For their paper "Exploring the Communicative Features of Public Service Encounters: How Administrative Language Affects Citizen Perceptions" at this year's conference of the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) from April 19 to 22, Steffen Eckhard and Laurin Friedrich were awarded the Christopher Pollitt Prize for the best conference paper. This was produced as part of the cluster project "Inequality in Street-Level Bureaucracy: Linguistic Analysis of Public Service Encounters," which researches linguistic communication processes between administrative staff and citizens.
In the paper, the authors use a multi-method approach to investigate the influence of verbal administrative communication on citizen perceptions of contacts with public authorities. Building on exploratory interviews, they first develop a theoretical concept for systematizing and measuring spoken administrative language. In a second step, this concept is empirically tested using an audiovisual vignette experiment. The results show that administrative employees exert a decisive influence on citizen satisfaction with public services through their communication behavior. The award committee based its decision on the innovativeness and originality of the paper and emphasized that the authors contribute important new insights to the current state of research in administrative science, which are also highly relevant for administrative practice.