Read below summaries of 2014 research and click on the links to view full versions of the papers.


Founders' Forum: Reflecting on ASPA's 75th Anniversary

Theory to Practice: Building Blocks For The Bridge

By Sheron King | North Carolina State University
An established, solid relationship between public administration theory, research methods and designs, and public managers could prove useful to theorists, practitioners and the rising pracademics.  The rift between academia and practitioners in the field of public administration is evident and has sparked controversy and passionate discussions across the discipline. Read more.

State of Public Sector Ethics

Transparency of Government Performance and Professional Ethics in Local Governments

By Changsoo Song | University of Nebraska at Omaha
Professional ethics is associated with the degree of transparency of government performance in local governments. The essay briefly discusses two assumptions—information asymmetry and goal conflict between elected officials and bureaucrats—of the principal-agent theory and the problem—moral hazard on the bureaucrats’ side—arising from the assumptions. Then, the discussion continues on the role of professional ethics in mitigating the problem and thereby enhancing transparency of government performance in local governments.  Read more.

The State of Public Sector Ethics in Local City Government

A Case Study: City of McAllen

By Wesley Walsman | University of Texas Pan American
The state of ethics in the public sector in 2014 is a huge topic. This commentary focuses on ethics in local city government. Many local cities have ethics written into their mission statements in the form of value statements. For example, part of the mission statement for the City of McAllen, Texas stresses three core values:  “Integrity: Devoted to truth and honesty; Accountability: Provide courteous, open and responsible public service; and Commitment: Dedicated to responsiveness and excellence. Read more.

Building a Millennial Ethic: The New Professional Generation and Morality in Public Administration

By Amy Uden | Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission
As a result of new developments in public administration practice that stem from changed relationships among the sectors and advancing technologies, public administrators face increasingly complex ethical challenges. This is particularly relevant for the millennial generation, those born after 1980, which will be entering the profession and having increasing impact as Baby Boomer retirements accelerate. Read more.

Policy Formulation and Service Delivery

National Food Security Act of India (2013): Impact & Implications

By Anbu Arumugam | Annamalai University
The government of India has passed landmark food security legislation. It establishes a subsidy on food grains to 67 percent of the country's population. The law provides food and nutritional security, by ensuring access to adequate quantities of food at affordable prices. The Centre has convened a meeting of state food ministers and secretaries to discuss the rules and regulations for implementing the world's biggest program to fight hunger. Read more.

A Closer Look at the Financially Effective Contract Management: Focus on the Internal and External Control Mechanism

By Soojin Kim | Rutgers University Newark
Last few decades have witnessed a growing number of publicly funded service delivery and management by for-profit and non-profit organizations through contracting out, regardless of level of government. Much attention about the significance and impact of contracting out became inevitable among researchers in public administration field. Read more.

Women in the Face of Disaster: Formulating Gender-Sensitive Policy

By Bridgette Cram | Florida International University
Exploring gender in the context of disasters is an important area of focus for policy-makers. Research has demonstrated that women are more vulnerable and resilient in the face of disasters in different ways than men. Furthermore, social equity, the third pillar of public administration, exemplifies the necessity of equity in policy-making. Public administration scholars and practitioners must be aware of this divide and engage in meaningful research and implementation strategies to address these inequalities. To inform this process, the following paper explores the factors relating to the vulnerability and resilience of women in the disaster context. Read more.

Are Data Policies Really Important?

KyungWoo Kim | University of Illinois at Chicago
Information technology has been highlighted in citizens’ participation and their trust in government. However, there is little systematic understanding about the roles of data policies in the provision of information to citizens. This paper considers potential impacts of data policies in the relationship between government and citizens. Read more.

The Challenge of Policy Formation and Service Delivery in the 21st Century

By Emma Powell | Western Michigan University
Realizing the needs of our up-and-coming citizenry demonstrates the changing fabric of America’s regime values and the culture that resides within those values.  Policy implementation is centered on efficiency, competency, government responsiveness, and efficacy.  Successful implementation within the US requires an understanding of integral American values, such as individualism, acquisitiveness and reputation.  Read more.

Outsourcing Oversight: Extending Collaborative Monitoring – The Role of External Factors

By Lachezar G. Anguelov | Florida State University
For a number of years state governments have been “opening up” traditional public service delivery to the competitive market in efforts to obtain a good deal for the public. And through the use of various methods the outsourcing of government services has been increasing.  With this increase an important factor not to be overlooked is the contract monitoring function. Read more.

Enhancing Representation: Hispanic Minorities in 21st Century Public Service Delivery

By Lindsey L. Evans | Virginia Commonwealth University
American regulatory and service agencies serve the vast array of demographic groups, cultures, and backgrounds. Within our representative democracy, we have historically struggled at upholding the “representative” nature of our structure as a governing body and as service providers.  As we move forward in the 21st Century, public administration should actively enhance the bureaucratic representation of Hispanic minorities in the U.S. service delivery. Read more.

Government Upgrade: How Can 3-1-1 Call Centers Improve Service Delivery in Jackson, Mississippi?

By Ashlee D. Theodore | Jackson State University
In order to reduce the 9-1-1 call volume, municipalities across the country have adopted 311 call centers for their non-emergency requests.  3-1-1 is a non-emergency telephone number that citizens can use to find information about and/or access municipal services or to submit service requests to their local governments.  The intention of this article is to ask how 311 centers can improve program and service delivery.  It later describes the 311 center adopted by the City of Jackson, Mississippi. Read more.

Revamping Delivery of Public Services in India: A Case Study of Indian State of Punjab with Special Reference to Punjab Right to Service Act, 2011

By Mohammad Sohail | Panjab University
Many policy initiatives have been undertaken across the globe including India to make administration more responsive, transparent and accountable especially in the field of delivery of public services. The study traces the first attempt in this regard through the introduction of Citizen Charters. The initiative of Citizen Charters introduced by John Major’s government in UK in 1991 was adopted by many countries including India to improve the quality and delivery of public services. Read more.

The Persistent Influence of the PA Dichotomy on Public Administration

By Hannah Carlan | Mississippi State University
The ongoing debate about Woodrow Wilson’s intent on his brief idea of a politics-administration dichotomy explores a theoretical framework that is still relevant in modern political analysis, but the conversation should move beyond the influence of Woodrow Wilson. Considering both the size of the government and the role of the executive branch during Wilson’s administration and in the early twentieth-century, the breadth and influence of government has evolved requiring a new theoretical framework. Read more.

Smarter Government

Why is China’s Savings Rate so High?

By Xueijiao Zhao | Auburn University
In 2010, China overtook Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy after the United States, but China’s economy is quite distinctive in the modern world as it has a comparatively high savings rate and a very low consumption rate. Read more.

The Making of Smart Government

By Monica S. Fernandez | Florida International University
The mobile technology boom is spreading like wildfire. Mobile phones for strictly personal use are no longer the norm. The advent of modernized models and the ever growing need for more interactivity has increased the use of mobile phones in the workplace. Open data initiatives abound and the movement towards “smart” cities is palpable. Read more.

The Constant Call for Smarter Government

By Rachel Emas | Florida International University
Public administrators are continuously challenged by the limited resources and growing demands of the 21st century. Government is asked to work smarter and do more with less. This call for smarter government, though, is no recent trend. Read more.

Responsibility, Authority, the Iraqi SIV Program

By Craig Wickstrom | Cleveland State University
“Visa program fails those who aided U.S.” proclaimed a column title in the Miami Herald on October 9, 2013. The original Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) bill, established in 2008, provided a special opportunity for Iraqi (and later Afghan) citizens who assisted Americans, to obtain visas and immigrate to the United States. The SIV was limited to 25,000 Iraqi (5,000 per year from 2008 through 2012) and 8,500 Afghan immigrants.  However, Rubin writes, “Only around 5,000 visas have been issued.”  Read more.

How E-Government and Technology Can Lead to a Smarter Government in the United States

By Judney Pierre | Florida International University
Inadequate leadership has been a major factor prohibiting the American government from meeting public needs more efficiently, processing information and evolving into a more robust system that operates smoothly. Older models have shown that the current bureaucratic system is incapable of generating a sensible government system. These factors have led many to see the public sector bureaucracy as a monolithic entity that is non-responsive and hierarchal. Read more.

Government 2.0 in Authoritarian China: Progress, Pitfalls, and Prospect

By Liang Ma | Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
Government 2.0 is the use of Web 2.0 technologies by public sector to prompt transparency, participation, and collaboration. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media applications are censored in China, but ironically government agencies and civil servants are active in using their domestic versions. This article reviews the latest development of Government 2.0 in China, identifies its key pitfalls, and provides policy suggestions to guide its future boom. Read more.

Managing and Leading Public Service Organizations

Leadership By Design: Building a Better Future

By Joseph S. Imamura | Texas Tech University
The formula for organizational success in today’s global market is as complex as the factors that shape it.  Advancement in technology has ushered in a new era that continues to shape the economy and communities. It has virtually erased geographic boundaries that once separated people across the world, but are now easily connected in a highly complex global society.  Competition in the marketplace is fierce and has forced the adoption of new business models and management strategies.  These expectations extend to federal, state and local governments who share similar challenges with leaner budgets and unrelenting political pressure to deliver faster, better and cheaper. Read more.

Environmental Governance and Fracking in the U.S.: Lessons Learned From Colorado’s Fracking Industry

By Jonathan M. Fisk | Colorado State University
Intergovernmental management and relationships are difficult in the U.S. political system. Due to incomplete power, the use of both formal and informal policy tools and political instruments, and a fragmented system – the challenge of working across levels of governments and sectors is immense. The challenge arises because many of today’s most pressing public problems necessitate the cooperation of multiple units of government. Using the State of Colorado and the City of Longmont’s ongoing interactions as an example, it is evident that lower units of government have the capability to alter state and federal agendas, to offer competing venues to stakeholders and to enlarge political conflicts in ways that can disrupt the political status quo. Read more.

Capacity Building: The Public Organization 21st Century Management and Leadership Challenge

By David A. Bell | Savannah State University
Practitioners and academics agree: public organizations face enormous challenges.  This paper posits the challenge of managing and leading public service organizations in the 21st century is first and foremost a challenge of developing capacity.  Understanding and responding to this capacity challenge is found in the need for organizational leaders who effectively reach across sectors and organizational boundaries to create innovative alliances and collaborations to steward the trust of stakeholders and successfully navigate change. Read more.

After the Boomers: Are We Preparing the Next Generation?

By Don Stolberg | University of Missouri
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that 53 percent of all government workers at federal, state, and local levels are eligible to retire in the next three to five years (Benest, 2007). The good news is that the “Great Recession” had a huge impact on the retirement accounts of many of the nation’s local leaders, causing them to postpone their retirement until such time as they were in better financial standing. The bad news is that most of those retirement accounts that were decimated in the crash of 2007 and 2008 have bounced back and many senior managers are considering or even planning their retirement. Read more.

Essential Personnel: A Challenging Commitment

By Judith Weshinskey-Price | Jacksonville State University
The challenges of organizational leadership in today’s local government are many and varied.  One challenge that can have dire consequences if not met is the ability to make sure that those employees considered essential personnel can respond during a disaster event.  Without essential personnel, response functions during a disaster will not be fulfilled and local government will not be able to provide the necessary assistance to their communities.  Organizational leaders must assist their essential personnel in removing barriers to response through training. Read more.

Teamwork in the 21st Century: Relevance and Challenges for Public Service Organizations

By Roger Chin | Claremont Graduate University
Public service organizations are progressing in becoming more knowledge-based and more technologically evolved. The changing dynamic has made an impact in the overall dynamic of employees and stakeholders in the public sector. The nature, understanding, and purpose of leadership in teams are becoming a pertinent topic that affects every individual in the public sector. The simplicity in the idea of public sector employees working in teams belies the reality that understanding the concepts and theories of leadership in teams entails exceptional intricacy and complexity. Read more.

Citizen, Customer, Partner: What Should Be the Role of the Public in Public Management in China?

By Min Su | Georgia State University & Georgia Institute of Technology
Today’s public managers in China face more managerial challenges than their predecessors. Traditional Chinese society has been highly centralized marked as “strong state, weak society.” Building upon this base, China has formed a state-centered governance paradigm, which views government as a monopoly system rather than the construction from democratic consensus. Under this governance paradigm, public managers have taken it for granted that “the ruler rules and the ruled listen.” Read more.

Working Across Levels of Government

The Challenge of Working Across Levels of Government and Sectors

By Manjyot Bhan | American University
Over the past few decades, the traditional boundaries of regulation and governance have blurred. The United States federal government has expanded not only to vertically across different levels of the government but also horizontally across the different private and non-profit actors. These developments are a paradigmatic shift from the traditional command and control regulations of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Moreover, they are being increasingly used in the light of complex policy problems. However, they are not devoid of challenges. Read more.

City Limits: Working with Federal and State Actors in the Successful Implementation of Local Sustainable Economic Development Programs

By Megan DeMasters | Colorado State University
Recent scholarship has focused on the role of cities in designing and implementing programs that promote sustainable economic development. While many local governments have pursued sustainability-related policies, political, institutional and other structural constraints inherently place limits on city officials’ abilities to achieve these programs’ goals. Many of these constraints arise because cities rely on federal and state level initiatives to shape the types of policies they can adopt, and rely on federal and state government for financial resources to implement city level plans. Read more. 

The Heartland Corridor: Crossing Mountains, Crossing Sectors

By Nathan Dorfman | University of Pittsburgh
The Heartland Corridor is a public-private partnership between corporate and public stakeholders including the federal government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the states of West Virginia and Ohio, as well as railroad corporation Norfolk Southern. This public-private partnership, in which all stakeholders contributed funding and faced financial risk, has enabled double-stacked container trains to efficiently travel between the Port of Virginia and Columbus, Ohio.  The rail corridor functions as a gateway between the East Coast and the Midwest, and makes it possible for goods to be shipped between these regions in less time. Read more.

Information Technology: Confronting Crime

By Dr.M. Venkat Ram Reddy | Osmania University
Speaking on the issue of crime control, Sean O'Brien, with his vast experience of working with intelligence agencies in different countries, highlighted that in the next five years nearly 60% of the world’s population will be urbanized; hence a great stress on the limited resources.  And the direct impact of this increasing urbanization will be in the form of increased rate of crime. In fact, there has already been a 30% increase in the crime rates in the last couple of years and that too particularly in the area of urban violence. Read more.

Sources of Community Resilience: The Challenge of Working Across Levels of Governments and Sectors

By Kyujin Jung | University of North Texas
Building sources of community resilience is often a complicated process to be gained by inter-organizational collaboration. Since patterns of inter-organizational relations among governments and sectors are constantly changing due to internal and external factors in the field of emergency management, understanding the dynamic nature of inter-organizational collaboration is a critical step for improving a community’s ability to bounce back from a catastrophic event. Read more.

Multi-level Governance:  Would a Local Governance Role Improve Temporary Immigrant Worker Programs?

By Grant E. Rissler | Virginia Commonwealth University
Critics of temporary worker visa programs in the US call current policy to task for creating a situation of isolation and powerlessness for workers which often allows abuse by some employers to proceed unchecked.  Other critics point to the lengthy application process for employers or the lack of protection for native workers who might otherwise fill the jobs.  Most suggestions for reform focus on increased federal inspections of conditions and vetting of employers, detaching visa petitions from one specific employer and increasing opportunities for workers to sue in court.  A common thread running through these proposed reforms is their incrementalism as they seek to resolve problems through greater federal government involvement.  Read more.

Networked Governance: The Challenges of Working Across Levels of Government and Sectors When Externalizing State Departments of Transportation

By Nolan Ritchie | Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Public managers are leading and participating in complex policy networks to overcome budgetary shortfalls and new service demands.  The networked-governance approach is particularly evident in the field of transportation policy with the incorporation of a multi-stakeholder State Transportation Innovation Council to expedite project delivery, enhance safety, improve customer service and reduce costs.  This externalization of transportation programs, services and products presents public managers with newfound challenges.  However, novel solutions exist with innovative leadership and advanced technology to overcome these challenges in the networked governance of transportation partnerships. Read more.

Postmodern Review of Florida’s Department of Children and Families

By Diane Benitez | Florida International University
Like many children service programs around the United States, Florida’s Department of Children and families (DCF) has had periods of difficulty and reorganization focused on their roll to protect children placed into state custody. As with other public agencies this is to be done with scant resources. The intent of this paper is not to minimize the magnitude of the work that DCF does nor the difficulties that are inherent in doing such work, but to discuss the possibility of doing this work with a postmodern approach.  What would child protection look like under a postmodernism model? Read more.

Ensuring Our Future: The Rise of Teleworking in the Federal Government

By Sarah Towne | American University
Managers continue to search for innovative methods beyond compensation to motivate and engage employees and increase individual performance. Sometimes, organizations may pursue progressive workplace policies for quick and easy solutions to complex, “wicked” problems, which could lead to disastrous outcomes, and costly legal ramifications. Scholars feel compelled to be proactive in the research and should draw attention to the growing trend of telework in the Federal government and possible legal implications that could arise in the near future. Read more.

State of Human Resource Management

Social Media as a Means to Meet the Challenges of Personnel Management in the 21st Century

By Bryan C. Farrell | Mississippi State University
Given the rapid change in technologies, including social media platforms, there are various advantages that can be analyzed with regard to public administration. These advantages include ideas on branding, promotion of services, accountability and feedback, and information/activity awareness.  There is also potential for the usage of technological communications, known as social media, which, if used properly, can aid in meeting the challenges of public personnel management. Motivational factors, recruitment, retention, and overall employee satisfaction can illustrate reasons why public managers and administrators need to seriously take a look at social media.  Read more.

Case Study: The History that Divides and the Politics that Conquer Strategic Human Resource Management Assessment

By Rahel Weldeyesus | Florida International University
Over the years, the City of Buffalo Fire Department has seen its share of administrative coup d’états, shifting political allegiances, and financial hemorrhaging at the hands of racial discrimination litigations and long-established policy loopholes. Whether directly stated or historically implied, political tensions mired deep in racial prejudices, coupled with market-lagging wages have pitted City administrators against powerhouse Union IAFF Local 282, management against ground level staff, and ranking white firefighters against black firefighters. Read more.