PAR Preview ▪ Issue 37 ▪ August 2014
PAR Preview is a monthly newsletter that calls attention to forthcoming articles in PAR. It provides brief summaries of content now available digitally in Early View, Wiley’s online publication system.
Doing What Works: Governing in the Age of Big Data
Martin O'Malley (Governor of Maryland) desribes how Big Data is forever changing the way we manage, market, and move information. He also discusses how, in Maryland, it is changing the way we govern—with better choices and for better results. Link to PAR Early View.
New Taipei City's Innovation to Safeguard Children
In 2011, a boy from a disadvantaged family was arrested for stealing food from a convenience store because he was hungry. The Taiwanese public was in an uproar over news reports about the child being taken into custody. Eric Liluan Chu (New Taipei City, Taiwan) discusses how this news motivated government policy makers to reflect on key questions concerning government responsiveness. Link to PAR Early View.
Remembering Donald C. Stone
Harvey L. White (University of Pittsburgh) remembers the life and career of Donald C. Stone, describing his profound and lasting influence on the professionalization of public administration. Link to PAR Early View.
The Potential for Public Empowerment through Government-Organized Participation
Neal D. Buckwalter (Grand Valley State University) develops a better theoretical understanding of the linkage between the processes and outcomes associated with government-organized public participation, including its potential to empower citizens in guiding administrative decisions. Special focus is given to those factors that shape the development and maintenance of the citizen–administrator relationship. To this end, the research examines the work of federally mandated citizen review panels and their interactions with state child protection agency administrators. Based on 52 in-depth interviews conducted with citizens and administrators in three U.S. states, a grounded theory approach is employed to derive a series of testable theoretical propositions. The insights gained are of importance not only to public administration scholars but also to citizens and administrators who engage one another through formally organized channels of participation. Link to PAR Early View
Commentary on this article by Carol Baumann (Utah Division of Child and Family Services) is available online. Link to PAR Early View.
Knowledge Sharing in a Third-Party-Governed Health and Human Services Network
The rapid growth of knowledge in disease diagnosis and treatment requires health service provider organizations to continuously learn and update their practices. However, little is known about knowledge sharing in service implementation networks governed by a network administrative organization (NAO). Kun Huang (University of New Mexico) suggests that strong ties enhance knowledge sharing and that there is a contingent effect of third-party ties. Two provider agencies’ common ties with the NAO may undermine knowledge sharing because of resource competition. In contrast, a dyad's common ties with a peer agency may boost knowledge sharing as a result of social cohesion. Finally, the author posits that third-party ties moderate the relationship between strong ties and knowledge sharing. These hypotheses are examined in a mental health network. Quantitative network analysis confirms the strong tie and third-party tie hypotheses and provides partial support for the moderating effect of third-party ties. The implications for public management, including the implementation of HealthCare.gov, are discussed. Link to PAR Early View.
Commentary on this article by Ron Aldrich (Limberpine Associates, Inc.) is available online. Link to PAR Early View.
Public Service Motivation Concepts and Theory: A Critique
With its growth in popularity, public service motivation (PSM) research has been subjected to increasing critical scrutiny, but with more focus on measurement and models than on concepts. Barry Bozeman (Arizona State University) and Xuhong Su (University of South Carolina) examine PSM against standard criteria for judging the strength of concepts (e.g., resonance, parsimony, differentiation, and depth). After providing a critique of PSM concepts, they conclude with suggestions for research programs that could improve the explanatory power of PSM theory. Link to PAR Early View.
Who Are the Keepers of the Code? Articulating and Upholding Ethical Standards in the Field of Public Administration
James H. Svara (Arizona State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) describes how establishing a code of ethics has been a challenge in public administration. Ethics is central to the practice of administration, but the broad field of public administration has had difficulty articulating clear and meaningful standards of behavior and developing a means of upholding a code of ethics. Although a number of specialized professional associations in public service adopted codes, starting with the International City/County Management Association in 1924 and others after 1960, the full range of public administrators did not have an association to represent them until the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) was founded in 1939. Despite early calls for a code of ethics in ASPA, the first code was adopted in 1984, with revisions in 1994, but neither code had a process for enforcement. A new code approved in 2013 builds on the earlier codes and increases the prospects for ASPA to work with other professional associations to broaden awareness of the ethical responsibilities to society of all public administrators. Read in PAR Early View.
Commentary on this article by James M. Grant (City of Los Angeles) is available online. Read in PAR Early View.
Commentary on this article by Stuart C. Gilman (Global Integrity Group) is available online. Read in PAR Early View.
Sonia M. Ospina and Rogan Kersh, Editors
“Smart” Government Discourse through a Behavioral Economics Lens
Dongjae Jung (Arizona State University) reviews Simpler: The Future of Government (2013) by Cass R. Sunstein. According to Jung, the book is an important new contribution from Sunstein, a key figure in advancing the behavioral economics perspective both in policy scholarship and in government practice. It focuses on understanding policy decisions, and, among other contributions, suggests how a more desirable future of government might profitably be understood and discussed. Read in PAR Early View.