Toezicht met Gezag

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New publication: How do regulatory agencies get their reputation, according to their employees?

In their June edition, the journal Regulation and Governance published a new study from the Toezicht met Gezag project. The study presents findings from research with 205 employees of 8 Dutch independent regulatory agencies. Results show that employees typically see media and communications as having a vital role in their agency’s public image, alongside good agency performance and quality staff. Employees of different agencies, though, have significantly different views about where their agency’s reputation comes from. Results reveal distinct ‘profiles’ of opinion about the factors most important to reputation. Employees can fall into one of 5 profiles: ‘Image Managers’; ‘Agency Promoters’; ‘Customer Servers’; ‘Client Servers’; and ‘Fatalists’. While some agencies are dominated by media-oriented employees (like Image Managers) others are dominated by client-oriented employees (like Client Servers).

These results contribute to academic literature on public organizational reputation. Yet, they also have applications for practitioners. The Toezicht met Gezag team are already using the 5 profiles in consultations with regulatory agencies. The profiles help practitioners identify reputational issues, and spark an agency conversation about the many factors important to regulator reputation.

The article is free and available via this link: A video discussing the paper is also available here.

(Photo: @iStock / Veronika Oliinyk)