Solidary and functional costs: Explaining the presidential appointment contradiction

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9 Scopus citations


How is it possible for presidents to secure real influence from political appointees if these individuals spend so little time on the job before leaving government service? Many empirical studies have noted that once appointees have learned how to do their job and have come to trust the civil servants in their agencies, they are ready to leave these posts. Yet this suggests a dysfunctional bureaucratic structure that apparently does not exist, for many studies also tell us that these same political appointees exert real influence. In this article we address the problem of explaining executive effectiveness and executive turnover with a new empirical approach focusing on surveyed levels of stress and a theoretical focus on solidary and functional preferences. Whereas past research showed that these factors are related to agents and compliance, we show they are also related to the behavior of political principals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-569
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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