Volume 12, Number 2, Summer 2009

CONTENTS
REGULAR ARTICLES

Identifying Targets of Scientific Inquiry: Obstacles to the Advancement of Organization Science ........................... 181
J. M. Newman, M. P. Lillis, M. L. Waite & L. A. Krefting

Salary Surveys as Institutional Myth: Ritual, Validity, Reality ........................................................................................... 199
R. J. Herzog

An Examination of the Municipal 311 System .................................................................................................................... 218
R. W. Schwester, T. Carrizales and M. Holzer

SYMPOSIUM


Convergence and Divergence of Ideas from Minnowbrook III: A Symposium ............................................................. 237
M. S. Mingus and C. Horiuchi

Symposium Introduction ......................................................................................................................................................... 238
M. S. Mingus and C. Horiuchi

Breaking the Mold: The Key for a Prosperous Future for the Public Service ................................................................. 244
M. S. Mingus

Validating the Relevance of Leadership In Public Administration ................................................................................... 254
M. H. Holmes

Values in Public Administration: The Role of Organizational Culture ............................................................................. 266
A. D. Molina

A Primative Value: Reducing Disparity .................................................................................................................................. 280
C. Horiuchi

You Say You Want a Revolution? ............................................................................................................................................ 291
M. Stout

From Liquid Life to a Politics of the Subject; or Public Administration for a Fragile Planet ......................................... 310
T. J. Catlaw

ABSTRACT. The pillars of public administration rest on balancing the
triumvirate of traditions, managerial, political, and legal, in developing and
implementing public policy. The normative concept of leadership has
consistently surfaced as an important dimension in the policy process.
However, scholarship exploring the importance and relevance of leadership
in public administration has been sporadic and limited in scope. This article
elucidates the disconnect between the study of leadership and public
administration. To validate the relevance of leadership in public
administration, future empirical studies must embrace the long-view,
heuristic inquiry, and the lifecycle of leadership.

ABSTRACT. The enormity of the challenges and changes the world is facing demand that we reimagine the very notion of "government." While sometimes useful, traditional sectoral divisions of labor (e.g. government, market, civil sphere) are an impediment to this reimagining. This essay argues that we need a dynamic, relational understanding of governing and different conceptualization of the relationship of the self to governing. This entails a revolution, initially, less in the formal political institutions than a transformation in the way in which we think about living together and labor to create a life in common.

ABSTRACT. Minnowbrook III pre-conference retreat participants were asked
to submit a critique of the field of public administration in advance of the
September 3, 2008, gathering. In looking broadly at this request the author
determined that our organizational structures and institutions were not
changing as quickly as the environment in which they are embedded. His
critique suggests that the five key challenges for today's administrators are
to (1) create flexible response mechanisms, (2) pursue civil and economic
equity, (3) build citizen knowledge, (4) think in terms of governance, and (5)
understand and steer globalization.

ABSTRACT. Confidence in government continues to plague our field. Based on a dissertation inquiry, this essay offers a theoretical critique of public service through the lens of democratic legitimacy, suggesting many role conceptualizations promoted in the field conflict with powerful characteristics of the U.S. political economy. Beyond the traditional bureaucrat accountable to the Executive as dictated by the Constitution, role conceptualizations call for a variety of reinterpretations that contest our system of separated powers and representation through election. Furthermore, roles that promote social and economic justice conflict with many capitalist interests. While concurring that a facilitative role in pursuit of democratic social and economic justice is appropriate, this transformation must be undertaken using methods appropriate to what it actually represents: a revolution.

ABSTRACT. Government accountability and responsiveness are foundational
concerns of public managers, citizens, the media, and advocacy
organizations. Technologies provide viable alternatives for increasing citizen
access to government and improving government's responses to the issues
of greatest concern to citizens, and the implementation of non-emergency
311 systems have shown tremendous potential in this regard. This paper,
therefore, examines municipal 311 systems in terms of accountability and
responsiveness functions, namely usability, services provided, internal
operations, and measurable outputs. A survey of fourteen municipalities with
311 systems throughout the United States results in the identification of
best practices in each of the four research categories.

ABSTRACT. Established administrative practice that under-represents
proportionality in performance measures results in a normalization of
disparity in government program outcomes. Targeted responses to disparate
suffering during rare events cannot be extrapolated generally to address a
broader pattern of disparity. Reporting required in social service program
delivery suggests public administration scholars and practitioners could
create a disparity measure as a routine inclusion. Expansion of research
initiatives on disparity in government service is essential and can benefit
from laudable progress in emergency and crisis management studies.
Similarly, public health research programs routinely note disparities.
Without an explicit emphasis on disparities, inertia within the field, a sense
of inevitability among practitioners, and indifference to the needs of invisible
populations delay significant improvement.

ABSTRACT. The use of dialectics and social construction theory can help
expose rationalized institutional myths used to create useable knowledge.
This discussion presents a popular technique, advocated and used among
public officials when establishing pay scales, called a salary survey. Salary
surveys appear rational because they use logical positivist (quantitative)
methods to illustrate a "truth" that is actually "symbolic." This process is
institutionalized when pay discussions and decisions are required to proceed
on the basis of salary surveys. Salary surveys take on the role of myth when
they become accepted by officials as an "objective reality" without a
thorough examination of the biases and assumptions. This study uses the
ritual, validity, reality dialectic to illustrate how administrators construct and
shape reality through social interaction. Through this dialectic, some officials
may want to question their acceptance of salary survey practices and
consider the recommendations offered in this article.

ABSTRACT. This article argues that the field of public administration,
academics and practitioners alike, would benefit by more explicitly
addressing the role that values play in administrative behavior and decision
making. It reflects on the extent to which values are embedded in the work
of public administrators, and their role in serving as normative criteria for
action. Because the values associated with democracy and bureaucracy are
often in competition, though, the challenge for administrators is to arrive at a
workable balance consistent with our constitutional tradition. To that end,
the insights offered by an organizational culture perspective are helpful in
understanding how particular values can be promoted in organizations. This
article concludes with a brief discussion of some implications that such an
approach has for how we study, teach, and practice public administration.

ABSTRACT. In many colleges and universities, publication is a key factor in
evaluating the academic productivity of faculty. Moreover, the pressure to
publish may drive scholars to identify research questions that are believed to
have a greater probability of being published rather than being driven by
their interests in an important research question that will advance the field.
A critical question then, is to what extent publication outlets reinforce a
pattern of publications that are well-suited to the research enterprise –
encouraging contributions that extend the frontiers of what is already known.
Analysis of both accepted and rejected empirical manuscripts from two
leading journals in organization science reveal that novel research is less likely
to be published, but more likely to be cited. Results are used as a basis for
making inferences about the publication process and for commentary related
to the advancement of organization science as a field of study.

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