The American Review of Public Administration

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN: 02750740 / 15523357
Published by: SAGE Publications
Total articles ≅ 1,586

Latest articles in this journal

, Teshanee Williams, Honey Minkowitz, Alexandra Lahoud
Published: 3 November 2022
The American Review of Public Administration, Volume 52, pp 573-585;

While the public values of efficiency, effectiveness, and equity have been extensively studied in the public sector, very little research exists in the nonprofit context. In particular, we lack an understanding of what public values nonprofit leaders prioritize, why they prioritize certain public values over others, and how they balance or make tradeoffs between public values. Thirty-six Habitat for Humanity affiliate leaders from the United States were interviewed for this research. Interestingly, while the nonprofit leaders in the sample represent the same mission, they all prioritize different public values—though a plurality focuses on equity. We also found that the three primary challenges they perceive in achieving these public values relate to access, quality, and capacity. While Habitat leaders already apply strategies to deal with these challenges, we offer some additional suggestions for Habitat affiliates and similar affordable homeownership nonprofits to consider.
Elizabeth Bell, Julian Christensen, Kristina Jessen Hansen
Published: 3 November 2022
The American Review of Public Administration, Volume 52, pp 535-557;

Public administration researchers have found that unfavorable state actions can trigger negative emotions in citizens, but the behavioral consequences of these emotions have been understudied. We draw on psychological insights to predict how discrete emotional responses to unfavorable interactions with the state (specifically: administrative decisions to deny access to public benefits) will predict citizens’ coping behaviors, such as whether they voice grievances, file complaints, and seek information. We test our hypotheses using a survey of applicants of a notoriously burdensome, means-tested tuition-free college program in Oklahoma, USA. In line with our theoretical framework, we find anger increases opposition behaviors in reaction to losses of access to the program, whereas shame reduces opposition among citizens. We also find that fear increases information-seeking and resistance behaviors. The results demonstrate the role of discrete emotions in predicting state-directed citizen behaviors, but also provide the groundwork for applying the discrete emotions framework to other actors, such as public managers and street-level bureaucrats.
, Mary Feeney
Published: 11 October 2022
The American Review of Public Administration, Volume 52, pp 558-572;

The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by local governments is widespread and meant to improve managerial effectiveness and public engagement. ICTs are commonly used by governments to collaborate and communicate with stakeholders. Yet, the use of ICTs increases local governments exposure to cyberthreats. Cyberthreats are increasing and local governments are often under-resourced and underprepared for them. While many organizations combat cyberthreats with technological solutions, it is well known that social aspects—including manager vigilance and buy-in—are critical in reducing cyber incidents. Thus, governments require both social and technical solutions to cyberthreats. This research takes a sociotechnical perspective to examine the relationships between social (e.g., values and perceptions) and technical factors (e.g., design and capacity) and cyber incidents in local government. We use data from a 2018 national survey of public managers in 500 U.S. cities, data from city government websites, and the U.S. Census. The results indicate that manager buy-in and perceptions interact with technical aspects to explain reported cyber incidents in government. The findings expand our understanding of how social and technical factors are associated with cyberthreats in government, particularly manager.
Xiaoyang Xu,
Published: 7 September 2022
The American Review of Public Administration;

The literature on representative bureaucracy posits that increased representation at the managerial level leads to improved outcomes for minority clients. These managers, however, must work within organizational constraints and during times of environmental turbulence to sustain organizational performance. We forward the theory that contextual factors, such as environmental turbulence, could moderate the effects of representation on organizational performance. Utilizing a Texas school-level dataset of K-12 education from 2011, we examine how the race of the school principal influences student standardized test performance in a time of widespread financial resource cuts. Our findings suggest that same-race school principal representation improves the academic performance of both African American and Latino students, but the positive effects diminish as budgetary cuts become more widespread in the school. This means that environmental turbulence can decrease the impact of representation.
Jared Olsen, Mary K. Feeney
Published: 5 September 2022
The American Review of Public Administration;

Legal mandates are a common mechanism to stimulate government agencies to engage the public. Research shows managerial efforts can also affect civic engagement. We first examine whether local government departments that are legally mandated to engage the public have more public participation than departments that are not mandated to do so. We then explore the relationship between manager perceptions of public participation and the frequency of public participation. Finally, we analyze the interactive effect of legal mandates and managerial perceptions. To investigate our research questions, we use regression models on data from a 2018 nationally representative survey of 527 local government managers in the United States. The results indicate legal mandates are not significantly related to public participation, but managerial perceptions are a key factor. These findings support pursuing a managerial approach to advance public participation in local government.
Richard C. Box
The American Review of Public Administration;

The political context of public administration in the United States may change considerably in the near future, away from liberal democracy and toward an intensification of the authoritarian populism familiar from the Trump era. The people and practices of public administration experience the effects of the societal context in their daily work and the course of their careers, so that “context matters.” This essay uses the description of the current context of the public sector at the federal, state, and local levels, and in academia, to examine the potential impacts of a contextual shift to authoritarian populism in the next several years. The examination includes daily practice, the teaching of controversial concepts in public universities, and conducting research on salient topics in public administration.
, Michael D. Siciliano, ,
The American Review of Public Administration, Volume 52, pp 513-528;

This article contributes to the network effectiveness literature by identifying the theoretical mechanisms and network measures scholars in public administration and policy use to draw inferences between network structures and network effects. We conducted a systematic review of empirical network effects research in 40 public administration and policy journals from 1998 to 2019. We reviewed and coded 89 articles and described the main social theories used in the network effectiveness literature and the associated mechanisms that translate network structures to network effects. We also explain how scholars operationalize those theoretical mechanisms through network measures. Overall, our findings reflect that there is limited use of social theories for the explanation of network effects and in some cases, inconsistent use of network measures associated with theories. Moreover, we identify several challenges confronting network effects research. These challenges include the difficulty of isolating specific mechanisms related to a particular social theory, the use of network structures both as a mechanism and as a measure, and the lack of data to examine network dynamics and coevolution.
Xiaoheng Wang, Allyson L. Holbrook, Mary Feeney
The American Review of Public Administration, Volume 52, pp 457-471;

Social media technologies have been widely adopted by governments to increase civic engagement, promote openness, and extend services. Previous research finds that public managers’ attitudes are important predictors of social media adoption and successful implementation. Managers’ attitudes may vary due to different organizational structures, functions, and operations based on department type or because departments vary along with key dimensions. This research investigates the following questions: (1) Does department type significantly predict public managers’ attitudes toward social media, (2) does department type moderate the effect of predictors of managers’ attitudes toward social media found in previous research, and (3) do the predictors of managers’ attitudes toward social media found in previous research mediate attitude differences observed across different kinds of departments. Using data collected from a 2014 national web survey in the United States on technology in city government, we find department type is an important predictor of managers’ attitudes toward social media use. The effects of other predictors of attitudes toward social media use were not moderated by department type. Instead, those predictors had similar effects regardless of department type. Some of the variables related to organizational characteristics and culture (e.g., social media use, innovativeness, and use of e-services) helped to explain differences between the attitudes of managers from different departments. Our findings are important for developing strategies to target managers’ negative attitudes toward using social media, thus removing one of the barriers to successful technology implementation.
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