Turning the Page: A New Year and a New Leaf

Date01 January 2019
Published date01 January 2019
8 Public Administration Review Januar y | Fe brua ry 201 9
Public Administration Review,
Vol. 79, Iss. 1, pp. 8–11. © 2019 by
The American Society for Public Administration.
DOI: 10.1111/puar.13026.
Greetings, and welcome to 2019. As Public
Administration Review (PAR) enters its 79th
year of publication, the world is changing at
a feverish pace. We would like to take a few moments
to share our perspective on recent trends in public
administration research, including what we expect
to see submitted during the coming year, as well
as what—without some gentle prodding—we do
not expect to see. PAR has several exciting projects
underway in the form of symposia that highlight
major topics in need of further study and discourse.
From corruption to public entrepreneurship, and
comparative public administration, you can be on the
lookout for a variety of targeted topics in the issues
that will appear throughout this volume and beyond.
Looking Back to Look Ahead
Reflecting on our experience over the past year as we
took up the helm of PAR, we have made a number
of observations about the state of the discipline. A
number of topics have risen to the forefront of public
discourse, and scholarship has followed in lock-step.
We have seen a large number of manuscripts focused
on social equity and public sector values. In fact, this
issue is the second we have produced in the past 6
months with focus on that topic. Looking back to
issue 78(3), we saw five strong pieces that examined
inequitable public participation (Clark 2018),
disparities between men and women in academia
(Rabovsky and Lee 2018), pay equity (Lewis, Boyd,
and Pathak 2018), performance improvement through
gender matching (Guul 2018), and the role of gender
differences in managerial networking (Rho and Lee
2018). Looking back to previous years, we see a
steady trend of research concerned with social equity
in various settings and from various perspectives.
Gooden (2017) reveals how evidence-based decision
making informs social equity from a local government
perspective. Valenzuela (2017) explores one county’s
efforts to institutionalize equity and social justice.
Siddiki, Kim, and Leach (2017) look at diversity
and trust in the context of collaborative governance.
And, of course, the symposium on race and policing
(see issue 77(2)) is replete with examples of research
focused on social equity concerns (Ward and
Menifield 2017).
Responding to a call for greater awareness about
sexual harassment, such as the #MeToo movement,
scholars have rapidly moved to explore questions of
equity as it pertains to race, gender, age, and sexual
orientation. They are interested in the causes of
inequity and potential solutions, but scholarship has
also begun to demonstrate the value of equity on
public sector performance.
PAR has actively contributed to the rise of the
behavioral public administration (BPA) movement.
Rooted in psychology and behavioral economics,
this field has benefited from the use of experimental
methodologies to explore the effects of various
cognitive biases and errors in judgment to deepen
our understanding of decision making. BPA has
also been an integral factor in promulgating public
administration to the forefront of methodological
excellence in the social sciences. One need only look
back to our most recent issue to see the variety of
research examining behavioral attributes through
experimental methodologies. To be fair, not all
experimental research is behavioral, but the two can
frequently be found occupying the same territory. In
issue 78(6), we saw experimental evidence of cognitive
bias in public management (Bellé, Cantarelli, and
Bellardinelli 2018), the effects of framing on the use
of performance information (Bellardinelli et al. 2018)
as well as the complex interaction of data types and
sources on performance information use (Walker
et al. 2018), and the effect of financial rewards on
coproduction (Voorberg et al. 2017). Andersen and
Moynihan (2018) used an experimental design to
examine how socially distinctive newcomers fare
within organizations, while Bromberg, Charbonneau,
and Smith (2018) used a list experiment to examine
citizen support policing strategies. The emphasis on
behavioral public administration and experimental
design will only strengthen. To fuel discourse on the
Jeremy L. Hall
University of Central Florida
R. Paul Battaglio
University of Texas at Dallas
Turning the Page: A New Year and a New Leaf

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