The purpose of this chapter is to delineate and analyse current adjustments of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in Germany in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on current data and official material, road infrastructure PPP was analysed, as demand for transportation services is highly sensitive to fluctuations of overall economic activity. Accordingly, they do not only offer a good illustration of the challenges encountered by PPP operators in general but also – as road infrastructure PPP in Germany exist in different designs – important lessons may be learned with respect to their respective resilience in extraordinarily adverse economic conditions. One finding from the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany is that the case for public–private partnerships (PPP) become more compelling, also as an integral element of a large-scale reform package to massively improve the resilience of public service delivery to citizens and companies alike. Another important insight from the pandemic and the politico-administrative countermeasures is that massive pressure – both financial and in terms of the workload on the human resources employed – has been placed upon existing PPP, especially in critical infrastructures. The principal reasons are unforeseen or unexpected changes in user behaviour, affecting demand, and more difficult access to funding. These new insights demonstrate the relevance of anticipation of such events in the PPP contract, and the role of preparation for practitioners on both the private as well as the public side. Moreover, the findings provide leeway for further research on how the public administration, in particular in a federal multilevel system, can strengthen knowledge management and information exchange between single entities and stakeholders, and the role of PPP units as potential gatekeeper within this system.
Research suggests that teams can greatly enhance their performance through boundary management, which comprises activities that establish, maintain, and regulate linkages with the surrounding environment. However, such performance gains do not materialize equally in all instances, and some teams struggle to benefit from boundary management. Integrating insights from social network and team-level resource allocation theories, we develop a contingency framework that considers the internal organization of a team's boundary management (i.e., the carrier, target, and type of such activities) as a key moderating factor that accounts for the varying effects. To test this framework, we use a meta-analytic approach that synthesizes >30 years of empirical research (i.e., 85 primary studies covering 10,848 teams). Our results show a positive main effect of team boundary management on team performance. Crucially, these performance benefits are more pronounced when the target of boundary management is extraorganizational rather than inside the home organization and when the type of boundary management activities is boundary spanning (e.g., coordination, representation, or information search) rather than boundary strengthening (e.g., buffering, guarding, or sentry activities). Moreover, boundary management is more effective when executed by formal team leaders rather than team members, and our results tentatively suggest that this may reflect differences in effectiveness between leaders and members in boundary strengthening, rather than boundary spanning. Overall, our findings advance theory on team boundary management by clarifying previously ambiguous findings and illustrating how teams can design their boundary management activities to be most effective.
The article reflects on where AI is headed and the world along with it, considering trust, ethics and safety. Implicit in artificial thinking and doomsday appraisals is the engineered divorce from reality of sublime human embodiment. Jeffrey White, Dietrich Brandt, Jan Soeffner, and Larry Stapleton, four scholars associated with AI & Society, address these issues, and more, in the following exchange.
This study explores the roles of selected European Union members in the struggle for environmental externalities in the impact of energy and transport taxes on carbon dioxide emissions. It can be said that fiscal tools have an impact on the strife of the climate crisis that has not yet been agreed upon by policymakers. We research the effects of energy and transport taxes on per capita carbon dioxide emissions using the Moments Quantile Regression (MM-QR) estimator, which is a novel method for panel data. For the 1995-2020 period, firstly, we divided the 23 countries into two groups (Panel A: 10 countries, and Panel B: 13 countries) according to their per capita income. Those above the median have relatively higher per capita income and vice versa for low-income individuals. Second, we estimate the quantile coefficients using the hybrid EKC model. The findings show that the inverse U-shaped curve is valid for nearly all quantiles in Panel A. Transport tax has an increasing effect in all quantiles, whereas energy tax has a decreasing effect on Co2 emissions in Panel A. We find an inverse U-shaped curve from the 10th to 30th quantiles in relatively low-income EU countries. MM-QR results show that the transport tax has an increased effect and the energy tax has a decreased effect on Co2 emissions for Panel B. These results can guide policies in which different tax policies should be used for different income and carbon dioxide emission levels.
The onset of the war on drugs in Mexico at the beginning of 21st century had far‐reaching effects on its citizens, including most obviously, an unprecedented increase in the homicide rate. We analyse the correlation between violence on social capital in the 32 federal states of Mexico from January 2004 to December 2016. Given the lack of data in the conflict regions of Mexico, we apply the indirect approach proposed by Guriev and Melnikov (2016), which uses internet search engine data to proxy social capital. Our results show a negative relationship between violence and social capital in Mexico. Moreover, we document a positive spatial correlation for social capital. Overall, we present an example of how the analysis of internet‐based data can contribute to the understanding of socioeconomic developments in conflict regions with unreliable standard data.
This paper proposes a novel approach to identify the presence of a latent factor in the co-movements of gasoline and diesel prices in the three major European Union economies, (France, Germany, and Italy) using daily data from January 3, 2005, to June 28, 2021. More precisely, we advance an artificial neural networks algorithm estimated through a machine learning experiment through the backpropagation system to show that the neural signal is altered by an element that could coincide with a latent factor in the fuel price co-movements. We consider the role of the fuel tax systems and the connection between gasoline and diesel prices in these countries. The estimations indicate the presence of an unobservable component (the latent factor) in the fuel price co-movements, capable of influencing NN. This result validates the previous findings reported in the literature, indicating an excess co-movement in fuel prices. It also has implications in terms of fuel price forecasts in the short run.
Digital Concert Experience (DCE) is a research project designed and conducted to contribute to a better understanding of audience experience in online streams of Western classical music in ecologically valid settings. Based on an online survey, a latent profile analysis identified three different audience segments of classical concert streams. These are differentiated by different preferences for stream characteristics. In a subsequent experiment, participants watched one out of four different stream variations and were asked to rate different aspects of their concert experience. Seven main dimensions of concert experience were derived from the questionnaire answers and subsequently analyzed with respect to presented stream variations. Concert streams were found to have the potential to evoke high appreciation of music, but to evoke lower degrees of emotional and immersive experience, according to our results. Social interaction opportunities available during the stream led to increased feelings of social connection. Additional information about a certain piece in the programme had a strong effect on the understanding of it. Moreover, we observed differentiated forms of concert experience within each preference group dependent on presented stream variation. We close the chapter by providing an outlook on our Experimental Concert Research (ECR) project, which aims to holistically explore the concert experience in conventional live concerts with physical co-presence of musicians and audience in an ecologically valid way. Both projects contribute to the empirical study of the classical concert experience with regard to current challenges of classical music in the cultural sector.
Zusammenfassung Dieser Beitrag in der Zeitschrift „Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation“ (GIO) ist das Ergebnis einer Recherche in Niklas Luhmanns Zettelkasten zur gesellschaftlichen Funktion der Gruppe. Luhmann hat in seinem zweiten Zettelkasten den Vorschlag, die Gruppe als ein eigenständiges soziales System zu verstehen, geprüft und verworfen. Zwanzig Jahre vorher stand die Gruppe, verstanden als Kollektividentifikation, allerdings noch prominent in der Überschrift des ersten Zettels des ersten Zettelkastens. Insofern lohnt es sich, der Frage der Gruppe als einer Funktion der Gesellschaft, wenn auch nicht als System, noch einmal nachzugehen und die Gruppe als paradoxe Fiktion zu beschreiben. Es gibt sie nur als Einwand gegen die flüchtige Interaktion, die formalisierte Organisation und die unpersönliche Gesellschaft. Der Aufsatz diskutiert die Gruppe im Kontext von Mary Douglas Unterscheidung zwischen group und grid und im Kontext einer Theorie der Kulturformen der menschlichen Gesellschaft. Affinität, Freundschaft, Kritik und die Posse sind die kulturellen Formen, die die Fiktion der Gruppe in der Auseinandersetzung mit dominanten Verbreitungsmedien der Kommunikation jeweils annimmt. Der Aufsatz schließt mit einem Konzept der idiorrhythmie von Gruppen.
This research note highlights the underrepresentation of younger people in parliaments across the globe, which has been a persistent issue for decades. We introduce a novel open-access dataset containing information on mean and median age as well as the share of MPs in specific age brackets in party parliamentary groups in lower houses or single chambers of national parliaments. The dataset covers 163 cases from 30 countries and features variables that present these aforementioned shares in relation to the respective group’s presence in the voting-age population (Age Representation Index). Furthermore, the dataset includes the share of women within the party parliamentary groups as well as identifiers that enable matching the dataset with indicators from the Political Party Database (PPDB), the V-Party dataset, PartyFacts and the Manifesto Project Database. Our main finding underlines the importance of research focusing on party level factors influencing youth representation as there is not only variation between countries, but also within them on the party-level. Additionally, we show that most party parliamentary groups in which women are underrepresented also have low relative shares of young people, which is in line with theoretical arguments on party behavior.
A study of 132 audience members of three classical public concerts (all three staged the same chamber music pieces by Ludwig van Beethoven, Brett Dean, and Johannes Brahms) had the goal of analyzing the physiological and motor responses of audiences. It was assumed that the music would induce synchronous physiology and movement in listeners (induction synchrony). In addition to hypothesizing that such synchronies would be present, we expected that they were linked to participants’ aesthetic experiences, their affect and personality traits, which were assessed by questionnaires before and after the concerts. Clear evidence was found of physiological synchrony (heart rate, respiration rate, skin conductance response) as well as movement synchrony of the audiences, whereas breathing behavior was not synchronized. Thus the audiences of the three concerts resonated with the music, their music perception was embodied. There were links between the bodily synchrony and aesthetic experiences: synchrony, especially heart-rate synchrony, was higher when listeners felt moved emotionally and inspired by a piece, and were immersed in the music. Personality traits were also associated with the individual contributions to induction synchrony.
ZUSAMMENFASSUNG: Der Beitrag diskutiert den gesellschaftlichen Umgang mit der Corona-Pandemie im Rahmen eines soziologischen Prozessmodells. Die Pandemie wird als eine „Katastrophe“ verstanden, die sich nicht nur in Warnungen und Seuchenplänen, sondern auch im Ignorieren dieser Warnungen und Plänen angekündigt hat. Die Katastrophe löst eine sozialen Wandel aus, dessen wichtigstes Kennzeichen der Streit sowohl über die Interpretation der Ereignisse als auch über erforderliche Gegenmaßnahmen ist. Dieser Streit schwächt die Maßnahmen und stärkt die Versorgung der Gesellschaft mit auch kontroverser Information. Der Beitrag stellt unter Rückgriff auf den Formkalkül von George Spencer-Brown ein Möglichkeit vor, die gesellschaftliche Auseinandersetzung zu modellieren. Die Diskussion um den Schutz des Lebens auf der einen Seite und die Wahrung von Freiheitsrechten auf der anderen Seite erweitert innerhalb der Gesellschaft das Spektrum möglicher Reaktionen auf die Pandemie und ist so die Voraussetzung für die Wahrung einer gesellschaftlichen Komplexität auch in einer Situation relativer Eindeutigkeit aus virologischer und epidemiologischer Sicht. Der Einbau von Widerspruch und Negativität in die Prozesse der Kommunikation über die Pandemie stärkt die Immunreaktionen der Gesellschaft, auch wenn Maßnahmen verzögert werden, die aus medizinischer Sicht erforderlich sind. In einem Prozessmodell der Katastrophe kann beschrieben werden, dass die Gesellschaft im Fall einer Katastrophe nicht nur auf ein Umweltereignis, die Bedrohung menschlichen Lebens durch ein Virus, sondern auch auf sich selbst, auf ihre eigenen Reaktionen, reagiert. Dadurch bleibt sie nicht-trivial, das heißt für sie selbst unberechenbar und unvorhersehbar. Seuchenmodelle müssen daher nicht nur den Faktor menschlichen Verhaltens, sondern auch den Faktor gesellschaftlicher Prozesse berücksichtigen.
We study how firms’ individual credit market experience influences their beliefs about the bank lending policy, using the Austrian Business Survey between 2011 and 2016. Firms which have recently experienced a loan rejection are more likely to believe that the lending policy is restrictive. We see similar effects for firms who were granted loans, but with conditions worse than anticipated. Exploiting the panel structure shows that firms without recent credit market experience are less likely to change their beliefs, which converge towards the middle category. Our findings are in line with theories of rational inattention and with asymmetric experience effects. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Liberalization is a perennial topic in politics and political science. We first review a broad scholarly debate, showing that the mainstream theories make rival and contradictory claims regarding the role of political parties in (de)liberalization reforms. We then develop a framework of conditional partisan influence, arguing that and under what conditions parties matter. We test our (and rival) propositions with a new dataset on (de)liberalization reforms in 23 democracies since 1973 covering several policy areas. Methodologically, we argue that existing quantitative studies are problematic: They rely on time-series cross-section models using country-year observations; but governments do not change annually, so that the number of observations is artificially inflated, resulting in incorrect estimates. We propose mixed-effects models instead, with country-year observations nested in cabinets, which are nested in countries and years. The results show under what conditions parties matter for (de)liberalization. More generally, the paper argues that mixed-effects models should become the new standard for studying partisan influences.
Visual perspective taking (VPT) is a fundamental process of social cognition. To date, however, only a handful of studies have investigated whether humans also take the perspective of humanoid robots. Recent findings on this topic are conflicting as one study found no evidence for level 1 VPT (i.e., which object is seen by the agent) and a different study has found evidence for level 2 VPT (i.e., how is the object seen by the agent). The latter study proposed that the human-like appearance of robots triggers VPT and that a mental capacity to perceive the environment is not required (mere-appearance hypothesis). In the present study, we tested whether the mere-appearance hypothesis is also applicable to level 1 VPT. We manipulated the appearance of a humanoid robot by either showing it with a human-like or artificial head, and its mental capacity for perception by presenting it as switched on or off. We found that all manipulations triggered VPT, showing, in contrast to earlier findings, level 1 VPT for robots. Our findings support the mere-appearance hypothesis as VPT was triggered regardless of whether the robot was switched on or off, and also show that the mere-appearance hypothesis is robust with regard to alterations of human-like appearance.
Disruptive technologies, particularly Artificial Intelligence ( ai ), currently dominate the debate on the future of societal organisations and structures and this trend has intensified since the emergence of ChatGPT in late 2022. Naturally, such topics are related to the opportunities and challenges that arise when utilising ai -based approaches and cannot be omitted from the discussion about the evolution of parliamentary institutions. This report describes the content and conclusions of a two-day international workshop on artificial intelligence in parliaments that took place from 3–4 July 2023 in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
Scholars have called to study how social cohesion is discursively negotiated and produced in communication behavior. However, empirical evidence remains scarce. In this study, we investigate to what extent and how civil society organizations (CSOs), part of the backbone of social integration in modern democracies, make references to social cohesion in their public self-portrayals. We develop a standardized measure for content analyzing the manifestation of social cohesion along three theoretical dimensions: social relations, connectedness, and orientation towards the common good. We apply our innovative content measure to the external communication of an original sample of nearly 800 CSOs in Germany, using their websites. Subsequently, we use data from an accompanying organizational survey of these institutions to investigate whether and how certain organizational features help explain variance in social cohesion rhetoric. Findings suggest that CSOs’ external communications employ themes from all key dimensions of social cohesion, revealing a fair amount of variation on all three subdimensions and a summary index of the overall strength social cohesion rhetoric. These different emphases are contingent upon various organizational characteristics, namely the spheres in which CSOs are primarily active, their locations, and their target groups. Whereas culturally and media-oriented organizations as well as sports clubs are largely reluctant to make references to social cohesion, politically active CSOs and those addressing socially disadvantaged communities tend to push more in this direction. The latter tend to operate in more professionalized structures, indicating that referencing social cohesion legitimizes these groups’ political and social purposes in the public sphere.
While most studies on family firm branding report positive reputational consequences, we lack empirical evidence to which degree these benefits vary across different geographical contexts. This study explores associations elicited by the term family business in Germany, India, and the United States and discusses reasons for the varying differentiation power of the family firm signal. Our large-scale association study ( n = 1,383) reveals that prototypical family firm perceptions are prevalent in the United States and Germany, but less in India. Through qualitative insights and an experimental study, we investigate why the power of the family firm signal to enhance reputation varies across countries.
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