All Title Author
Keywords Abstract

Chinese Rule-Abiding Decision-Making and Hidden Motives: Simulation Findings and Implications

DOI: 10.4236/aasoci.2018.82006, PP. 95-105

Keywords: China, Decision-Making Motive, Laboratory Experiment, Organized Social Systems, Rule-Abiding Decision-Making

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib


In order to understand how hidden motives operate in organized social systems in China, I conducted a laboratory experiment to answer three research questions as follows: Are Chinese citizens generally and state cadres (non-manual workers on government payroll) in particular rule-abiding beings? What are their underlying motives when making rule-abiding decisions? What are the sociological and political implications that can be drawn from their rule-abiding decision-making regularities? The findings form a basis to yield answers for future verification. First, the subjects were rule-abiding beings observing both formal and informal rules. Second, given the interventions, the subjects’ decision-making reflected that they had different motives when making rule-abiding decisions, fol-lowing the collective-interest-oriented logic of consequentialism, the logic of appropriateness, the self-interest-maximization logic of consequentialism, the logic of appropriateness, and the logic of practicality. And third, given that most subjects could be considered pragmatic-rational beings, the ground for building socialism is sociologically and politically shaky. The CPC leadership has to be more devoted to searching for contemporary social and political ideologies to displace the prevailing pragmatic-rational values.


[1]  Barzelay, M., & Gallego, R. (2006). From “New Institutionalism” to “Institutional Processualism”: Advancing Knowledge about Public Management Policy Change. Governance, 4, 531-557.
[2]  Berger, P., & Luckman, T. (1966). The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. London: Penguin Books.
[3]  Bozeman, B., & Scott, P. (1992). Laboratory Experiments in Public Policy and Management. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 3, 293-313.
[4]  Chan, H. S., & Chow, K. W. (2007). Public Management and Policy in Western China: Metapolicy, Tacit Knowledge, and Implications. American Review of Public Administration, 4, 479-498.
[5]  Druckman, J. N., Green, D. P., Kuklinski, J. H., & Lupia, A. (2006). The Growth and Development of Experimental Research in Political Science. The American Political Science Review, 4, 627-635.
[6]  Gilley, B. (2008). Legitimacy and Institutional Change: The Case of China. Comparative Political Studies, 3, 259-284.
[7]  Goldmann, K. (2005). Appropriateness and Consequences: The Logic of Neo-Institutionalism. Governance, 1, 35-52.
[8]  Heberer, T. (2014). China in 2013: The Chinese Dream’s Domestic and Foreign Policy Shifts. Asian Survey, 1, 113-128.
[9]  Heberer, T. (2015). China in 2014: Creating a New Power and Security Architecture in Domestic and Foreign Policies. Asian Survey, 1, 82-102.
[10]  Heinrich, C. J. (2007). Evidence-Based Policy and Performance Management: Challenges and Prospects in Two Parallel Movements. The American Review of Public Administration, 3, 255-277.
[11]  Hopf, T. (2010). The Logic of Habit in International Relations. European Journal of International Relations, 4, 539-561.
[12]  Hummel, R. P. (1994). The Bureaucratic Experience. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.
[13]  Hummel, R. P. (2011). Stories Managers Tell: Why They Are as Valid as Science. Public Administration Review, 1, 31-41.
[14]  Jilke, S., Van de Walle, S., & Kim, S. H. (2017). Generating Usable Knowledge through an Experimental Approach to Public Administration. Public Administration Review, 1, 69-72.
[15]  Ketokivi, M., & Mantere, S. (2010). Two Strategies for Inductive Reasoning in Organizational Research. The Academy of Management Review, 2, 315-333.
[16]  Kilduf, M., Mehraand, A., & Dunn, M. B. (2011). From Blue Sky Research to Problem Solving: A Philosophy of Science Theory of New Knowledge Production. Academy of Management Review, 2, 297-317.
[17]  March, J. G., & Olsen, J. P. (1998). The Institutional Dynamics of International Political Orders. International Organization, 4, 943-969.
[18]  McClelland, D. C. (1961). The Achieving Society. New York, NY: Free Press.
[19]  McGinnis, M. D., & Ostrom, E. (2011). Reflections on Vincent Ostrom, Public Administration, and Polycentricity. Public Administration Review, 1, 15-25.
[20]  Ostrom, E. (1998). A Behavioral Approach to the Rational Choice Theory of Collective Action—Presidential Address. American Political Science Review, 1, 1-22.
[21]  Overman, E. S. (1996). The New Sciences of Administration: Chaos and Quantum Theory. Public Administration Review, 5, 487-491.
[22]  Perry, J. L., & Wise, L. R. (1990). The Motivational Bases of Public Service. Public Administration Review, 3, 367-373.
[23]  Perry, J. L. (2012). Editorial: How Can We Improve Our Science to Generate More Usable Knowledge for Public Professionals? Public Administration Review, 4, 479-482.
[24]  Pouliot, V. (2008). The Logic of Practicality. International Organization, 2, 257-288.
[25]  Raadschelders, J. C. N. (2011). The Future of the Study of Public Administration: Embedding Research Object and Methodology in Epistemology and Ontology. Public Administration Review, 6, 916-924.
[26]  Vroom, V. H. (2007). On the Origins of Expectancy. In K. G. Smith, & M. A. Hitt (Eds.), Great Minds in Management: The Process of Theory Development (pp. 239-259). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[27]  Whetsell, T. A., & Shields, P. M. (2015). The Dynamics of Positivism in the Study of Public Administration: A Brief Intellectual History and Reappraisal. Administration & Society, 4, 416-446.
[28]  Zheng, Y. N. (2012). China in 2011: Anger, Political Consciousness, Anxiety, and Uncertainty. Asian Survey, 1, 28-41.
[29]  Zheng, Y. N. (2013). China in 2012: Troubled Elite, Frustrated Society. Asian Survey, 1, 162-175.


comments powered by Disqus