Research & projects

Policy learning and innovation in the public sector

In every sector, policy change and innovation depend on a limited set of actors, ranging from politicians and public officials to company and association managers. As a result of various interactions as well as the gradual accumulation of evidence on policy problems over time, those policy actors acquire, translate, and disseminate new information and knowledge. In turn, they maintain, strengthen, or revise their beliefs and preferences regarding policies. ‘Policy learning’ is a concept that designates this cognitive and social dynamic – a dynamic which can be an important factor of policy stability, change and innovation. In this research program, I look at the nature, factors and effects of policy learning.

Projects related to this research program:

The individual in policy change: The liberalization of network industries in Belgium

Policy learning & policy change: Theorizing their relations from different perspectives

2016-2020 – PSI-Co: Public-sector innovation through collaboration

2017-2019 – The Dynamic of policy processes on hydraulic fracturing

Organizational socialization in public-sector organizations

Positions within organizations are frequently held by newcomers. For example, new recruits may be hired, and people may be promoted or transferred from one organization to another. Newcomers adapt their identities, roles and preferences to their position in the new organization. Organizations, too, make efforts to integrate newcomers into organizational roles and norms. This process of adjustment between organizations and individuals is referred to as ‘organizational socialization’. It is essential to understand how such socialization works, to know how public organizations prepare new employees for their jobs but also to explain why public employees do or do not support the organizational goals. This is the objective of this research program on organizational socialization in public-sector organizations.

Projects related to this research program:

2013-2017 – The public encounter in tax administrations

Street-level bureaucracy