Administration & Society

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • Community Diversity and Donor Control: An Empirical Analysis of Contributions to Donor-Advised Funds at Community Foundations

    This study examines the relationship between community ethnic-racial diversity and contributions to donor-advised funds (DAFs) held by community foundations. Unlike general contributions, DAFs allow donors to retain advisory control over their fund distribution based on individual preferences. In contrast to prior research that generally finds that diversity dampens private provision of public goods, we show that greater ethnic-racial diversity is significantly associated with higher levels of contributions to DAFs at community foundations but not with general contributions. The findings contribute to the literature on diversity and public goods provision and have practical implications for the policy role of private philanthropy.

  • Ambiguous Signaling in Regulatory Conversations How Miscommunication and Hierarchy Hamper Voluntary Regulatee Cooperation

    This case study investigates interactions between inspectors and regulatee representatives during regulatory conversations. We study how health care inspectors pursue voluntary cooperation from internal supervisors of health care providers to alter organizational management practices. We identify ambiguity as a central characteristic of the regulatory conversations. We observe several discrepancies as inspectors display hierarchical behavior incongruent with the horizontal relationship they aim for—and incongruent with the relationship style that internal supervisors expect. Analyzing these discrepancies in terms of relationship types and associated relational signals helps explain and prevent suboptimal communication and reduced acceptance of regulators’ demands by regulatees.

  • Remodeling Street-Level Workers With Quasi-Markets: Comparing Ireland’s Mixed Economy of Welfare-to-Work

    Quasi-markets in employment services often follow social policy turns toward activation. Critics see this as no accident, arguing that marketization is intended to raise the odds that workfare policies will be implemented. Drawing on surveys of Irish frontline activation workers, this study harnesses a natural policy experiment whereby Ireland introduced a Payment-by-Results quasi-market alongside a parallel program contracted without outcomes-based contracting. Although the demandingness of activation remains modest in Ireland, the study finds that regulatory approaches are more common under market governance conditions, which in turn has been associated with significant workforce changes and stronger systems of performance monitoring.

  • Exploring Managerial Attitudes Toward Various Participation Mechanisms in Response to Citizen Satisfaction Signals on Public Service Quality

    This study identifies the impacts of different citizen satisfaction signals (positive/negative) on managers’ agreement to use various participation channels. Citizen satisfaction with public service quality plays an essential role in managers’ accountability expectations. Accordingly, it is crucial to examine how public managers use participation mechanisms, reacting to citizen satisfaction signals on public service quality. The results confirm a negativity bias: Managers are more reactive to citizens’ negative signals than a positive signal in their service quality evaluations. However, the negative signal’s effect does not reach the participation tools, where the degree of their decision-making is highly delegated to citizens.

  • Understanding the Spirit of the Sectors: Exploring Identity in a New Era of Organizing

    While sector distinction debates often re-emerge during periods of cultural and institutional upheaval, none have considered an identity-orientation perspective. Identity orientation is a natural domain in which to address these debates as it considers the individualistic, relational, and collectivistic foundations of organizations. This study explores whether organizational members across sectors view their organization’s identity orientation differently. Findings suggest that member perceptions of identity orientation are significantly different across sectors and align with traditional sector values and motivations. However, no one sector can be defined solely as individualistic, relational, or collectivistic. These findings are discussed and future research paths laid out.

  • Predicting Organizational Mortality: How Financial Management Matters

    Managing financial resources is one of the most important responsibilities of every organization; however, the literature still cannot provide an answer to an important question: how does financial health matter to organizational mortality, especially for nonprofit organizations? To advance our knowledge in this regard, this study empirically examines the effects of solvency, profitability, margin, and liquidity on nonprofit dissolution. Higher solvency, profitability, and margin have significant effects on reducing the likelihood of nonprofit dissolution, but liquidity does not function as a significant predictor.

  • Cop Wisdom and the Democratic Consequences of Citizen–State Interactions

    The existing literature on citizen–state interactions lacks variation, and new research must be conducted to better understand the consequences of such interactions. Using the theoretical frame of cop wisdom, defined as strategies that citizens change or adapt based on the circumstances of their previous interactions with police, interactions between individuals and police officers are interrogated utilizing the 2015 Police-Public Contact Survey. The existence of cop wisdom within these encounters is demonstrated, along with findings that consider the impact of race, class, and citizenship on aggressive behavior in police–citizen encounters.

  • A Good Servant But a Poor Master: The Side Effects of Numbers and Metrics

    A common practice in managerial and public service contexts is to quantity, calculate, and use numbers and metrics which provide a presumption of scientificity, a sense of measurability, objectivity, reliability, and precision upon which smarter decisions can be made. Besides providing a theoretical background, we analyze counter-productive effects of over-relying on numbers and metrics, notably in public administration. We discuss the following traps: preferring what is measurable over what is important, replacing the strategy by a measure and dehumanizing the decision making. We suggest some practical ways to facilitate a more parsimonious, smarter, and adequate use of numbers.

  • The Sequence of Isomorphism—: The Temporal Diffusion Patterns of Quality Management in Higher Education Institutions and Hospitals

    Isomorphism has been widely used to describe why trends penetrate entire organizational fields. However, research so far has neglected the temporal aspects of such diffusion processes and the organizational reasons underlying the introduction of new management tools. We argue that during reform waves, the reasons for adopting the new tools differ over time. Using comparative data from two surveys on quality management in the field of higher education and the health sector, we show that early adopters are more likely to be motivated by instrumental reasons, while late adopters will more likely be motivated by institutional reasons.

  • The Rise of a New Public Bureaucracy in New Zealand?

    One recurrent narrative in the discussion about managerial public sector reforms is the growth in organizational professionals as a response to new accountability regimes. New Zealand has experienced modest growth rates in the general public sector workforce. Less studied, though, is whether the composition of the public sector workforce has changed, with an increase in organizational functions supportive to management. Based on descriptive workforce data, followed by follow-up interviews, this article presents a multifaceted and complex picture of a growing new public bureaucracy with the main task of managing chains of accountability.

Featured documents

  • Constructing and Implementing Transgender Policy for Public Administration

    Sex and gender are increasingly complex topics that prompt new policy and administrative responses within public agencies. As the federal workforce evolves, federal employment policy must accommodate the needs of employees who do not fit traditional sex/gender categories. One emerging area of...

  • Disaster Recovery Service Delivery: Toward a Theory of Simultaneous Government and Voluntary Sector Failures

    This article introduces a theory of government and voluntary sector failure in the context of disaster relief and recovery. It theorizes that government and voluntary sectors will fail based on the amount of demand. This implies that the supply of public services is fixed and demand for public...

  • Refinding Leadership in Refounding Public Administration

    The refounding movement emerged the same time as Leadership Studies. As leadership practices were conflated with management practices, much of what might be useful in the refounding in the literature on leadership was either (a) simply missed or (b) modestly addressed by these scholars. Any...

  • Public Administrators’ Use of Social Media Platforms

    Previous research incorporates Habermas’ theory of communicative action with implications of social media for public discourse, yet few studies consider the theory’s relevance and applicability to public administrators. This article addresses this weak link by focusing on the administration...

  • On Value Pluralism, Its Implications, and the Nature of Philosophy

    This essay responds to the critique of my work by Robert Talisse, the philosopher, by further clarifying my views on the meaning of value pluralism, its implications, and the nature of philosophy. I argue here that most, if not all, of the substantive arguments that Talisse advances against me...

  • In Defense of Value Pluralism in Public Administration

    A response to Overeem and Verhoef’s criticism of value pluralism, arguing that my value pluralist approach is useful in understanding the role that politics should play in how we think about, teach, and practice public administration....

  • Advocating Environmental Interests in China

    This article analyzes two cases of environmental advocacy initiatives in China: institutionalizing environmental information transparency and sanctioning environmental violations. Both initiatives were aimed at achieving policy change at a national or regional level. Although the study shows...

  • Cui Bono? Public and Private Goals in Nonprofit Organizations

    Who benefits (cui bono) from nonprofit organizational structures and practices? I draw on interviews, observation, and archival data from 25 grantmaking foundations to examine the mechanisms by which “charitable” institutions are designed to serve the private interests of internal members. I...

  • Gaps in Pursuing Participatory Good Governance

    The Government of Bangladesh with the help of international development agencies has been trying to develop good governance through effective people’s participation with the aim of realizing effective outcomes from aid-assisted development projects. This research was conducted to explore how...

  • Network Management in Emergency Response

    Large-scale emergency response requires management of collaborative networks that stretch across government agencies and levels, and that include nonprofit and private organizations. Management of such collaborative networks has been recognized as a research area in need of further study. Inter-orga...

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