Petersen, Niels Bjørn Grund. ‘Disciplining the Strong? Discrimination of Service Users and the Moderating Role of PSM and Ability to Cope’. Public Management Review, vol. 23, no. 2, Feb. 2021, pp. 168–188.
Ethnic stereotypes inﬂuence frontline workers’ decision-making, which challenges the legitimacy of public organizations. In this article, we examine how ethnic stereotypes aﬀect caseworkers’ sanctioning behaviour in a context where the client group consists of highly vulnerable clients. Using survey experimental vignettes and qualitative interviews, we ﬁnd that social caseworkers use ethnic classiﬁcation in their decision-making. However, contrary to our expectations, caseworkers are less likely to sanction clients with a nonwestern ethnicity compared to ethnic Danish clients. In addition, the article ﬁnds novel evidence indicating that employee traits mitigate the use of ethnic stereotypes.