Darwin's bureaucrat: Reassessing the microfoundations of bureaucracy scholarship
Adam Smith, Biopolitics, Darwin, Herb Simon, Public administration, Public policy
Politics and the Life Sciences
The study of bureaucratic behavior-focusing on control, decision-making, and institutional arrangements-has historically leaned heavily on theories of rational choice and bounded rationality. Notably absent from this research, however, is attention to the growing literature on biological and especially evolutionary human behavior. This article addresses this gap by closely examining the extant economic and psychological frameworks-which we refer to as “Adam Smith's bureaucrat” and “Herbert Simon's bureaucrat”-for their shortcomings in terms of explanatory and predictive theory, and by positing a different framework, which we call “Charles Darwin's bureaucrat.” This model incorporates new insights from an expanding multidisciplinary research framework and has the potential to address some of the long-noted weaknesses of classic theories of bureaucratic behavior.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Smith, Kevin B. and Renfro, Jayme L.N., "Darwin's bureaucrat: Reassessing the microfoundations of bureaucracy scholarship" (2019). Faculty Publications. 563.