DOI: 10.1177/0734371x241227899 ISSN: 0734-371X

Increasing Street-Level Bureaucrats’ Well-Being in Times of Crisis: A Survey Experiment With Two Social Belonging Interventions

Noortje de Boer, Carina Schott, Kim Loyens
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Public Administration

This study increases our understanding on how to improve the well-being of street-level bureaucrats. We test the effect of social belonging interventions on street-level bureaucrats’ well-being in times of crisis. We argue stimulating social belonging is especially relevant during crises, because it mitigates identity threats caused by high levels of uncertainty and adversities. We conducted a pre-registered survey experiment during the Covid-19 pandemic among Belgian inspectors ( n = 423). We find social belonging interventions have a small, positive effect ( d = 0.26) on street-level bureaucrats’ work engagement but have no effect on street-level bureaucrats’ burnout. We outline directions for future research by discussing explanations for our (in)significant findings.

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