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Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory Current Issue

Published: Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:53:33 GMT


More Than Public Service: A Field Experiment on Job Advertisements and Diversity in the Police

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

There is a human capital crisis looming in the public sector as fewer and fewer people show interest in government jobs. At the same time, many public sector organizations struggle with increasing the diversity of their workforce. Although many institutional forces contribute to the challenge, part of the solution is in how government recruits. This study presents the results of a field experiment aimed at attracting more and different people to apply to a police force by varying job advertisements in a postcard. The results suggest that focusing on public service motivation (PSM) messages is ineffective at attracting candidates that would not have applied anyway. Rather, messages that focus on the personal benefits of applying to the job—either emphasizing the challenge of the job or the career benefits—are three times as effective at getting individuals to apply as the control, without an observable loss in applicant quality. These messages are particularly effective for people of color and women, thereby supporting a key policy goal of the police to increase diversity of applicants.

Understanding Individual and Organizational Level Representation: The Case of Parental Involvement in Schools

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT

With the substantive effects of racial and ethnic representation well-documented in the representative bureaucracy literature, scholars have increasingly turned their attention to better understanding the causal mechanisms underlying these effects. One explored but yet unresolved issue is whether the benefits of representation stem from individual (direct)- versus organizational (indirect)-level pathways, or both. The current study advances this conversation by testing the effect of both levels of representation on parental involvement in schools using a current, nationally-representative dataset: the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–2011 (ECLS-K: 2011). In doing so, this study also contributes to research on parental involvement, and how it may relate to racial and ethnic achievement gaps. Results indicate that both direct and indirect representation matter, though perhaps not equally. Direct representation has a larger association with parental involvement outcomes, especially for nonwhite students. After controlling for this direct representation, indirect representation shows statistically significant but smaller increases in parent-reported conference attendance.

The State of Federal Inspectors General Studies

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Nadia Hilliard. 2017. The Accountability State: US Federal Inspectors General and the Pursuit of Democratic Integrity. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press. Hardback $50.00; Paperback $27.95. 288 pp.

Collaborative Platforms as a Governance Strategy

Sat, 07 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Collaborative governance is increasingly viewed as a proactive policy instrument, one in which the strategy of collaboration can be deployed on a larger scale and extended from one local context to another. This article suggests that the concept of collaborative platforms provides useful insights into this strategy of treating collaborative governance as a generic policy instrument. Building on an organization-theoretic approach, collaborative platforms are defined as organizations or programs with dedicated competences and resources for facilitating the creation, adaptation and success of multiple or ongoing collaborative projects or networks. Working between the theoretical literature on platforms and empirical cases of collaborative platforms, the article finds that strategic intermediation and design rules are important for encouraging the positive feedback effects that help collaborative platforms adapt and succeed. Collaborative platforms often promote the scaling-up of collaborative governance by creating modular collaborative units—a strategy of collaborative franchising.

Exit, Voice, and Loyalty under Municipal Decline: A Difference-in-Differences Analysis in Japan

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Drawing on Albert Hirschman’s Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, this study aims to reveal citizens’ response mechanisms to the decline of municipality caused by municipal management failure. Using the case of the Japanese town Ohwani in fiscal crisis, this study examines the effects of fiscal reform, which involve tax increases, service cuts, and political conflicts, on citizens’ exit intention and voice activities. For this purpose, this study makes a quasi-experimental framework that contrasts Ohwani to Inakadate, a control village not under fiscal reform which has similar socio-demographic features. The estimation approach is a difference-in-differences design with a time difference enabled by a careful retrospective measurement. Data were collected from 600 randomly sampled citizens of Ohwani and Inakadate with a response rate of 45%. This study finds that citizens under fiscal reform are more likely to consider exit, while the level of citizens’ voice activities is unaffected by fiscal reform. In addition, social capital factors show a loyalty function that encourages voice activities as the covariates, though those associations with exit intention are weak. This study provides initial evidence for citizens’ response mechanisms to municipal decline and identifies keys to successful recuperation from decline.

Public Service Sector: The Compassionate Workplace—The Effect of Compassion and Stress on Employee Engagement, Burnout, and Performance

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 00:00:00 GMT

This study seeks to investigate the effect of compassion in the public service workplace. Our compassion model is based on public service sector employees who receive compassionate feelings such as affection, generosity, caring, and tenderness from their supervisors. A longitudinal study of 166 public service employees, their supervisors and 333 of their clients (citizens) was conducted in Israel. In this longitudinal study, we found evidence that receipt of compassion from supervisors (at time 1) in the public service workplace was positively associated with employees’ sense of work engagement, and negatively related to their work burnout (at time 2). Furthermore, receipt of compassion (at time 1) was also found to impact public service employees’ organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and knowledge sharing (at time 2) as rated by their supervisors, as well as their service-oriented performance of compassionate behavior toward clients (at time 2), rated by the citizens. Finally, we found evidence for compassion acting as a mechanism for coping with common stressful public service conditions such as demanding citizens and administrative workload, which are inherent in this sector. Compassion in the public service workplace may therefore be salient in effecting public service work performance, and as such should be consciously targeted by public sector managers and policy makers.

A Great Place to Start

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 00:00:00 GMT

PollittChristopher. 2016. Advanced Introduction to Public Management and Administration. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing. 170 pp. $99.95 (hardback), $24.95 (paperback).

Improving Governance of Risk and Uncertainty

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

MatthewsMark. 2017. Transformational Public Policy: A New Strategy for Coping with Uncertainty and Risk. New York, NY: Routledge. 210 pp. $160.00 (Hardback and eBook).

Bureaucrats as Evidence Brokers

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

ParkhurstJustin. 2017. The Politics of Evidence: From Evidence-Based Policy to the Good Governance of Evidence. London: Routledge. 182 pp. Hardcover $109. Paperback $50. Kindle Ed. $0.

Children of a Lesser God: Administrative Burden and Social Equity in Citizen–State Interactions

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

An important research agenda in public administration is to investigate how formal and realized public policy influences the lives of marginalized social groups. Recently, reinvigorated research on administrative burden can make useful contributions to this line of inquiry. Using ethnographic research methods, this article analyzes administrative burden experienced by the Khawaja Sira—individuals culturally defined as neither men nor women—of Pakistan in getting a legal ID. In doing so, this article contributes to a better understanding of the role played by third parties, administrative behavior and social factors play in influencing the level of administrative burden and social inequity for genderqueer groups.

Picking the Team: A Preliminary Experimental Study of the Activation of Collaborative Network Members

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Among a collaborative leader’s most important duties is selecting a collaborative partner. Numerous perspectives, including resource dependency theory, institutional theory, transaction cost theory, and personality typologies, have been used to help explain this decision. Clearly, a collaborative leader would desire to work with an individual who has access to needed resources, has a personality that fits the network, and is familiar. However, such a perfect partner does not often, if ever, exist. Therefore, a collaborative leader must make trade-offs between the issues of resource access, personality, and familiarity. Using an experimental design, this study explores how collaborative leaders make these trade-offs when considering potential collaborative partners. The findings suggest that while prospective partner personality may be the most significant driver of the partnership decision, it is actually the combination of factors, especially personality and resource access that interact to determine partner desirability.

Adopt or Adapt? Unpacking the Role of Institutional Work Processes in the Implementation of New Regulations

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Building on a longitudinal study of the implementation of a new regulation and a framework of institutional work, this article makes three contributions: first, it explains how nonpowerful regulatees, by engaging in mobilization and cultivation, can change the power balance in the field and adjust the regulation to their local setting. Second, it takes a processual view and develops a conceptual model of how the implementation process unfolds through four waves; initial impact, response, recovery, and stabilization. Third, it shows how the studied actors combine contradictory institutional logics to legitimize their practices and resolve institutional complexity. Thus, it adds new insights into how actors, by engaging in collective and discursive institutional work, can influence both the implementation process and the regulation itself.

Management and Performance in US Nursing Homes

Mon, 08 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Accountability pressures have generated complex performance measurement regimes to evaluate and improve public or publicly funded services. Performance management, however, faces many challenges including the tradeoffs posed by numerous dimensions of performance and a lack of consensus on which organizational and environmental factors can improve these results. This study seeks to understand the effect of management and other factors on different dimensions and measures of performance in US public, nonprofit, and for-profit nursing homes. Using a hybrid data set that combines archival government data on performance in nursing homes with a recent nursing home administrators’ survey, we find that innovative management significantly11 improves the quality of care. In addition, more innovation and less power sharing in management are associated with serving fewer Medicaid-funded clients. Significant differences in performance exist across public, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. These differences are notable across both the archival and perceptual models of performance.