The Social Psychology Perspective on Values and Virtues

  • Iwona Sobis
  • Michiel S. de Vries
Part of the IIAS Series: Governance and Public Management book series (GPM)


This chapter is about what the discipline of Public Administration can learn from theories and experiments as developed and conducted in the academic discipline of Social Psychology in order to create or restore value and virtue in public administration. Regardless of the issue at stake — public integrity, management and organizational, service delivery or politico-administrative relations — one of the main questions always at stake is how to create or restore an administration that takes social values seriously and is virtuous in its decisions. The modern idea is to steer and control based on principles derived from the market and neo-institutional theory. Central concepts are competition, value for money, reducing information-asymmetry by using performance measurement, monitoring, evaluations, and benchmarking (cf. Kubr, 2002). The downsides thereof have been discussed many times (see a/o Halachmi and Bouckaert, 1996; Hood, 1991; Lonti and Gregory, 2007).


Social Psychology Public Administration Psychological Contract Cognitive Dissonance Organizational Socialization 
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Copyright information

© Iwona Sobis and Michiel S. de Vries 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iwona Sobis
  • Michiel S. de Vries

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