Research Prizes

Lars G. Tummers
PhD dissertation:
Policy Alienation. Analyzing the Experiences of Public Professionals with New Policies.

Supervisors: Prof. dr V.J.J.M. Bekkers, Prof. dr A.J. Steijn
Co-supervisor: dr S. van Thiel
Nomination: Faculty of Social Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Report of the Selection Committee
Lars Tummers’ study takes its starting point in a topical societal problem, namely that of the new concept of ‘Policy Alienation.’ He raises the question of how the behavior of professionals influences the effectiveness of government policies, such as the policies that are considered useless by professionals. The concept of ‘Policy Alienation’ is not only useful for Public Administration studies, but also for, for example, sociology, health sciences, education and organizational sciences, thus demonstrating its broad significance. His research is theoretically innovative and is also methodologically and empirically well-grounded.

Lars Tummers studied business economics at the University of Tilburg and the Università Bocconi in Milan (Master Strategic Management, 2005). He also studied public administration at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (Research Master Public Administration & Organizational Sciences, 2007). After his studies he worked as a PhD student at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and as organisation consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. In 2012 he obtained his PhD with honours on the problems of public professionals with government policies. He described these problems making use of the new concept of ‘Policy Alienation.’ At present Lars Tummers is Assistant Professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and is affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, as guest researcher. He is interested in government policies and the arising management problems. Questions such as: Why do professionals resist policies? What is the role of leadership in the implementation of innovations in the public sector? How do professionals deal with stressful situations in policy implementation? He studies these questions with a combination of methods from public administration and psychology.