This dissertation analyzes the over-arching question of how the institutional and social context of public bureaucracy impact the choices of bureaucrats. These choices are introduced in the form of inertial-preferences and identity-driven preferences in the decision-making of bureaucrats. The study proposes theoretical frameworks to explain policy drift. These frameworks determine how “context-oriented preferences” moderate the trade-off between budget maximizing motivations and the policy choice of bureaucrats. In order to understand the context of bureaucratic choices directly stemming from organizational, institutional and social factors, the study encompasses two generic research routes that are covered in the three content chapters. In the first research route, the impact of history on present organizational structures is investigated with the theory of organizational imprinting. This refers to the process through which economic, social and institutional factors that prevailed at the time of founding shape present organizational forms and attributes. The second research route builds on the notion that a bureaucratic organization is a formalized social system. The bureaucrats consider it as essential to comply with organizational goals in order to be considered as a member of the organization. In order to analytically seize the social context of the bureaucratic organization, the notion of identity is conceptually integrated into the decision calculus of the bureaucrat. Apart from the introductory chapter, which sets the stage for the dissertation, there are three content chapters and a concluding chapter.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Bureaucracy, Idenity-driven preferences, inertia, path depenedence
Promotor K. Heine (Klaus) , prof.dr. J. Schnellenbach
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
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Note This thesis was written as part of the European Doctorate in Law and Economics programme
Naseer, S. (2018, January 26). The Policy Choices of Bureaucrats: an institutional analysis. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from