A Vidi of 800,000 euros was awarded to Lars Tummers, Professor of Public Management and Behaviour at the Utrecht University School of Governance for his research proposal "Lazy Bureaucrats? Stereotypes of civil servants across countries".
Tummers writes in his short summary: "There are many negative stereotypes about civil servants. They are called lazy or incompetent. But are such stereotypes universal? And what are the effects of stereotyping? This project investigates stereotypes of civil servants in three countries. It also studies how civil servants (in)effectively cope with stereotyping."
Students becoming civil servants
According to a delighted Tummers, this research perfectly suits the Utrecht University School of Governance. "We train students who will become civil servants or who will otherwise work for the public good. So it is only natural and logical for us to want to investigate what people think about civil servants. "According to him, the stereotypical way many people in the Netherlands think about civil servants can have a selection effect. For example, ambitious professionals may not opt for a job in government because they too, now think negatively about civil servants. It can also become a self-fulfilling prophecy: civil servants may work less hard, if they are often portrayed negatively. "The professor is also curious about how people think about the various types of civil servants. "Their opinion about a policeman can be differ form that of a policy maker."