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This article addresses the stereotype
that public service jobs are bloated in size, stifling, and inefficient
compared to the private sector. It stems from our general upbringing and
widespread belief that all government employees at all levels are incompetence,
uncaring, and merely present for personal financial gain.  The general purpose of this article is to
discover if the negativity surrounding public service effects how citizens
perceive the performance of public servants. The authors use a survey design to
compare public and private providers in different performance categories. The
hope is that the survey will reveal the negative perception of the public
sector is simply because they are public or does the performance of these
duties justify the negative label (Hvidman &
Andersen, 2015).

The experiment begins with a Danish
healthcare provider. The survey was presented to Danish political science
students and designed to determine how patients perceive the quality of care
received between a fake public and private hospital. The experiment measured
four variables; red tape, efficiency, effectiveness, and benevolence. The hope
is the experiment will uncover whether the public sector reputation is simply
negative, or does a positive image affect perceived effectiveness and
efficiency. The results found that the public sector is perceived to be
inferior performers to its private counterpart, primarily due to red tape and efficiency
(Hvidman & Andersen, 2015). The belief
is that citizens sometimes link their feelings about government to how they
feel about government organizations; negative feelings may remain even if
government is doing well. This goes back to the negative stereotype that public
agencies are just less efficient and administratively inferior. Additional
results revealed, public organizations are perceived as performing worse on effectiveness,
efficiency, and red tape. However they perform better on benevolence, or the
how well they show that they sincerely care (Hvidman
& Andersen, 2015).

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The author aims to discover the root
cause of the negative reputation of public organizations. One source of
negativity comes from the media and the way they structure stories to unfairly
sway public opinion. The belief is that a high degree of negative reporting
will influence and create negative feelings in citizens regarding government or
services. For example, constant reporting of political scandals or funds misuse
effects how citizens perceive government. 
Another theory is the negative dialogue of politicians and beauracrats
in election campaigns that influence negativity in citizens. Politicians of
opposite parties slander and abuse each other to a wide audience for election
votes but the collateral damage unstable support from citizens as a result of
all the negative posturing. As the author tries to explains in the origins of
the negativity that the word “public” may be the trigger word that connects
poor performance; similar to how a “public” restroom may automatically lead you
to think the facilities will be overly dirty and unfit for use. 

Public organizations are controlled
by political processes, voting citizens, and even funded with tax payer’s
money. A public organizations mere existence is all rooted in public trust.
Therefore the perceived public performance and effectiveness and ability to
accomplish the primary mission is and will remain a target and public reform
initiatives. The study found that stating whether an organization was public or
private lead responders to believes that places labeled public are have high
red tape and find it difficult to stay fiscally disciplined. Further, public
organizations are found to be less effective at achieving its primary goal but
are more caring to customers. The author suggests clearly communicating how public
organizations operate to increase public support. The belief is that decreased
knowledge of how the public side works will help the negative perception. Second,
the author recommends using the positive benevolent trait and show how public organizations
“really do” care and highlight the effort put into serving the people.

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