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The author examines Le Grand theory which argued that assumptions governing human motivation were important to the formulation and implementation of public policy. Most of the policymakers made policies on the assumption that both the implementers and the beneficiaries will behave in certain ways…
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Appraisal of Le Grands Theory
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Download file to see previous pages In support of his theory, Le Grand provided the following example: in the ‘classic’ era of the welfare state (1945-79), presumed that the motivation of the public servants was their professional ethic and the interests of those they served were of great concern to them. They appeared as public-spirited altruists (or knights) as they carried out their duties in the public interest. Taxpayers came out in the same light as the public servants because of their willingness to pay taxes. However, as per Le Grand’s theory, after 1979 the public experienced grave assaults on assumptions about motivation and behavior. There was the presumption that the public could understand the behavior of public officials and professionals if they appeared self-interested. Ultimately, it seemed objectionable that the beneficiaries of services received treatment as passive recipients-rather the consumer should be the king (Le Grand 1997). This paper examines the worth of Le Grand’s contribution to ‘knights, knaves, pawns, and queens’. This is in regards to the framework of our understanding of relationships between public authorities and organizations, which provides public services paid for. In that line, this paper looks at the merits and shortcomings of Le Grand’s contribution.
1) Are public employees driven by primary self-interested motives or are they, public-spirited altruists? 2) Do the recipients of services posse some capability to influence their situations or are their situations merely the product of broader social circumstances? (The ABCs of public service motivation, altruism, behavior, & compensation 2011) Logically he contends that the pay and incentive systems that stimulate the government servants enthusiasm should be formulated in such a manner that it is tough to both types of behavior; and that outsourcing of public sector work to non-profit bodies should not assume that these organizations are purely altruistic (Andrew 2004). This is one of the key contributions of this model that many scholars and researchers received well in this field of study. Flaws in Le Grand’s theory Le Grand’s contribution, since its introduction, has undergone remarkable scrutiny to date. Many scholars and institutions, in this field, have acknowledged, expanded or criticized this framework. The following are some of the issues that arise to challenge and expose the inadequacies that are in the model. The simplicity of the model raises a lot of concern. Many argue that his analysis is too simplistic a means of capturing the complexity of the realities of human motivation and agency. As there is a variety of knights and knaves, and people are not simply pawns or queens (Welshman 2004). For instance, knights exist in two types. The first type, act-relevant knights receive personal gratification from performing an altruistic act. The second type act-irrelevant knights receive personal gratification when those who need help receive it, regardless of who actually performs the helping act. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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