest
Dr. F. Verwest is plaatsvervangend sectorhoofd bij het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving.

Dr. Eva Kunseler
Dr. E.M. Kunseler is wetenschappelijk medewerker bij het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving.

Dr. Paul Diederen
Dr. P.J.M. Diederen is coördinator bij het Rathenau Instituut.

Dr. Patricia Faasse
Dr. P.E. Faasse is senior onderzoeker bij het Rathenau Instituut.
Dissertatie

What makes innovations survive?

An investigation into public sector innovations in six European countries

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2019
Auteurs Wouter van Acker

Wouter van Acker
Thema-artikel

Catharsis: een vergeten functie van financiële verantwoording

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Catharsis, Accountability, Emotions, Debates, Positive Public Administration
Auteurs Dr. Sjoerd Keulen en Dr. Ronald Kroeze
Samenvatting

    Performance Budgeting has been introduced to gain greater managerial control over the outcomes and efficiency of policies and their budgets. Strikingly, a growing body of literature has explained that politicians hardly use performance information or only to emotionally judge government performance. We, however, propose understanding the emotional use of performance information as catharsis. Catharsis is the ritual of emotional and moral judging to understand and initiate improvement. Catharsis has been named as an important function of accountability, but has not been researched in the field of Public Administration. We discuss the concept of catharsis in relation to accountability and show that, by using evidence from its role in Dutch parliament, the use of ‘cathartic emotions’ are omnipresent in financial debates, especially when parliamentary enquiries and annual budgets are debated. Based on these findings catharsis should be understood as a much more serious function of accountability by both academics and public officials.


Dr. Sjoerd Keulen

Dr. Ronald Kroeze
Thema-artikel

Positieve beleidsevaluatie: hoe evaluatieonderzoek kan bijdragen aan beter beleid

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden positive public administration, positive evaluation, positive psychology, success, policy oriented learning
Auteurs Dr. Peter van der Knaap en Dr. Rudi Turksema
Samenvatting

    New insights from the field of positive psychology led to the insight that people learn more effectively from positive feedback. Policy evaluation aims to improve public policy programmes through contributing to both accountability and learning. This ambiguous ambition has contributed to a considerable body of research into the impact of policy evaluation. Too often the conclusion is that the outcomes of policy evaluations – which are often negative by nature – are sparsely used by policy makers. This has led to series of improvements in the way we carry out evaluations. First through technical improvements and then by more responsive approaches. Both have not led to the desired breakthrough. Building on a number of positive evaluation studies, we advance a more positive approach in policy evaluation. Focussing on the successes in policy programmes rather than on its failures may contribute to evaluation impact. Consequently, we think a more positive, appreciative approach and using data to find success in policy making is necessary for policy evaluators to be more effective. This article presents practical examples of positive policy evaluations and successful use of data in the domain of policy evaluation.


Dr. Peter van der Knaap

Dr. Rudi Turksema
Thema-artikel

Wanneer worden gemeenten gezien als waardevol?

Lokale publieke waardecreatie door de ogen van lokale actoren

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden public value management, Positive Public Administration, local government, performance assessment
Auteurs Scott Douglas DPhil en Prof. dr. Paul ’t Hart
Samenvatting

    This article explores how we can gain insight into the quality of local government with the help of the public value perspective. The public value perspective does not evaluate government through generalised standards or benchmarks, but through the judgments of the actors involved in the policy. This approach could do better justice to the unique context of different governments, such as different local governments. The public value perspective, however, is hampered by the competing expectations that actors have of public policy and their generally negative bias towards the government. Based on 71 interviews with local actors in six municipalities, we show how the public value approach does indeed yields many different and critical perspectives, even within municipalities that are considered successful by national experts. However, we also show which connections exist between these seemingly competing perspectives and how sombre judgments about past governance are actually influenced by optimistic ambitions for the future.


Scott Douglas DPhil

Prof. dr. Paul ’t Hart
Thema-artikel ‘Uitgesproken Bestuurskunde’

Europese regelgeving: meer dan de som der delen?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden European Union, EU legislation, evaluation, implementation, European administrative networks
Auteurs Prof. dr. Ellen Mastenbroek
Samenvatting

    Evaluations of EU legislation can fulfill a key role in the European policy process. They can provide the knowledge base required for political accountability towards the electorate, and form a basis for the improvement of existing legislation. This article introduces a research agenda in the realm of the ex-post evaluation of EU legislation, which comprises two research lines. The first strand comprises research into ex post legislative evaluations conducted by the European Commission. This research is innovative, because EU policy researchers so far have barely touched upon evaluation, as a final and important stage in the EU policy cycle. By assessing evaluation critically, we can ascertain to what extent the EU’s ex-post evaluation system is more than an instrument, aimed at increasing the EU’s legitimacy. The second research strand is own evaluation research, focusing on the role of European administrative networks- intergovernmental structures that have been established to improve the implementation of EU legislation by the member states. By critically evaluating the functioning and effectiveness of these networks, I hope to be able to find out whether and under what conditions these network structures are more, than the sum of their national parts.


Prof. dr. Ellen Mastenbroek
Thema-artikel ‘Uitgesproken Bestuurskunde’

Toezicht en governance in de open samenleving

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden corporate crime, Governance, Enforcement, Regulation, public administration
Auteurs Prof. dr. Judith van Erp
Samenvatting

    Regulation and markets have become central steering mechanisms in modern states, but have received relatively little attention in public administration. This contribution argues that questions around regulation, monitoring and enforcement deserve more attention in public administration scholarship. It sketches the development of ‘Regulatory Governance’ as a scholarly field, and discusses the added value of a criminological perspective on relations between state and market. A research agenda on ‘naming and shaming’ brings these perspectives together.


Prof. dr. Judith van Erp
Vrij artikel

Transparantie in de EU-Raad

Onvermijdelijk en onmisbaar? Onverzadelijk en onuitvoerbaar?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden transparency, Council of the EU, access to documents, democratic legitimacy
Auteurs Dr. Maarten Hillebrandt
Samenvatting

    The democratic deficit is generally observed to be one of the largest challenges facing the European Union. This is in spite of the fact that the member states introduced transparency in 1992 to address this legitimacy problem. This article asks why, after several decades, the transparency policy has still not delivered on its promise. In doing so, it bases itself on new empirical data that was collected in the context of a recently presented dissertation (Hillebrandt, 2017), while drawing a strict distinction between the empirical policy change question and the normative desirability question. From a longitudinal comparative analysis, a differentiated empirical image arises. On the one hand, a clear enhancement of legislative transparency can be discerned; on the other hand, a plurality of transparency-evasive practices has emerged in the area of non-legislative decision-making. This equivocal image supports contrasting normative responses, according to which transparency is respectively cast as an indispensable ideal, a fiction, or a solution in search of a problem.


Dr. Maarten Hillebrandt
Artikel

Voorlopige contouren van bestuursgericht toezicht

Empirische inzichten in jonge praktijken van bestuursgericht toezicht

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2018
Trefwoorden Governance, Regulation, Oversight
Auteurs Prof. dr. Thomas Schillemans, Dr. Meike Bokhorst, Dr. Marieke van Genugten e.a.
Samenvatting

    The regulatory agencies in various public service sectors are said to be changing (some) of their regulatory attention issues of internal governance of organizations in education, health care en social housing. This paper aims to assess how (if, at all) responsible actors within those organizations experience this shift in regulatory focus. We report on the findings from a survey with modest N, distributed at an early stage of this new policy. The paper shows that respondents have fairly divergent views on whether or not this regulatory shift has indeed occurred, something which is not uncommon for a new policy. We distinguish three mechanisms through which governance-based oversight may have an impact on public service providers. This new regulatory regime could 1) have an agenda-setting effect within organizations, could 2) stimulate organizational decision-makers to take well-considered decisions and could 3) induce a sense of relational felt accountability towards the regulator.


Prof. dr. Thomas Schillemans

Dr. Meike Bokhorst

Dr. Marieke van Genugten

Dr. Mirjan Oude Vrielink
Artikel

Aangescherpt bestuursgericht toezicht in de corporatiesector

Het wakend oog van de Autoriteit woningcorporaties onder de loep genomen

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2018
Trefwoorden public accountability, regulation strategies, policy change, policy implementation, (social) housing sector
Auteurs Olga Verschuren Msc en Dr. Stefanie Beyens
Samenvatting

    The Dutch social housing sector is still recovering from a series of incidents that harmed the sector’s reputation drastically. Part of the recovery plan is the installation of an independent Housing Authority, who focuses specifically upon the ‘governance’ of housing corporations. This article explores the implementation and development of the Authority’s regulation strategy. It finds that although the strategy sharpens the focus of housing corporations and limits risky circumstances and behavior, it also triggers adverse effects. The Authority should therefore adopt a broader outlook, that is more sensitive to (1) the complexity of the social housing task, and (2) the pathologies of multiple accountabilities being placed upon the corporation(sector).


Olga Verschuren Msc

Dr. Stefanie Beyens

Evrim Tan
Artikel

Lokale netwerken als instrument voor centraal beleid?

De relativiteit van metagovernance

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden metagovernance, Local networks
Auteurs Filip De Rynck, Caroline Temmerman en Joris Voets
Samenvatting

    Collaboration between public actors and social partners is becoming increasingly important as an administrative solution for complex societal challenges in health care, spatial development, mobility management or water management. In this article we focus on the relationship between the central Flemish government and local networks that are set up by this government. In the scientific literature much attention is paid to the concept of metagovernance as analytical perspective to analyze the relationship between the government and networks. The concept offers the government a toolbox with roles and instruments from which it can choose to support and stimulate networks in order to achieve the desired network results. However, our research shows that such an approach is not sufficient to capture the relationship between the central government and local mandated networks in Flanders. We argue for a broader interpretation of the concept of metagovernance, in which the dynamics of local networks are viewed as the outcome of power relations between actors that are represented at both local and central level and that are intertwined with each other. Only in this way will we we understand why certain choices are made about local mandated networks, why local networks show a lack of dynamism and why local actors in local networks also do not want local networks to become more dynamic and effective. We do notice that the pressure on these arrangements is increasing, partly due to new actors who are not involved in these arrangements.


Filip De Rynck

Caroline Temmerman

Joris Voets

Daphne van Kleef
Artikel

Access_open Wat maakt slimme sturing slim?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden smart governance, hybrid governance, self-organization, adaptive capacity
Auteurs Prof. dr. Joop Koppenjan, Prof. dr. ir. Katrien Termeer en Dr. Philip Marcel Karré
Samenvatting

    Wicked problems ask for new, smart forms of governance beyond a singular focus on hierarchy, market or community. Based on the case studies presented in the individual articles of this special issue, this concluding article describes what smart governance could entail and discusses its strengths and weaknesses, both as a concept and a practical tool.


Prof. dr. Joop Koppenjan

Prof. dr. ir. Katrien Termeer

Dr. Philip Marcel Karré
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