Businessman Builds a Tower

The Federal Managers Who Aren’t Afraid to Take Risks

The common perception is that, as a group, federal managers tend to be risk averse. 

However, new research based on data from the Office of Personnel Management’s annual federal employee viewpoint survey suggests that’s not exactly the case: Managers in both high-performing and low-performing organizations tend to be risk takers. 

They probably feel they have little to lose by trying something new. In contrast, it’s managers in stable, middle-of-the-road organizations who tend to be risk averse.

These insights are based on research by Sean and Jill Nicholson-Crotty and Sergio Fernandez in an article appearing in the current issue of Public Administration Review. To reach their conclusions, they applied a “relative risk” model to analyze survey response data from 2011 and 2013. 

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Tags: performance management, management

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