Learn the latest public administration news in today's edition of The Bridge!

July 12, 2017

ASPA Website | PA TIMES.org

In This Issue:

In Memoriam: Paul Posner

Paul Posner, professor and director of the Masters of Public Administration program at George Mason University's Schar School, passed away on July 5, 2017 at the age of 70. He is survived by his wife, Arlene, daughter, Jenny, and two grandsons.

Posner joined George Mason University in 2005. Formerly, he was the managing director for strategic issues at the U.S. General Accounting Office, where he worked for more than 30 years. He was responsible for work on the federal budget and intergovernmental fiscal policy and management.

Posner held many roles of distinction at ASPA, including president from 2009-2010 and most recently Endowment Board member. He also served as Chairman of the Board of the National Academy of Public Administration.

His just-published book, Governing Under Stress (January 2017), provides the first definitive examination of the Obama Administration's economic stimulus program. His work on federalism includes his book, The Politics of Unfunded Mandates (1998).

He won the Best Practices Award (State and Federal Governance Issues) from the National Governors Association Center in 2016.

The Schar School has established a scholarship fund in Posner's name that will be awarded to qualified MPA students. His family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the "Paul Posner MPA Student Fund." To donate go to http://advancement.gmu.edu/posnerendowment. Donations should be made payable to the "George Mason University Foundation," with "Paul L. Posner MPA Scholarship Endowment" noted in the memo line. Donations may be mailed to:

Zavin R. Smith, Office of Development & Alumni Relations
Schar School of Policy and Government/George Mason University
3351 Fairfax Drive, MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201

For further information, please contact Zavin R. Smith at [email protected].

You can find a letter from ASPA President Janice Lachance regarding Posner's passing online here.

ASPA Announces 2017 Call for Nominations

ASPA has released its 2017 call for nominations for its National Council. This year's elections for positions beginning in March 2018 will be held in November; those who wish to be considered for the ballot must be nominated.

ASPA relies heavily on committed engagement from members of all varieties—Chapter and Section leaders, public administration experts, students, new professionals and more—to guide our National Council in its governance and fiduciary responsibilities. If you know someone who is passionate about strengthening and growing ASPA, has a track record of effective leadership and wants to advance our discipline, nominate him or her to serve on ASPA's National Council. The deadline to receive all nominations is Aug. 18.

We are looking for nominees who are:

  • Active in public administration—either as a practitioner or scholar
  • Committed to public service
  • Dedicated to the public interest
  • Informed about budgeting processes
  • Knowledgeable about membership and customer service
Far from a name-only role, ASPA looks to its leaders to promote programming, build support and cultivate the Society's image in front of a variety of audiences. Some of the responsibilities expected of National Council members include:
  • Working with ASPA staff to grow Chapters and Sections
  • Assisting staff efforts to increase membership retention
  • Working with fellow Council members to connect field leadership with ASPA leadership across all ASPA districts
  • Providing insights and ideas to help ASPA staff plan programs throughout the year
  • Supporting ASPA's future through contributing to the Endowment
  • Attending and actively participating in quarterly National Council meetings
  • Supporting the work of the Society through committee participation
The following positions are available for nomination at this time:
  • Vice President (succeeds to president in three years)
  • District Representative (represents one of ASPA's five districts)
  • Student Representative (represents the leaders of the future)
Nominations will be accepted from any ASPA member who has been a member of the Society for at least one year; those from Chapter and Section officers are especially encouraged. Visit our online form for more details and to submit a nomination by Aug. 18 to be considered for this fall's ballot.

Contact ASPA chief of program operations Lisa Sidletsky with any questions.

Webinars, BookTalks and Student Series on the Horizon

ASPA's professional development webinars are ongoing throughout the year. Averaging 75 attendees per webinar and free to ASPA members, these e-learning opportunities provide you with valuable insights and information at your fingertips. Visit our website to stay in the loop about all upcoming webinars, BookTalks and Student Series.

Grant Writing: Understanding the Basics
July 19 | 1 p.m. EDT
Jody Holland, University of Mississippi

Back by popular demand, this webinar will introduce participants to the world of grant writing and focus on the opportunities and challenges of writing grant proposals. From concept development to project deliverables, this webinar will highlight issues related to project design, implementing workflow processes, developing budgets and budget justification, as well as other major components of developing a successfully written grant proposal. In addition, the session will highlight the opportunities and challenges of administering a grant once it is funded.

Student Webinar: Landing the Academic Tenure-Track Job: Applying, Interviewing and the Negotiation Process
August 17 | 1 p.m. ET
Sebawit Bishu, Florida International University
Samantha Larson, University of Colorado—Denver
Raymond Zuniga, American University
Andrea Headley, Moderator, ASPA Student Representative and Florida International University

This webinar will provide first hand testimonies from successful job candidates about their experiences and lessons learned. Each panelist will discuss either the application process, interviewing or negotiating. All of our panelists have received tenure-track appointments at various schools (both research and teaching universities) and will be starting in the fall of 2018.

BookTalk: Public Budgeting in America
Auugust 24 | 2 p.m. ET
Thomas Lynch, International Academy of Interfaith Studies
Robert Smith, Clemson University

Plan to attend this BookTalk about a very critical subject! This is the most comprehensive and accurate book on the market. Plan now to learn from these authors.

Focus on Membership: My Favorite Benefit

When your colleagues, friends and family members ask you why you are a member of ASPA, what is your answer? We recently posed this question to our Twitter audience and several other groups of people, and received the following responses:

  • Webinars!
  • Countless networking opportunities
  • PAR, of course . . .
  • Career benefits!
  • I'm a career public administrator—of course I'm a member.
Given that ASPA has numerous member benefits (and is adding to them regularly) it is important that you know how you answer this question, and can answer it when others ask you. There is no better membership evangelist than a current member.

ASPA President Janice Lachance has dedicated one of her priorities this year to Growth, specifically growing our membership. And we need your help to make progress toward her goal: 8,000 ASPA members by March 2019. But you cannot become an ASPA evangelist if you don't know why you're here, and ASPA is better served in recruiting new members when we know why current members renew their membership year after year.

So, tell us: What is your favorite ASPA member benefit?

Public Administration Review Secures #1 Spot in Google Scholar Rankings

Public Administration Review (PAR) editor in chief James Perry recently announced that PAR has been ranked #1 in the Google Scholar Public Policy and Administration rankings. Twenty leading journals appear in the ranking, covering the five-year period between 2012-2016.

These recent Google Scholar results, which were released on July 6, are noteworthy for both the number of PAR articles making the index (49) and the median number of citations (79) for the articles included in the index. The separation between PAR and the other journals on the list demonstrates PAR's status as the premier global public administration professional journal. Number two on the list, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, had an index of 42 and a median number of citations of 66.

"This latest achievement is the result of outstanding contributions from authors, reviewers, editors, editorial staff, ASPA, our partners at Wiley and many others," Perry observed. "It also reflects the journal staff's substantial promotional and social media efforts."

This ranking was in follow-up to the announcement in mid-June that PAR's impact factor had risen to #2 in public administration, standing at 3,473.

"I am so very proud of our journal, its editorial team, our partners at Wiley and all others involved in furthering PAR's success," stated ASPA President Janice Lachance. "These impressive rankings continue to solidify the journal as the premier resource for our discipline, and I am confident we will maintain our stature in the years ahead."

Make the Most of Your Summer with Online Education

In the midst of the summer slowdown, use some of your downtime to build up your public administration knowledge! Already this year more than 10 hours of educational webinars have been added to ASPA's archives, providing you with a treasure trove of knowledge at your fingertips!

Approximately an hour each, these previously recorded webinars and BookTalks can provide you with the inside scoop on important topics impacting our discipline right now.

Need to know where to start? Here are staff recommendations for your consideration:

  • Student Webinar: ASPA Opportunities and Resources
    Students and new professionals are treated to a special catalog of benefits geared toward their specific needs. Listen as Student Section Chair Sean McCandless, ASPA President Janice Lachance and ASPA executive director Bill Shields detail the ways you can make the most of your benefits.
  • Resumes, Resumes, Resumes: Marketing Yourself on the Page
    Back by popular demand, this webinar is the latest installment of an in-depth look at constructing resumes that make sure you put your best foot forward in front of prospective employers.
  • Employee Engagement
    This webinar, conducted by Bob Lavigna at the Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement, looked at various aspects of employee engagement—why it's so important, who benefits from it and best practices for doing it.
  • BookTalk: Peak Performance
    This BookTalk took a close look at Peak Performance by Brian Elms and J.B. Wogan. This fun, easy-to-use guide walks readers through Denver's Peak Academy and discusses how practitioners at all levels can become more efficient and productive—at little or no cost. Spoiler alert! You may hear more from Brian and J.B. at ASPA's 2018 Annual Conference, so get a view of this program now and be ahead of the curve next March!
With six more months of e-learning headed your way in 2017, now is your chance to catch up on what you have missed and listen in on some excellent conversations. Make the most of our archives now!

Want to add an event? Email Melissa Jun with the details!

U.S. GAO July Forums Next Week

The U.S. Government Accountability Office's (GAO) National Intergovernmental Audit Forum will take place July 18-19 at the GAO headquarters in Washington, D.C. Meetings will focus on the State of Government Accountability and Recognizing and Predicting Cyber Challenges. These meetings will focus on several timely and engaging topics, including: the future of public service, organizing for data analytics, human capital trends, state and local fiscal health, transforming government through innovation and collaboration, the evolution of cybersecurity auditing, key developments in cybersecurity and much more. Major figures within these communities will be featured, including NAPA CEO Terry Gerton, SICPA President Jane Holl Lute, University of Maryland Professor Don Kettl, GAO Managing Director Chris Mihm and U.S. Department of Education Inspector General Kathleen Tighe. Click here for more information.

University of Texas—Austin Launches China Policy Center

The University of Texas—Austin and the LBJ School of Public Affairs recently announced the launch of its new China Policy Center with a charge to make fresh and enduring contributions to the study of China-related policy topics while advancing U.S.-China and Texas-China relations. The center will become an important resource for the university community, the Texas business community, the City of Austin, the State of Texas and the nation. David Firestein, senior vice president and Perot Fellow at the EastWest Institute and an esteemed scholar on China, will serve as the inaugural executive director of the center. Click here for more information.

The Lab @ DC Hosts Form-a-Palooza

For DC residents: Have you struggled with confusing government forms? No more! The Lab @ DC in the Executive Office of the Mayor is hosting a "hackathon for forms" on July 22 at American University. At Form-a-Palooza, you'll put pen to paper and rework several high-profile DC forms with design and behavioral science experts and YOU—DC residents. This day-long event will feature welcome remarks by DC Mayor Miriam Bowser and City Administrator Rashad Young; a keynote from Cass Sunstein; and presentations from experts such as David Yokum, the Center for Plain Language and DC government staff. All are welcome. No prior experience needed. Come ready to work! Register here.

NECoPA Call for Proposals in the Field

The 2017 Northeast Conference on Public Administration (NECoPA), taking place Nov. 3-5 in Burlington, Vt., has issued its Call for Proposals. Focusing on its theme, Public Administration, Policy and Community Development: Managing a Changing Landscape, the conference will look at local communities' ability to thrive amidst political, social, economic and environmental change. Abstracts are due Aug. 1; applicants will be alerted about decisions by Aug. 18. Click here for more information.

Institute for Peace and Dialogue Training Program

The Institute for Peace and Dialogue Training Program invites interested parties for its 7 Days International Training Program and 3 Month CAS-Research Program on mediation, conflict management, leadership, trauma healing and cross-cultural communication. Applications are due Aug. 7, 2017; scholarships are available. Click here for more information.

SECoPA Early-Bird Registration Rate Expires Aug. 15

As you plan your attendance at the 2017 Southeastern Conference for Public Administration, taking place in Hollywood Beach, Fla. Oct. 4-7, make the most of the discounted registration rate that is available through mid-August. Click here for more information.

Registration Opens for Lien International Conference

Registration is now open for the biennial Lien International Conference for Good Governance, taking place in Singapore, Oct. 27-28, 2017. Hosted by the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration of the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, the conference is organized with ASPA and IIAS. The 2017 theme will be Forging Toward an Inclusive and Sustainable Globalization. Click here for more information.

12th ICPA Abstracts Deadline Extended

The 12th International Conference on Public Administration and International Symposium on West African Studies will take place Nov. 14-17 in Accra, Ghana. The theme is Managing Across Organizational Boundaries: Innovation and Collaboration. The deadline for submitting an abstract has been extended to July 31, 2017. Click here for more information.

Welcome to Our Most Recent Members!
Click here to view recent new ASPA members!

PAR Update

The latest articles from Public Administration Review are available in the Wiley Online Library.

Research Articles

Network Structure, Strength of Relationships, and Communities Success in Project Implementation
Studies of network effectiveness in the collaborative public program setting commonly have found that actors with more organizational partners, more indirect (bridging) ties to other partners, and more cohesive relationships among partners have greater success in implementing projects. Manoj K. Shrestha (University of Idaho) contributes to this literature by developing and testing hypotheses about how strength of relationships, measured by frequency of contacts, moderates these results. In the context of community water supply projects in Nepal, the article shows that greater frequency of contacts between communities and organizational partners enhances the impact of having more partners and more cohesive relationships among partners but decreases the impact of having more indirect connections. For practitioners and network theorists, these findings highlight the importance of strength of relationships in the link between networks and performance. Link to PAR Early View

Diversity, Trust and Social Learning in Collaborative Governance
Scholarship on collaborative governance identifies several structural and procedural factors that consistently influence governance outcomes. A promising next step for collaborative governance research is to explore how these factors interact. Focusing on two dimensions of social learning—relational and cognitive—as outcomes of collaboration, Saba Siddiki (Syracuse University), Jangmin Kim (Texas State University) and William D. Leach (University of Southern California) examine potential interacting effects of participant diversity and trust. The empirical setting entails 10 collaborative partnerships in the United States that provide advice on marine aquaculture policy. The findings indicate that diversity in beliefs among participants is positively related to relational learning, whereas diversity in participants' affiliations is negatively related to relational learning, and high trust bolsters the positive effects of belief diversity on both relational and cognitive learning. In addition, high trust dampens the negative effects of affiliation diversity on relational learning. A more nuanced understanding of diversity in collaborative governance has practical implications for the design and facilitation of diverse stakeholder groups. Link to PAR Early View

Show Who the Money? Teacher Sorting Patterns and Performance Pay across U.S. School Districts
Pay for performance (PFP) remains one of the most controversial policy debates in the New Public Management reform era. Skepticism about PFP in the public sector is often grounded in theories of public service motivation that suggest a misalignment between PFP's focus on extrinsic market based pay incentives and intrinsically motivated government workers. Frequently missing from this analysis, however, is any consideration for whether PFP leads to positive "sorting" effects on the composition of a government agency's workforce through attraction, selection and attrition processes. Using data from two waves of the Schools and Staffing Survey, Michael Jones (University of Cincinnati) and Michael T. Hartney (Boston College) examine whether PFP influences the sorting patterns of K-12 public schoolteachers across U.S. school districts. Findings show that, on average, school districts that adopted PFP secured new teacher hires who had graduated from colleges and universities with average SAT scores that were about 30 points higher than the new teacher cohorts hired by districts that did not adopt PFP. Link to PAR Early View

A Cognitive Perspective on Policy Implementation: Reform Beliefs, Sensemaking and Social Networks
Utilizing a cognitive perspective, this article examines the social processes through which teachers come to understand the Common Core State Standards. Michael D. Siciliano (University of Illinois at Chicago), Nienke M. Moolenaar (Utrecht University), Alan J. Daly (University of California) and Yi-Hwa Liou (National Taipei University of Education) begin by identifying three beliefs that have important implications for policy implementation: self-efficacy, resource adequacy and value for clients. They measure those beliefs and the Common Core discussion networks that emerge among teachers at three points in time. Through the use of SIENA models, the authors explore how networks and beliefs coevolve within schools. Unlike prior research on social networks, which consistently finds strong homophilous tendencies, this research finds no evidence that teachers seek out coworkers who hold similar beliefs. Rather, teachers relied on preexisting formal and informal relationships to guide interactions. Those interactions were characterized by social influence, whereby a teacher's own beliefs adapted toward the beliefs held by the members of their social network. The findings offer a novel perspective on the complex dynamic that occurs within organizations as new policies are unveiled and employees interact with one another to understand the changes those policies entail. Link to PAR Early View

Not Seeing Eye to Eye on Frontline Work: Manager-Employee Disagreement and Its Effects on Employees
John D. Marvel (George Mason University) uses nationally representative data on matched pairs of public school principals and teachers to test whether principal–teacher disagreement about the severity of school problems is associated with teacher turnover. More specifically, the author tests a managerial efficacy hypothesis that proposes that employees will be less likely to leave their jobs when their managers perceive problems to be severe, holding employees' perceptions of the same problems constant. The author also tests a managerial buffering hypothesis that proposes that employees' perceptions of problem severity will be more weakly related to their turnover probability when managers perceive problems to be severe. Little evidence is found for either hypothesis, raising questions about public school principals' ability to translate problem recognition into problem remediation. More generally, the findings suggest a reexamination of the generic claim that "management matters," which implies that public managers have the power to do things that can help employees perform their jobs well. Link to PAR Early View

Regional Governance and Institutional Collective Action for Environmental Sustainability
Hongtao Yi (The Ohio State University), Liming Suo (University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, China), Ruowen Shen, Jiasheng Zhang (Florida State University), Anu Ramaswami (University of Minnesota) and Richard C. Feiock (Florida State University) investigate why various mechanisms of cooperation among local authorities are chosen using the theoretical lens of institutional collective action (ICA). The article analyzes 564 local collaboration agreements drawn from four urban regions of China to explain the choices of environmental collaboration agreements among cities. Examples of three forms of interlocal agreements—informal, formal and imposed agreements—are analyzed. Ordinal logistic regressions are estimated to test which factors predicted by the ICA framework influence the form of collaboration selected. The results indicate that the involvement of national or provincial government, the number of policy actors involved, heterogeneity of economic conditions and differences in administrative level among the actors involved influence how collaboration agreements are structured. Examining the choice of agreement type contributes to the understanding of interlocal collaboration and provides practical insights for public managers to structure interlocal collaboration. Link to PAR Early View

Strategies for Improving Measurement Models for Secondary Data in Public Administration Research: Illustrations from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey
Mark John Somers (New Jersey Institute of Technology) builds on Fernandez et al.'s 2015 review of Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) research by focusing on two unexplored areas: measurement models and measurement quality. Employing the notion of an auxiliary measurement theory as an organizing framework, the author assesses the use of FEVS survey items to operationalize theoretical constructs and procedures in order to establish their psychometric quality. Results indicate that there is considerable variability in how FEVS items have been used to measure theoretical constructs, which is expressed as high levels of overlap across FEVS-derived scales. Inconsistency in the assessment of measurement quality is evident as well, with a bias toward convergent validity. Three cautionary tales are presented to demonstrate the fragility of FEVS data when used with a compromised auxiliary measurement theory. The article concludes with recommendations for future FEVS studies. Link to PAR Early View

Leading the Implementation of ICT Innovations
Morten Balle Hansen and Iben Norup (Aalborg University, Denmark) analyze the associations between leadership, the implementation of information and communication technology (ICT) innovations and performance. After reviewing theories and empirical evidence from the literature on leading change, ICT innovations and performance, the authors elaborate hypotheses and test them in an analysis of the implementation of an ICT innovation in a Danish multisite hospital. In a quasi-experimental research design using panel data, survey responses from more than 2,000 employees before and after the implementation were generated, in addition to qualitative interviews with change agents. Findings indicate how differences in leadership during the ICT implementation process have an important impact on performance after the implementation. Mobilization of initial support, directive leadership through information and technical assistance, participative leadership through employee involvement and locally adapted implementation processes are important leadership factors associated with performance. The article concludes by discussing broader perspectives of the study and implications for practice, theory and future research. Link to PAR Early View

Public Integrity Update

Public Integrity has established a YouTube channel with 23 original videos for use in the classroom, workshops and professional viewing: 23 videos are currently posted:

Research on Corruption: Dr. Krishna Tummala
How Can You Interact with Others to Promote Ethical Practices: Dr. James Svara
Judging the Ethical Behavior of Public Employees: Dr. Manfred F. Meine
What is an Ethical Dilemma?: Dr. Richard M. Jacobs
Ethical Leadership Amidst Crisis in the British National Service: Dr. Sharon Mastracci
What is Ethics? Dr. Richard M. Jacobs
Ethics Compliance Officer’s Duties & Challenges: Ms. Maryse Tremblay
How Are Ethical Decisions Made?: Dr. Richard M. Jacobs
Organized Crime & Ethics: Undermining Crime: Dr. Emile Kolthoff
Personal Integrity: Dr. Patrick Dobel
LGBT Homeless Youth in America: Dr. Richard Greggory Johnson III
Design Approach to Administrative Ethics: Dr. Terry L. Cooper
How Do Ethical Principles Develop?: Dr. Richard M. Jacobs
Philosophical Frameworks for Ethics: Dr. Carole Jurkiewicz
Ethics & Emergency Management: Dr. Brian Gerber
Ethical Decision Making: Dr. Rob Bittick
Integrity: What It Is & Why It Is So Important: Dr. Leo Huberts
Why Do Codes of Ethics Matter: Dr. James Svara
Discretionary Judgement & Ethics: Dr. Raymond W. Cox III
Intellectual Shamans Dr. Sandra Waddock
Ethical Competence: Dr. Donald C. Menzel
Ethics & Lying: Dr. Carole L. Jurkiewicz
Spiritual Maturity as a Precondition for Ethical Decision Making: Dr. Andre L. Delbecq

New on PA TIMES Online

Every Tuesday and Friday, ASPA publishes a curated collection of original content that covers public service, management and international affairs.

This quarter, we welcome submissions that focus on the military from a public administration perspective. Send your contributions to us now! The deadline is rolling; contact us for more information.

Check out our recent articles and columns:

Shattering Glass Ceilings, Miami Style
By Tony Winton

"Thank you for your service." Well, Actions Speak Louder Than Words…
By Carmen Ashley

Common Goals: Developing an Approach to Performance Management Across an Organization
By Timothy Dodd


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Air Quality Planner I – North Central Texas Council of Governments – Arlington, TX

Nonprofit Management and Policy, Assistant/Associate Professor – University at Albany – Albany, NY

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American Society for Public Administration
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