Before Virtuous Practice. Public and Private Sector-Specific Preferences for Intuition and Deliberation in Decision-Making
Fast and intuitive thinking, as well as emotions, play a large role in decision-making. The sociology of wise practice within public administration also suggests that thinking preferences like the use of intuition form a cornerstone of public administrators’ virtuous practice. This contribution uses conceptual and theoretical resources from behavioral sciences and public administration to find out whether individual-level differences between public and private sector employees exist with regard to thinking preferences. The article investigates variables that have been subject to extensive research and integrate their clout with the discourse in public administration. Institutional frameworks and social structures may enable or impede the habituation of virtue. The contribution empirically analyses this assumption with respondents from North America (n = 247) and the European Union (n = 1532) with regard to the thinking styles' preference for intuition and preference for deliberation. The public and private sectors differ significantly in terms of preference for deliberative as well as intuitive thinking. A surprising result is that private-sector employees rank higher than public sector employees on both scales. Differences in deliberation show a small effect whereas the effect size with regard to intuitive thinking is negligible. The discussion explores possible explanations for such differences and similarities.
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationSvenson, Steffen, Harteis, Launer. Before Virtuous Practice. Public and Private Sector-Specific Preferences for Intuition and Deliberation in Decision-Making. Public Integrity. 2022
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