TaiGer - Relational schemas of state-citizen interactions: Contrasting evidence from citizen collaboration in Taiwan and Germany
Citizens increasingly find themselves in the role of co-initiators, co-producers, and co-evaluators of public goods and services. Citizen collaboration (i.e., the organized, active involvement of citizens in the design, implementation, or evaluation of public goods and services) reflects a broader trend toward a ‘New Public Governance.’ Some previous research has examined individual attitudes and motivations that citizens bring into the collaboration with governmental organizations. However, this scholarship is widely scattered, often disconnected, and lacks conceptual integration. We address this gap and develop a socio-cognitive approach to citizen collaboration. The notion of relational schema is at the core of this novel framework. Relational schemas of state-citizen interactions are mental maps that guide citizens and public servants through their collaboration. Such schemas include tacit assumptions about and expectations toward typical and ideal traits of public servants and citizens as well as interactional scripts of their exchange. In an embedded two-case design (i.e., Taiwan and Germany), we address the following research questions:
- Which relational schemas of state-citizen-interactions do public servants and citizens hold, and how do such schemas differ between the two countries?
- What are the antecedents of relational schemas, how do relational schemas matter for the outcomes of citizen collaboration, and how do these antecedents and consequences differ between the two countries?
- How does interpersonal congruence of public servants’ and citizens’ relational schemas affect outcomes of citizen collaboration, and does the congruence effect differ between the two countries?
The research will be carried out in several consecutive steps: First, we will build the theoretical and practical foundations of the project. Second, data will be collected in Germany. For this purpose, we will implement a survey experiment combining the categorization task with public goods games in two management and policy fields (i.e., energy transition and artificial intelligence). Third, the experimental procedure will be replicated in Taiwan. Fourth, data will be pooled and analyzed using multivariate methods.