Public leaders’ organizational learning orientations in the wake of a crisis and the role of public service motivation
This study explores public leaders’ organizational learning orientation in the wake of a crisis. More precisely, we study the association between public leaders’ public service motivation and their learning orientation (instrumental versus political).
- Wout Broekema, Jan Porth, Trui Steen, René Torenvlied
- 29 April 2019
- Public leaders’ organizational learning orientations in the wake of a crisis and the role of public service motivation
This research addresses the lack of systematic empirical data on crisis-induced learning and provides a first systematic operationalization of this important concept. We analyze survey data collected from 209 Dutch mayors on their learning priorities in responding to a hypothetical crisis situation in their municipality. The mayors’ response patterns reveal (1) “cognitive”, (2) “behavioral”, (3) “accountability”, and (4) “external communication” dimensions of crisis-induced learning.
We find that mayors with a stronger public service motivation put more effort into instrumental learning (dimensions 1 and 2), and surprisingly, also into political learning (dimensions 3 and 4). Mayoral experience in previous crises is positively associated with accountability-related learning after a crisis. However, mayoral tenure is negatively associated with crisis-induced behavioral learning.