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Instrumental calculation, cognitive role-playing, or both?: self-perceptions of Seconded National Experts in the European Commission

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Murdoch, Zuzana; Geys, Benny

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Corporate Editor Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH
Abstract Most work studying micro-processes of integration -i.e. how agents develop identities and decision-making behaviours within a particular institution- offers explanations based on either instrumental rationality or socialisation. This article proposes a twodimensional framework that allows analysing under which conditions both logics of social action co-exist. Our empirical analysis employs a unique dataset from a 2011 survey of all 1098 currently active Seconded National Experts (SNEs) in the European Commission, and is supportive the model's theoretical predictions. We find that a) instrumental cost-benefit calculation and cognitive role-playing (as semi-reflexive socialisation) often simultaneously influence SNEs' (perceptions of their) behaviour, and b) this joint presence of both logics of social action depends on certain scope conditions (i.e., SNEs' education, length of prior embeddedness and noviceness). (author's abstract)
Keywords socialization; European Commission; survey; representative; expert; rationality; action; decision; behavior
Classification General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
City Berlin
Page/Pages 21 p.
Series Discussion Papers / Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Schwerpunkt Märkte und Politik, Forschungsprofessur und Projekt The Future of Fiscal Federalism, SP II 2011-110
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications