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Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij x Jaar 2021 x
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Regels breken in het belang van de burger

Van rebelse leidinggevende naar rebelse professional?

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden leadership, pro-social rule breaking, red tape, purpose-driven work, professionals
Auteurs Bernard Bernards en Eduard Schmidt
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The recent decentralization of many healthcare and welfare responsibilities from the national to the municipal level in the Netherlands was aimed at reducing unnecessary bureaucracy and giving discretion to the professional. However, this is not (yet) fully achieved. Therefore, calls have been made for more purpose-driven organizations. Pro-social rule breaking, which refers to acts of rule breaking motivated by the benefits that this creates for citizens, might be a way to make organizations more focused on their organizational purpose. Since little is known about the antecedents of pro-social rule breaking, this article looks at the possible effects of red tape and supportive leadership on pro-social rule breaking behavior of professionals. Based on a quantitative large-n study of professionals in the social domain, the results show that red tape significantly affects pro-social rule breaking. Stimulating leadership does not affect pro-social rule breaking behavior, which may be caused by the fact that intended leader support is not be perceived that way by the professional. The article concludes with a discussion on the desirability of rule breaking in a public sector context, followed by practical implications and further avenues for researchers.


Bernard Bernards
Bernard Bernards, MSc MA is promovendus bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden.

Eduard Schmidt
Dr. Eduard Schmidt is universitair docent bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden.
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