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08:00-09:30 Session 5A: Percolator: Policy Implementation as a Field of Study
Policy Implementation as a Field of Study
PRESENTER: Lael Keiser

ABSTRACT. It is well recognized that how people experience public policy and whether it is successful depends on how it is put into place on the ground as it is interpreted, debated, applied, enforced, and provided, during a process referred to as “policy implementation.” Since the 1970s, scholars have created theories and models to explain and understand this stage of the policymaking process and created a large and diverse body of scholarship. Although a unifying theory of implementation is illusive, and perhaps unworthy of pursuit, questions remain about the study of implementation. Are there unifying concepts and themes that bring interdisciplinary scholars together and create a coherent body of knowledge? How does policy implementation differ across countries, across policy areas, and across institutional arenas, and how is it similar? Where is there overlap between public management and implementation research, and how is implementation research distinct? How does research on implementation inform practice and how can that be improved? And on what future research questions should we focus? Panelists who have authored chapters in a forthcoming handbook on policy implementation, and/or participated in a special symposium on policy implementation in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management discuss these questions.

08:00-09:30 Session 5B: Lightning talks: Evaluation and outcomes
Electronic point-of-sale devices and tax compliance: Evidence from Pakistan
PRESENTER: Isabelle Cohen

ABSTRACT. Tax compliance remains a significant challenge in many low- and middle-income countries, limiting the ability of governments to provide public services. Third-party information, which enables the government to uncover the true liability of the taxpayer, is one of the most effective tools for accuracy of reporting and enforcement. Linked electronic point-of-sale devices (ePOS) report near real-time information on economic transactions to tax authorities, potentially allowing governments with limited enforcement capacity to improve compliance.

Though studies in Ethiopia, Peru and China suggest the potential for increases in revenue, the impacts of ePOS devices and the responses of taxpayers remain understudied. In this paper, we develop a simple model to disentangle channels of firm compliance capacity and increased monitoring. To test these theories, we exploit a staggered rollout of the linkage of 188 ePOS devices to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Authority (KPRA) of Pakistan from December 2020 to June 2022. We study the impact on hospitality-sector firms’ reported sales, tax payments and exit using an event study specification free of contamination from treatment effect heterogeneity.

We find that linkage of ePOS devices leads to a causal increase in the extensive margin of filing and paying VAT taxes for three to four months post-install. However, the effect then dissipates, and firms return to pre-intervention levels of payment. Simultaneously, we find a significant increase in firm exit. The results indicate that monitoring alone may be insufficient to overcome compliance challenges in the absence of complementary reforms and verification, particularly for consumer-facing firms.

Fare-Free Public Transit's Impact on the Health and Well-Being of People Living in Poverty
PRESENTER: David Phillips

ABSTRACT. In a unique project bringing theory and rigorous evaluation to public practice, we are evaluating the effects of a novel and large-scale program in King County, Washington that provides free public transportation to individuals with low incomes. Guided by the questions and priorities of service provider stakeholders, our focus is on how fare-free public transit affects individuals' mobility as well as their health and well-being. To address these questions, we conducted a randomized control trial in 2022-2023 in which a group of low-income individuals who just failed to meet specific eligibility requirements for King County's Fully Subsidized Fare Program were randomized into a treatment group who received free transit for a year and a control group who did not. We can also compare to a group of individuals who met the Fully Subsidized Fare Program's eligibility requirements and enrolled in the program during our sample period. We carried out extensive baseline and interim surveying and just wrapped up endline surveying of individuals in each of these three groups. We are additionally in the process of matching individuals in each group to a host of administrative data, including data related to transit use as well as healthcare utilization and health behaviors. Our evaluation will help to inform policy aimed at improving mobility in an equitable and sustainable way. We hope our study can also serve as a model for practitioner-researcher partnerships that can produce transformative research and build an accessible evidence base for policymaking.

Evaluating Same-Day Service for Paratransit Customers
PRESENTER: Rachel Brown

ABSTRACT. Through the Access Transportation (Access) program, King County Metro (Metro) provides federally mandated paratransit service to riders who cannot use fixed-route transit due to a disability. While fixed-route transit offers flexibility to take the next bus or train, mobility is far more constrained for paratransit customers. Metro’s Access customers must reserve a trip by 5pm the prior day and plan schedules to account for how long each trip will last, such as how long to spend with a friend for dinner and how long grocery shopping will take. Trips cannot be requested the same day of travel.

These constraints limit Access customers’ ability to take last-minute trips or trips requiring flexibility. Trips that take others 10 or 15 minutes can take Access customers hours. These mobility limitations may affect access to healthcare, jobs, education, and social and recreational opportunities, and in turn could also affect health and quality of life.

To address these constraints and provide flexible, affordable, accessible, and reliable options for Access customers, Metro will pilot same-day service for Access customers, allowing them to book trips on the same day in which they wish to travel, as opposed to needing a reservation at a minimum the day before. The pilot includes a robust evaluation plan to test our theory of change and is planned to culminate in a randomized control trial in late 2024. Presentation will address working with academic researchers, creating evaluation plans, and identifying variables to understand the impact of a new transit service for customers.

Theory and Practice of the Agricultural Cyclical System in North Korea

ABSTRACT. This study aims to explore the theory and practice of circular systems in the North Korean agricultural sector. The United Nations defines circular agriculture as a sustainable system that integrates crop-livestock mixing, organic farming, and water reuse to reduce ecological footprints and carbon emissions. Similarly, North Korea defines it as an agricultural ecosystem that minimizes negative environmental impacts by recycling all waste from production and life processes.For this analysis of the circular system in North Korea, a keyword network analysis was conducted on articles from Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North Korean party, to identify the emphasis of the North Korean authorities on the application of circular system policies, and to examine the implementation status of these policies as revealed in the articles.The results show that North Korea is striving to apply circular agriculture to various fields such as aquaculture and energy utilization, as well as agriculture-livestock linkages. Additionally, North Korea emphasizes fostering animal husbandry as a welfare supply service for local industries and individuals, reflecting the goal of strengthening local self-reliance. The North Korean authorities have sought to utilize the circular production system to cope with the country's resource scarcity, and it seems that they are expanding it through manpower rather than scientific advancement, innovation, or the introduction of new technologies, which the UN has emphasized.

* This research received support from the Korea Safety Health Environment Foundation.

Does Collaborative Economic Development Work? Examining Regional Solutions in Oregon

ABSTRACT. Economic and community development is a multifaceted policy issue that attracts attention from all levels of government, given its direct and indirect impacts on well-being. While some may equate economic development solely with business recruitment, it necessitates a more comprehensive approach because it is closely intertwined with a variety of other policy problems, such as housing, crime, and education. In recognition of the need for a holistic approach to economic and community development, calls are growing for a more collaborative, integrated approach in addressing such challenges and opportunities. Yet we know little about the efficacy of collaborative approaches in this policy area. To bridge that gap, this paper examines whether legislatively mandated collaborative governance helps produce intended outcomes and how different elements of collaborative structure might enhance their effectiveness. Specifically, the study focuses on the Oregon Regional Solutions program, which emphasizes the role of local knowledge and collaboration across diverse agencies, jurisdictions, and sectors in addressing unique economic and community development needs of each region. It employs a mixed methods approach to analyzing data from public documents (e.g. annual reports, stakeholder surveys). The study offers insights for practitioners particularly around how to measure success and improve ongoing collaborative efforts to deliver intended outcomes.

Pseudo-Principals: Program Management Consultants in State DOT Project Delivery

ABSTRACT. The passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA) was a watershed moment for American infrastructure, representing the largest injection of funding and attention to infrastructure since the Eisenhower administration. Dramatic changes have occurred to the industry and bureaucracy of transportation infrastructure during this interval, however, with material impacts to policy implementation. Most importantly, infrastructure projects are increasingly executed through “alternative delivery” contracts which integrate private sector activity earlier and earlier, including design, construction, and more recently, administrative management.

Prior research on the relationship between infrastructure contracting and performance has highlighted the importance of transparency and accountability mechanisms to account for private action (Flyvbjerg, 2004). Legal scholars have maintained that “a core dynamic of privatization is the way that it can delegate government power to private hands,” and cautioned about the challenges inherent to the (a) identification and (b) delegation of core governmental, ‘public functions’ (Metzger, 2003).

Leveraging semi-structured interviews with a broad-cross section of transportation professionals, this paper makes theoretical contribution to the understanding of policy implementation though delegation chains of contracted actors. Specifically, it highlights the emergence of a novel actor, a “pseudo-principal,” vested with broad managerial authority by a principal (state transportation authority) to oversee its distributed network of agents (construction contractors). The pseudo-principal enjoys discretionary decision-making power far exceeding typical depictions of ‘contracting for management’ in the public administration literature (Brown & Potoski, 2006). The emergence of the pseudo-principal implicates timely questions about the relationships between government contracting out, accountability and performance.

Enhancing Housing Equity: Nonprofits and CDFIs in Affordable Housing Initiatives

ABSTRACT. This paper explores the intersection between community development and policy solutions that focus on building robust financial pipelines for community-based solutions. The study aims to examine the effectiveness of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in promoting community development. Initiatives like the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF), mainly led by nonprofits, exemplify this as nonprofits receive competitive grants supporting affordable housing solutions and community revitalization projects benefiting low-income individuals and communities nationwide. As thus, what impact does CDFI's public spending have on community development, especially in reducing the housing burden? To investigate this, the study examines the correlation between funding allocated to the community and the extent of housing burden relative to household income.

Recent studies have highlighted increasing public expenditure towards community development to alleviate housing burdens (Cortés & Lerner, 2013; Craig et al., 2007; Murtagh & Goggin, 2015). Another line of study raises concerns about the potential for a crowding-out effect, wherein increased public spending may inadvertently decrease private investment (Frisch & Servon, 2006; O’Sullivan, 2011). The study's findings indicate that funding availability through CDFIs influence high housing burden. Socioeconomic factors such as rates of some college education, unemployment rates, income inequality, and the percentage of non-Hispanic White populations significantly These findings bear implications for both public management theory and practice, underscoring the necessity to consider channeling funding in policy and program development. While acknowledging limitations, this study lays the groundwork for future research to delve deeper into the intricate relationship between housing costs and sociodemographic factors.

08:00-09:30 Session 5C: Collaborative Governance: Sense-making, Knowledge Brokering, and Reaching Agreements
The Role of Disputes in Collaborative Capacity-Building

ABSTRACT. The capacity for joint actions, a critical concept concerning the ability of a collaborative network to execute collaborative actions, is often discussed in collaborative design, where the pooling of resources and institutional arrangements is expected by collaborators for policy execution. Little is known, however, about how this capacity-building process actually proceeds when collaborative disputes occur that threaten the collaboration with disruption or even collapse. Though disputes among collaborators due to changing circumstances, expectations, needs, and motives could increase collaborative costs, they also present an opportunity for building additional capacity to overcome these disputes, leading to a stronger collaborative capacity for more sustained joint actions. Employing a unique and comprehensive database of 213 collaborative disputes traced from 2,257 government documents from 1997 to 2023, we explore how the disputes originate and progress, and how collaborative capacity is developed in overcoming them. We show that a surge of collaborative capacity is needed to resolve disputes, which in public infrastructure and service delivery collaborations follow very different patterns in origination, process, and resolution strategies. Most disputes are resolved by collaborators internally, though intervention of an external authority is not uncommon. Communications, coupled with proper rule and policy adjustments, are most frequent ways of resolutions, likely leading to institutionalization of collaborations for long-term joint actions. The findings extend the literature that has long focused on maintaining interactions rather than resolving disputes in collaborative capacity-building, demonstrating significant theoretical and policy contributions.

Exploring Contextual Influence in Collaboration: a Sense-making Perspective
PRESENTER: Zhihang Yuan

ABSTRACT. Almost all existing models explaining collaborative actions focus on the interactive dynamics among collaborators. Limited is explained about the influence of contextual forces outside of these dynamics. Employing a unique and comprehensive database of 890 collaborative tensions, we adopt a sensemaking approach to explore the role of a fast-evolving and ambiguous collaborative context in collaborative actions. We find that heightened sociopolitical controversies were “weaponized” by certain stakeholder groups to influence collaborative actions through forming and intensifying a political narrative, and this narrative was aided by the convenient adoption of evolving economic and financial circumstances as “ammunition.” These strategic choices, combined, produced a significant evolving context for the collaboration to adapt. We develop a Contextual Dynamic Collaboration (CDC) model, framed partly on the Collaborative Governance Regime (CGR) model, to better articulate the role of contextual influence in collaboration.

Implications for Practice: These insights highlight the practical significance of contextual forces in collaborative actions and call for policymakers’ attention to contextual uncertainties. As contextual influences over collaborations have become increasingly frequent given increasing geopolitical conflicts, natural and manmade disasters and emergencies, and institutional variations, collaborating governments should incorporate the uncertainties of contextual influences in assessing collaborative risks and developing collaborative capacity accordingly. A collaboration that adapts to fast-evolving contextual forces well is more likely to succeed in sustaining collaborative actions. An effective collaborating leader should respond to contextual changes properly in developing collaborative capacity of managing resources, technology and information, and procedural and institutional arrangements.

Knowledge brokering in collaborative governance regimes

ABSTRACT. Knowledge brokering is central to collaborative governance regimes. Collaborative partnerships, and individuals within them, can act as knowledge brokers by transmitting, translating, and transforming information, both within and beyond the partnership. In environmental governance, collaborative partnerships frequently draw on scientific information to inform management plans and actions, but the inclusion of many non-scientists in partnerships complicates shared understanding of science. Moreover, stakeholders with diverse experiences and expertise bring additional forms of knowledge to the table, raising the question of how various kinds of knowledge – scientific or otherwise – are brokered in collaborative governance.

This study examines knowledge brokering in collaborative environmental partnerships within a complex socio-ecological system – the Puget Sound basin, USA. While prior studies of knowledge brokering typically focus on scientific information, for collaborative governance it is important to also examine knowledge brokering for experiential and other kinds of information. We conducted and coded 38 interviews with members of 9 different collaborative ecosystem recovery partnerships, and subsequently used themes that emerged from the qualitative analysis to inform our survey questionnaire. Our survey collected responses from members of 49 ecosystem recovery partnerships to identify a broad range of knowledge brokering activities. These partnerships differ in terms of their connections to each other and to a wide range of public and private sector organizations, which allows us to examine the different roles knowledge brokers play in bringing together scientific and other kinds of information within partnerships, across partnerships, and in connection with other organizations.

High, Low, or Just Different?: Investigating Institutional Capacity to Partner across Diverse Communities
PRESENTER: Branda Nowell

ABSTRACT. Federal programs that seek to improve conditions in local communities are a lot like new software. You need to have a compatible operating system in order for them to work. In the same way, federal programs face the difficult challenge of creating policy tools capable of catalyzing action across a diverse set of local contexts and conditions. Local contexts will vary in terms of how aligned they are with the logics and assumptions embedded within the chosen policy tool and implementation system. When a local context is poorly aligned with the logics embedded within a given policy implementation system, the community is often labeled low capacity. Rural, geographically isolated, and ethnically non-white communities may be disproportionately affected by this dynamic. In this study, we seek to advance theoretical frameworks of institutional capacity in public management. We do so through examining stewardship contracting with US federal land agencies. Stewardship contracts enable US federal land agencies to contract with local communities on land management priorities of mutual concern such as wildfire risk reduction. We present findings that integrate national geo-spatial implementation data of stewardship contract investments with demographic and vulnerability data to model which communities are best and least served by this program. We combine this with case study findings on the networks and institutional capacity of a region of rural Idaho to develop propositions on critical structural contingencies. Implications for both research and policy design will be discussed.

08:00-09:30 Session 5D: Innovations in Public Procurement for Public and Citizen Value
Do digital technologies advance sustainable procurement? The differing roles of organizational culture and financial capacity in the U.S. and Japan

ABSTRACT. Digitalization and environmental sustainability are two nascent and rapidly evolving topics in the fields of purchasing and supply chain management. Recent studies indicate that digital technology is likely to impact sustainable purchasing as it is crucial to transform procurement structure and decision-making process. However, questions remain about the extent and direction of this impact, especially for organizations in different countries.

The purpose of the study is to explore the intersection of digitalization and environmental sustainability in purchasing and supply chain management. Drawing on contingency theory, we propose that the impact of digital technology (e.g., e-procurement systems) on sustainable public procurement is contingent on key organizational characteristics such as innovation culture and financial capacity and that these relationships differ across country settings. Therefore, the research uses nationwide data on local government procurement in the U.S. and Japan to examine how the impact of e-procurement system varies across different innovation cultures and financial capacity. Our findings offer important insights on orienting procurement decisions towards environmental sustainability in the digital era.

Maverick Buying in Cooperative Public Procurement: Unraveling Deviant Work Behavior in Government Agencies.

ABSTRACT. Effective intergovernmental cooperation improves government performance. However, the efficacy of cooperative arrangements between two or more partnering governments may be undermined by inability to mitigate coordination problems, propensity for non-compliance with rules governing the cooperation, and differences in governments’ stock of task-relevant capacity or resources. This paper studies maverick buying in cooperative public procurement, i.e., intergovernmental procurement cooperation. It examines whether Danish local governments engage in maverick buying, i.e., whether they comply with, or shirk on, rules governing what products to buy through joint framework agreements. It conceptualizes maverick buying as a form of non-compliant, deviant work behavior that potentially undermines purchasing group efficacy. Analyzing a unique data set covering governments actual spending data on 12.000 products (N = 2.000.000 million public invoices), the paper studies the causes and effects of maverick buying by assessing theoretical hypotheses on why purchasing groups may face coordination problems, issues related to insufficient management capacity of partnering governments and variation in their social norms for rule-compliance. The effects of maverick buying are assessed by examining the price paid by partnering governments. The paper contributes with a novel perspective both theoretically and empirically to intergovernmental cooperation research by shedding light on an important problem that may undermine the efficacy of intergovernmental cooperation arrangements i.e., procurement cooperation.

Government IT Contracting: The Case of the United States
PRESENTER: Benjamin Brunjes

ABSTRACT. Information systems and information technology (IS/IT) are complex goods and services which most governments currently require. When managing IS/IT contracts, governments experience substantial information asymmetries and have well-documented struggles with design and management (Rose and Grant, 2010). Empirical studies have shown that contracts involving uncertain goods and services are often designed to reduce risks associated with transaction costs and reduce shirking to benefit the government (Brown et al., 2013; Brunjes, 2021; Girth 2017). As a result, it is likely that IS/IT contracts are designed differently from other contracts and may perform differently as well. To build a better understanding of the role IS/IT contractors play in the day-to-day management and operation of government, this research analyzes how government managers design information system/information technology contracts to reduce risk and influence contractor performance. Analyzing more than 200,000 federal contracts from 2013 – 2019, we describe federal IS/IT contracts, including what is purchased, from what types of vendors, and characteristics of the federal IS/IT marketplace. Though the federal government is an active purchaser of IS/IT, few small and small disadvantaged businesses win IS/IT contracts, and fewer firms bid for government IS/IT work. Many IS/IT contracts are allocated to repeat vendors, suggesting the importance (and mutual dependence) of IS/IT relationships. IS/IT contracts last longer than other complex contracts and are more likely to use cost-reimbursement structures, change orders, options, and extensions. Our findings indicate efforts both learn about IS/IT contracts and to limit government exposure to risk and poor vendor performance.

08:00-09:30 Session 5E: Accountability
Can punishing account-givers reduce the blame assigned to account-holders?
PRESENTER: Jiansong Zheng

ABSTRACT. In most definitions, accountability is generally understood as an arrangement in which an actor (i.e., account-givers) is expected to justify her conduct or performance to some significant other (i.e., account-holders) (Bovens, 2007; Brandsma & Schillemans, 2013). Nevertheless, the meaning of accountability in practice has come to focus on liability and punishment (Bovens, 2007; Brandsma & Schillemans, 2013; Romzek, 2014). As Mansbridge (2014, p. 55) points out, ‘accountability has become synonymous with punishment.’ This article, inspired by a reputational perspective on accountability (Busuioc & Lodge, 2016, 2017), examines the blame-avoiding effect of punishing account-givers and how its effectiveness depends on subsequent policy outcomes, sanctions, and audience characteristics. We address the inquiry in the setting of Chinese local governance, in which local cadres have almost become the default blame-takers when something goes wrong. Using a series of survey experiments conducted on different samples of Chinese respondents, we examine how account-holders can mitigate blame by imposing sanctions on account-givers. Across three online survey experiments, imposing sanctions reduces blame attribution relative to the control condition. Moreover, the blame-avoiding effect of punishment is not contingent on subsequent policy outcomes, i.e., whether the initial policy problem improves or worsens. However, the result suggests that the effectiveness of this blame-avoiding strategy depends on the severity of punishment and the individuals’ trust in the account-holders. In the discussion section, we illustrate the broader implications of our findings in relation to the literature on blame politics, public accountability, and the sources of China’s regime resilience.

Institutional Accountability for Biometric Data in Smart City Surveillance

ABSTRACT. Policy studies on privacy protection have traditionally focused on empowering individuals over how personal data is collected, managed, and utilized. While such individual empowerment is well-embodied in the current leading legal texts in the form of “notice and choice” paradigm, recent studies reveal that privacy self-management entails insuperable cognitive and informational costs and fail to satisfy privacy needs. Instead of expanding data control that individuals cannot exercise on their own, we approach privacy management as a question of institutional trust. Organizations handling citizens’ private data become stewards (the actor) of citizens (the forum) and accountable for their decisions in privacy management to citizens who delegated the collective power to them. With an emphasis on the steward’s responsibility for safeguarding data owners’ privacy rights (Warner, 2020; Viljoen, 2021), we propose an institutional framework of accountability mechanisms: electoral, contractual, bureaucratic, and principled. These mechanisms display varying degrees of responsiveness to citizens’ preferences and external pressures. To empirically test our framework, we conducted an online survey of a randomized conjoint experiment design on a facial recognition surveillance system in Hong Kong and South Korea. Preliminary results demonstrate a distinct pattern of institutional preferences by the respondents. We believe our findings reassure the policy community the importance of meaningful dialogues with citizens on their privacy concerns for inclusive data governance.

Creating Public Value with Private Money? the Case of Police Foundations
PRESENTER: Jeongyoon Yang

ABSTRACT. This study will analyze whether police departments are more prone to public value failure when their dependence on private funding increases. Police foundations, local non-profits that channel corporate and individual donations to police departments, have widely diffused across the US to supplement budget cuts and respond to local needs. However, the co-production literature raises concerns that private funding of public services may lead to the crowding-out of public values (Cheng, 2019; Gazley, Lafontant, & Cheng, 2020).

In principle, police departments should be subject to strict democratic control since the uncontrolled exercise of police force may restrain the fundamental rights of citizens. Nonetheless, police departments are usually not legally required to disclose information on the size and use of donations to City Councils as they are not part of the official budgetary process. Such lack of oversight incentivizes police departments to prioritize their own safety over public safety by spending donated money on weapons, surveillance technologies, and K9s (police dogs).

Despite the significance of holding police departments democratically accountable, there is limited research on the relationship between police foundations and police departments, especially regarding public value failure (Jennings & Rubado, 2017). To fill this gap, this research will extend insight from public values and co-production research to assess whether police foundation size affects police violence utilizing a panel data set of 242 large U.S. cities over the 2000-2019 period.

08:00-09:30 Session 5F: Behavioral Public Administration
Cracking the Information Intensity Puzzle of Government Data Tables: Informatics-Human-Recognition Theory and Experimental Tests
PRESENTER: Zachary Mohr

ABSTRACT. The composition of data tables has been a black box in many areas of public administration like governmental budgeting. Recently an informatics-human-recognition theory was formulated on the information intensity of budget tables and its impact on users’ information perception (Hou 2022). Building from behavioral public budgeting and finance research (Mohr & Kearney 2020), this paper addresses an important and unexplored question: How does the intensity of information presented in budget tables influence the understanding by their users of the information therein? We also account for users’ numeracy, the ability to use math in everyday life, to see if numeracy interacts with the intensity of information in the tables.

We conduct a randomized experiment with 1,000 MTURK respondents in May 2023 and will rerun the experiment with an updated numeracy scale in early 2024. The experiment uses tables based on a representative budget of the US federal government to achieve mundane and experimental realism. The 2x2 between-subjects experimental design varies the data intensity of the tables by adding realistic rows and columns to the control (a simple table) to test the effect of adding additional information intensity. We then measure subjects’ understanding of the budget information presented and their perceptions of the budget and examine these outcomes.

The results and our findings have applications to many areas of government administration where data is presented in a table format and the public needs to understand the information to be able to have an informed understanding of the policy or administration issue.

SOUnD Experimental Public Administration: A Systematic Review and a Typology
PRESENTER: Nicola Belle

ABSTRACT. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have gained increasing popularity in the public administration literature in the last few decades. The rise of this trend can be attributed to the fact that RCTs are widely regarded as the gold standard for identifying the average causal effect of an experimental intervention on specific outcomes, effectively minimizing selection bias and threats to internal validity. Similarities and differences among different experimental typologies, however, are seldom analyzed and discussed thoroughly. This brings meaningful consequences for theory testing and practical implications. Thus, time seems ripe to uncover the intricacies of RCTs in public administration. This study presents a comprehensive overview of how public administration scholars have employed this method. We systematically review 258 randomized experiments published in seven top-ranked public administration journals (ARPA, Governance, JPART, PAR, PA, PMR, and ROPPA) from January 2018 to December 2023. We analyze the experimental designs adopted by public administration scholars. Additionally, we focus on studies’ descriptive information related to the types of subjects participating in the experiments, sampling procedures, recruitment strategies, outcomes adopted, and study areas (e.g., HR, citizens-government relationship, performance management, etc.) most frequently investigated through RCTs. The systematic review of experiments aims at providing a parsimonious taxonomy that allows us to identify common trends and good practices in experimental public administration. Furthermore, we point to existing biases and future challenges for experimental researchers in our field.

Biases and Budgeting Behavior: How Politicians and Administrators Behave When Allocating Public Resources
PRESENTER: Tom Overmans

ABSTRACT. Budgeting is inherently behavioral. Many theories about budgeting behavior, however, rest on the analysis of indirect research. The insights and methods that emerge from BPA offer new opportunities for explicit behavioral budgeting research. An empirically verifiable understanding about how real budgeters behave when making budget decisions is important to verify and enrich existing theories. This study examines five behavioral tendencies that economists suggest affect financial decision making. We employ five preregistered vignette experiments amongst municipal policy elites to test our hypotheses. Each experiment stimulates politicians and administrators to assess a budgeting situation. By manipulating one or more dimensions, we identified the effect of each bias on subjects' budgeting behavior. We conducted the experiments with 1,825 actual budgeters. Results indicate that anchoring, mental accounting, availability bias and loss aversion significantly influence behavior. Politicians and administrators systematically rely on anchors when deciding spending levels, stick to previously assigned spending labels, overspend on newsworthy items and on proposals with safe results. We find no evidence of herding. Budgeters do not rely on others when judging proposals. We argue that the theoretical perspective on budgeting needs to be broadened. How people behave in the collective phase of budgeting is crucial for appropriating budgets. Therefore, studies into the influence of politics, relationships and attention remain important. But we should not overlook the individual phase. As long as budgeters unconsciously make inaccurate judgments and enter negotiations with suboptimal preferences, the chance that they will realize their ambitions is minimal.

Unveiling the Impact: Public Service Performance and Citizens' Residential Choices Before and After the Pandemic – Insights from Three Discrete Choice Experiments

ABSTRACT. Existing research has extensively examined citizens' responses to public service performance, yet a notable gap exists regarding the consideration of residential choice and its spatial component. This study addresses this gap by presenting findings from three discrete choice experiments that investigate the impact of specific public service performance on citizens' geographical residential preferences. The initial experiment, conducted in 2019 prior to the pandemic, established a foundation, while the subsequent two experiments are scheduled for completion by the end of 2023. The first replication replicates the original experiment, and the second introduces distinct attributes based on a pilot survey aimed at identifying citizens' prioritized performance indicators for each public service.

Results from the initial experiment affirm that public service performance significantly influences citizens' residential choices. Notably, certain services, such as education and healthcare, appear more influential than others like safety and environment. However, the study reveals heterogeneous outcomes among citizens, with safety exhibiting reduced importance for individuals who have relocated between cities at least once in their lives. In the ongoing replications, deliberate oversampling of individuals with a history of relocation aims to delve deeper into these distinctions.

This research contributes valuable insights for both public administration scholars and practitioners, emphasizing the nuanced role of public service performance in shaping citizens' residential decisions.

08:00-09:30 Session 5G: Bureaucratic Reputation
Protection or Restraint: The Impact of Reputational Histories on the Reputation of Public Sector Organizations

ABSTRACT. Research on organizational reputation has gradually become a forefront topic in the international field of public administration. Existing studies mostly focus on the horizontal expansion of organizational reputation, such as the relationship between organizational performance, organizational fairness, and organizational reputation. There is less attention given to the vertical expansion of organizational reputation, specifically the role played by reputational histories of organizations. When a public crisis occurs, how do reputational histories influence the reputation of public sector organizations? Does a positive reputational history protect the reputation of public sector organizations, resulting in smaller reputation threats, or does the high expectations of the public restrain the reputation of public sector organizations, leading to larger reputation threats? Through a survey experiment, this study finds that compared to public sector organizations with negative reputational histories, those with positive reputational histories face smaller reputation threats. Additionally, the type of public sector plays a moderating role between reputational histories and reputation threats. Compared to non-profit organizations with positive reputational histories, government organizations with positive reputational histories face smaller reputation threats. This paper enhances the applicability and explanatory power of organizational reputation theory to the public sector, providing theoretical basis and evidential support for the impact of reputational histories on the reputation of public sector organizations.

Political ideology and bureaucratic reputation: A comparative experiment on citizens’ motivated reasoning in the United States and South Korea

ABSTRACT. Bureaucratic reputation is a set of beliefs about organizations formulated by multiple audiences (Carpenter, 2010). While reputation literature has identified how reputational threats change organizational arrangements, the way a reputation is formed in the eyes of audiences, particularly citizens, remains unanswered. Further, although previous studies have mostly used media coverage as a proxy for organizations’ reputation, there is a gap between the media coverage and how the citizens interpret that information. Relying on political motivated reasoning theory, we expect that individual citizens interpret the information in a negative news article of government agencies with more favorable attitudes when it is a politically matched agency, or when politically matched news media address it. This expectation is grounded on the agency ideology and partisan media (Lavertu and Moynihan, 2013). Further, our expectation stretches to the moderating effect of the source credibility that if the information source in the news article is provided by nonprofit organizations(NPO), it can mitigate the effect of political ideology. We performed 2x2x2 vignette experiments in the U.S. and South Korea. The vignette contained 1) partisan matched and cross-matched partisan government agencies (environmental vs. defense agencies), 2) media sources (liberal vs. conservative), and 3) information sources (media’s own vs. international NPO). The preliminary analysis findings from the 1,500 samples across the country revealed that political identity influenced people’s judgments particularly for liberals in both the US and South Korea, meaning that people’s judgments of government agencies were not neutral or equalized to media coverage at individual levels.

In the Shadow of Memory: Experimental Insights into Government Reputation in the Covid-19 Age
PRESENTER: Linsheng He

ABSTRACT. The concept of government reputation is intricately linked to the public perception and the image of governmental bodies. This reputation plays a pivotal role in shaping citizens' trust in government and their compliance with policies, particularly during crises. Central to bolstering government reputation are the government's conduct and proficiency in managing issues, as well as its communication acumen. However, the advent of social media networks has granted the public unprecedented access to a vast reservoir of "memories"—archived events that may be relevant or irrelevant to the government’s conduct and proficiency. These memories serve as a repository of reputation, aiding the public in forming judgments about the government. This study aims to elucidate the causal relationship between the public's memories of past events and their appraisals of government reputation. Additionally, it explores the potential moderating effects that different emotional valences of recollection may exert on this dynamic.

In May 2022, we conducted a between-group laboratory experiment targeting Chinese university students, collecting 178 valid responses. Participants were randomly assigned to treatment groups, recalling different actions of the government during COVID-19, then evaluating its reputation. Our research findings indicate that memories with different emotional valences significantly impact the audience’s appraisals of government reputation. Specifically, compared to positive memories, negative memories led to lower appraisals, a trend consistent across overall and specific reputation dimensions, illustrating memory's nuance impacts.

This study both deepens theoretical insights into how audiences form reputation evaluations through memory and advises public administrators to strategically manage historical narratives for reputation.

08:00-09:30 Session 5H: Street-level bureaucracy in the 21st century: Individual and collective responses to current developments in frontline work
Re-Placing Interaction? Knowledge Sharing among Frontline Workers in Hybrid Work Settings

ABSTRACT. Public organizations are increasingly becoming hybrid work settings, where telework and digitally mediated interaction is an integral part of everyday practice. At the same time, recent studies have highlighted collective aspects of frontline work and documented the importance of, e.g., deliberation, collective decision-making, and team learning, suggesting that knowledge sharing is essential for frontline workers to “learn the ropes” and enhance professional reasoning. This paper addresses the implications of hybrid work settings for knowledge sharing among frontline workers by exploring 1) why and how frontline workers engage in knowledge sharing and 2) how their efforts are enabled and constrained by digitally mediated interaction. The empricial analysis draws on data from ethnographic fieldwork in two highly digitalized and physically dispersed government agencies (the Danish Tax Agency and the Danish Agricultural Agency), encompassing 300+ hours of observations and 39 interviews. Findings show that frontline workers engage in both purposeful and accidental forms of knowledge sharing to facilitate rule interpretation, practice-based learning, and "calibration" of discretion and professional judgment. Purposeful knowledge sharing is enabled and enhanced by digitally mediated interaction when the subject matter is digitalized, and/or knowledge is easily verbalized but is constrained by digitally mediated interaction when the subject matter is "material" and involves sensory and embodied knowledge. Further, the hybrid work setting generally constrains accidental knowledge sharing practices, such as storytelling and listening-in, which are nonetheless of vital importance. The paper contributes with theoretical development regarding the of knowledge sharing in frontline work and provides nuanced insights into the potentials and challenges associated with knowledge sharing in hybrid work settings.

Zooming in on reflective practices at the street-level: Dimensions and processes of reflection and their consequences in social service provision
PRESENTER: E. Lianne Visser

ABSTRACT. In this paper, we examine ways in which reflection in street-level practices can unfold and suggest how this can shape street-level decision-making in different manners. Reflective practice has been a topic of research for several decades (Schön 1983; Yanow and Tsoukas 2009), but has mainly focused on individual processes. We observed that street-level practitioners collectively reflect on cases through talk, motivating the aim to better comprehend reflection in street-level work. Making use of the literature on reflective practice in various disciplines, we develop a theoretical framework for the study of reflection in street-level work, teasing out five dimensions that help use comprehend and analyze reflective practices in street-level work. We argue that reflection is a layered process, which can focus on ongoing cases, on work practices and processes, and on the organization or the identity of workers and clients. Next, drawing on 300 hours of ethnographic fieldwork amongst child and family practitioners in the Netherlands, we zoom in on interactional patterns on the shop floor and analyze how reflection takes place in street-level work. Based on the analysis, we develop new insights into how reflection unfolds that helps us extend and refine the theoretical framework. All in all, our insights contribute to the street-level literature by extending the perception that most street-level work is enacted through simplified, rather static coping mechanisms and role perceptions (Lipsky, 2010; Zacka, 2017).

Can Integrative Public Leadership be Extended to Frontline Leaders?
PRESENTER: Maira Souza

ABSTRACT. Established scholarship highlights integrative public leadership (IPL) as a driver of collaboration involving high-level, executive leaders that furthers collaboration among organizations, but has not addressed its relevance for frontline leaders (Crosby & Bryson, 2010; Hsieh & Liou, 2018). We propose to define IPL for frontline leaders as “an approach to developing collaboration between leaders and colleagues for the purpose of developing strategic insight into the leader's work unit challenges and increasing resources for addressing them”. IPL helps frontline leaders and organizations to find solutions to complex problems of units’ work, increase outside-organizational networks, and contribute to generating public value. The research question motivating the proposal is “How is IPL applied to frontline leaders?” As the work of frontline leaders is becoming more complex, it requires abilities to develop collaboration across actors from various organizations which is relevant to many millions of frontline leaders in public organizations world-wide (O’Leary et al., 2010). We propose that IPL is construct with three interconnected behaviors: (i) integrating thinking which is the broad view of the problems by mapping actors and alternative solutions (Atwater, 2008); (ii) boundary-spanning behavior which is developing and using social capital to establish partnerships (Yuanmei et al., 2022) and (iii) integrative structures, and processes which is the articulation of organizational processes to collaborative work (McGuire & Silvia, 2009). Incipient research indicates that separately these skills matter for executive performance and work attitudes. This paper will present initial results from interviews that further inform the theoretical construct, including possible criterion validity.

The Effect of Institutional Discretion on Occupational self-efficacy of Social Welfare SLB: The Roles of Organizational Degree and Communication as a Moderating Variables

ABSTRACT. In the social welfare policy process, frontline bureaucrats' discretion has been an important issue due to its direct impact on policy outcomes and welfare recipients. However, previous studies have focused on the phenomenon of frontline bureaucrats' discretionary behavior and have neglected to measure the institutional attributes of discretion. Therefore, this study focuses on the debate on institutional discretion and examines the impact of changes in institutional discretion on the professional self-efficacy of frontline social welfare bureaucrats. In this relationship, we examine how organizational communication and organizational hierarchical level moderates the effect of institutional discretion on self-efficacy. Using data from social welfare workers in South Korea, this study analyzes the relationship between variables using multiple regression analysis. The results of this study will be used to discuss and suggest implications for frontline bureaucrats' institutional discretion that can ultimately improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the social welfare policy delivery process.

08:00-09:30 Session 5I: Networks and Public-Private Partnerships
Understanding and developing accountability arrangements for purpose-oriented networks: The value of design research
PRESENTER: Roman Pankow

ABSTRACT. Organizations are increasingly challenged to collaborate with other organizations to respond to complex, boundary-crossing social issues (Huxham & Vangen, 2005; Provan & Kenis, 2008). While such collaborations in organizational networks are becoming more important, they raise the question of how supervision and accountability in and of these networks can be designed to contribute to, rather than hinder, the ability to address complex challenges. Inspectorates, regulators, and supervisory boards have traditionally focused on the accountability of individual organizations, but the question is what new practices are needed for the accountability of organizational networks (Ehren & Perryman, 2018). We argue that developing these practices poses a different challenge for networks than for traditional organizations.

Following recent advances in design-oriented approaches in policy and governance (Romme & Meijer, 2020; Van Buuren et al., 2020), we show how design research can contribute to understanding and developing new supervision and accountability arrangements for organizational networks in co-creation with network and regulatory actors. We argue that design research with its focus not on what is but on what can be (Van Aken, 2004) is well-suited for purpose-oriented networks where multiple organizations, with their own organizational goals, consciously affiliate around a shared purpose (Nowell & Milward, 2022). The paper draws on focus groups with eight networks and their regulators in education, healthcare, social housing, and public safety in the Netherlands. Based on these findings requirements for new arrangements for supervision and accountability are formulated and principles for design in the multi-actor setting of purpose-oriented networks are developed.

Unpacking the mechanism linking public-private innovation partnerships and public value creation in digital-era governance

ABSTRACT. Public-Private Innovation Partnerships (PPIP) is a collaborative model in which governments and private entities jointly produce innovative public services and achieve value-based outcomes. When evaluating the potential of PPIP to achieve collaborative project objectives, previous studies tend to focus on their utility for innovation processes or results. However, it is crucial for public managers to also gain insight into the creation of public value, which seeks to fulfil collective expectations and social benefits within such hybrid governance arrangements, particularly due to the potential for the governance surrounding innovation to restrict or suppress the public dimension. Public value cannot be achieved solely by the individual ingredients, but rather through the combined recipe of PPIP arrangements. In light of these considerations, this study aims to investigates which configurational conditions, including legitimacy and authority, operational capability, resources, and information sharing, contribute to public value creation in PPIPs, by conducting a fuzzy set qualitative analysis of the innovative reform of the 12345 hotlines in China. The results indicate the rules-binding governance pattern, driven by contractual governance and risk management, enhances the material public value. The norms-sharing governance pattern, driven by relational governance, promotes procedural public value. The knowledge co-production governance pattern harmoniously bridges both material and procedural public value.

Joint Private Provision of Social Good: A Mixed-Method Examination of Nonprofit-Business Collaboration from Multiple Streams

ABSTRACT. Cross-sector collaboration has witnessed a surge in recent decades, driven by governmental devolution, collaborative governance, and the increasing complexity of social challenges. This study explores the motivations behind cross-sector collaboration between the nonprofit and business sectors to jointly provide social good. Specifically, we chose the empirical setting of Chinese charitable trusts, which emerged as a novel nonprofit avenue following the enactment of China's first Charity Law in 2016. The law designated charities and for-profit trust companies as eligible trustees, creating potentials for collaboration.

Drawing from multiple theoretical streams, including resource dependency, transaction cost, and institutional theories, we employed a mixed-method design to analyze both quantitative data from 1,227 charitable trust filing documents and qualitative data from 31 semi-structured interviews conducted with key stakeholders of charitable trusts around the Spring of 2023. We utilized multivariate logistic regression modeling and thematic analysis to scrutinize the data.

Our quantitative analysis indicates that the likelihood of forming formal collaborations increases with growing trust asset size, term, and a positive temporal trend. The thematic analysis of the qualitative data provides richer explanations for the motivations behind cross-sector collaboration between nonprofits and for-profit trust companies. While the findings deepen our understanding of the regression results, new themes emerged, such as instances of cost-ineffective collaboration due to innovation and policy advocacy considerations within the evolving institutional environment.

These findings contribute to the literature on cross-sector collaboration, offering insights into the specific factors that drive joint private provision of public goods in a non-Western context.

Hybrid coordination for seamless digital services in the public sector: the case of Norwegian life events

ABSTRACT. This paper aims to explore how to strengthen the coordination of seamless digital services in the public sector. Digitally connected services are seen as a remedy, but several structural and cultural barriers limit collaboration between different actors responsible for the creation of unified services across sectors, businesses, and levels of government. In addition, the development of seamless digital services requires a thorough understanding of users’ needs and potential, regardless of who provides the service. Accordingly, we argue that novel coordination practices such as hybrid coordination balancing between cultural and structural (vertical and horizontal) mechanisms (Lægreid et al. 2015) would strengthen the creation of collaborative platforms (Ansell and Gash 2018) that constitute seamless digital services in the public sector. Then, Meijer & Boon (2021) suggest a multi-layered perspective on platforms for co-creation in the public sector involving four layers: technological, governance, individual and societal. In this paper, we placed particular emphasis on the governance layer to understand the coordination of relational patterns between various actors in the co-creation of seamless digital services in Norway. We involve a multiple case study (Yin 2018) of seven “life events” being the most central initiatives for the implementation of seamless digital services in Norway. Using document analysis and interviews with project coordinators of each life event, we suggest the cultural and structural mechanisms that are necessary to overcome barriers to cross-sectoral coordination in creating digital seamless services. Doing so, this article makes main contributions to the literature on collaborative governance in the digital age.

08:00-09:30 Session 5J: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Building Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Systems: A Liberatory Public Service Approach
PRESENTER: Rashmi Chordiya

ABSTRACT. In the wake of the widespread and resonating demands voiced during the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement and the increased awareness of anti-Black racism on both national and global scales, there is an emerging and pressing need within public service organizations to place a greater emphasis on sustainably investing in initiatives aimed at fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and liberatory justice (DEILJ). In this context, we propose a comprehensive framework of Liberatory Public Service (LPS) to examine and address the historical and systemic injustices and advance the work of building liberatory systems. We understand liberatory public service (LPS) as a vision, a process, and a practice of creating the conditions for liberation to emerge through alignments across policy work, administrative work, structure and culture change work, and leadership praxis that serves- ‘all means all’ public. It involves the systematic removal of oppressive policies, administrative, and cultural barriers, one step at a time, until we collectively eliminate all forms of oppressive policies, administrative, and cultural barriers. LPS is not about simply dismantling structures or removing burdens to create a void. LPS is about replacing burdensome systems and procedures that are exclusionary, marginalizing, causing hurt and harm, with nourishing systems, inclusive cultures, procedures, and infrastructures that are rooted in collective work, accountability, transparency, demonstrate care, are trauma-informed, healing oriented and compassionately centering the margins. Our paper will thus discuss the theoretical building blocks, the core values, principles and practice of LPS. We will also reflect on challenges, rewards, and possibilities to move forward.

Client Perceptions of Bans on State-Funded Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs
PRESENTER: Vicki Lavastida

ABSTRACT. Equity is a pillar of Public Administration, yet many within the field argue that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs appear to be under attack across many institutions in states with Republican-led legislatures. DEI programs in these states are being labeled as discriminatory initiatives that seek to marginalize majority populations. These shifts in attitudes surrounding DEI raise a wide range of issues for work on equity in public administration, but much of the rhetoric about the politicization of DEI in public organizations focuses on policymakers and broader citizen attitudes about equity-focused work. We know much less about how clients of public organizations, the primary targets and beneficiaries of these shifts, view these policy changes.

On December 13, 2023, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed Executive Order 2023-31, banning the use of public funding for all diversity, equity, and inclusion programs from state funded colleges, universities, and public agencies. While Stitt claims it is to protect citizens’ tax dollars, DEI programs have only accounted for three tenths of one percent of all higher education funding over the last decade (Walker 2023). We will administer a survey to Oklahoma college undergraduates, the clients of these DEI programs, to determine their views on the elimination of DEI programs and activities on state campuses. We expect to find that students already experiencing marginalization will perceive the loss of DEI programming negatively, reducing equity-driven outcomes in terms of increased negative stereotypes, increased microaggressions, and a reduced moral reason through negative interactions.

Do administrative burdens affect the supply of government benefits? Evidence from landlords and the Housing Choice Voucher Program
PRESENTER: Heidi Wallace

ABSTRACT. Extant literature on administrative burdens and the social safety net has almost exclusively focused on barriers faced by potential beneficiaries (demand-side barriers). There is relatively little evidence on how administrative burdens affect the supply of services or benefits. In this project, we apply the administrative burden framework to study landlord participation in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The HCV program provides low-income Americans with subsidies to rent homes on the private market, and is one of the largest anti-poverty programs in the country. Yet, the success of the HCV program depends on private landlords, whose participation determines both the supply and the location of available housing.

In two large-scale surveys (N = 1,088, N = 452) and 59 in-depth interviews, we document large compliance and psychological barriers to landlord participation in voucher programs. We then report results from a large-scale field experiment in which we test behaviorally-informed methods of reducing these burdens and increasing landlord engagement in voucher programs (N = 120,554).

We show that landlords respond to administrative barriers in ways unique to their position as a supplier – rather than beneficiary – of housing. Landlords explicitly and implicitly factor in learning, compliance, and psychological costs when assessing the risk associated with renting to tenants with housing vouchers, but framing the program and tenants differently can significantly impact their interest in the HCV program. This research contributes to and extends existing literature on burdens, and points to a highly understudied area for future research: supply of affordable housing.

Gender Representation and Organizational Outcomes: Does Equity Matter?
PRESENTER: Jungin Choe

ABSTRACT. This study addresses the question of whether and how representative bureaucracy improves the overall organizational outcomes using the context of South Korea. We focus on three dimensions of gender representation in public institutions: gender representation at (1) leadership, (2) executive, and (3) employee levels. This study also pays special attention to the varying levels of gender equity in public institutions as a condition that changes the gender representation and organizational outcomes linkage. Studies in representative bureaucracy have emphasized that inequity inherently exists within public organizations and can influence representation effects (Nicholson-Crotty et al., 2011; Hong, 2017). Specifically, studies on gender representation show that contextual factors such as high gender equality and political support for women are crucial in enhancing the positive impact of bureaucratic representation (An, Song, and Meier, 2022). We examine whether the theoretical discussions and empirical evidence on representation, outcomes, and pre-existing equity conditions in other countries hold true in the context of recent public institutions in South Korea. The study employs a mixed-method approach within the context of public institutions in South Korea. Through ordinal logit analysis and in-depth interviews with public employees, the preliminary results show that female CEOs have a significant effect on achieving higher performance ranks in Korean public institutions. Furthermore, we found that the positive effects of women in higher-ranking positions on organizational outcomes are more likely to be strengthened in public institutions with a higher level of gender equity.

08:00-09:30 Session 5K: Civic Engagement
Measurements and drivers of public engagement in a hybrid regime’s policy process: a case of Thailand

ABSTRACT. Thailand has established and maintained variations of democratic practices including direct public participation, despite its political regime oscillating along the democracy-autocracy line. Scholars have a substantial understanding of what drives the existence and the varying forms of public engagement in democratic contexts (e.g. Arnstein 1969; Coursey, Yang, and Pandey 2012; Fung 2006; Nabatchi and Leighninger 2015; Neshkova 2014) with some studies on single-party authoritarian regimes (e.g. Meng, Pan, and Yang 2017), but we know little about the practice in a more unstable political environment.

In this research, I ask what existing forms of public engagement Thai bureaucrats use in the policymaking process, and what drives these different variations. I will present a framework to study bureaucratic-led public engagement that allows for variations in the dynamics between bureaucratic agencies and political regime. Within the framework, I present a set of hypotheses about the effects of organizational characteristics (including the agency’s resources and its relationship with the political sphere), aggregated individual bureaucrats’ characteristics, and policy issue’s characteristics on the variations of public engagement. I operationalize the characteristics of public engagement based on Fung (2006)’s Democracy Cube, but adjust it using interview data of Thai bureaucrats. To test the hypotheses, I use multilevel analysis on original survey data collected from Thai bureaucrats in 8 offices as well as administrative data. I expect bureaucrat’s public service motivation, bureaucrat’s attitude toward democracy, agency’s political autonomy, organizational culture, policy issue’s media attention, and legal mandate to be potential drivers for the variations.

Citizen Participation and Local Governance: The Moderating Role of Local Policy Fairness
PRESENTER: Jiyoung Jun

ABSTRACT. Citizen participation in addressing social issues is critical to effective community development. In this study, we applied the framework of citizen participation in collaborative governance to explore under which circumstances local government efforts can promote citizen participation. Using a quasi-experimental method with large-scale citizen survey data in South Korea, the preliminary findings suggest that citizens are more inclined to engage in social issues when they perceive their local governance structure to be effective and when the policies implemented by the local government are fair and equitable. However, an intriguing paradox emerges, revealing that policy fairness level plays a unique role. Citizens who reported high levels of policy fairness are less likely to engage in local issues with an effective governance structure than those who reported low levels of fairness in policy. On the other hand, the local policy fairness level positively moderates citizens with an ineffective local governance structure. This paper contributes to understanding citizen participation in local governance by shedding light on the intricate dynamics between perceptions of governance effectiveness, policy fairness, and citizen participation. It underscores the need for policymakers to carefully balance these factors to foster active citizen involvement in addressing social challenges. Ultimately, this study holds implications for designing and implementing strategies that promote robust citizen participation and collaborative problem-solving within local communities.

The Democratic Character of Public Encounters: Theory and Evidence from the UK and Italy
PRESENTER: Silvia Cannas

ABSTRACT. We present a novel approach for examining the democratic content of public encounters, or direct focused interactions between unelected public and private agents. While public encounters have inspired robust literatures (e.g., Bartels 2013), we contend that existing work has not congealed around questions of democracy. First, we build an analytic framework that relates the experience of public encounter to the belief systems of the individuals it involves. Second, building on recent normative arguments about democratically responsible public administration (Bertelli 2021; Bertelli and Schwartz 2023) we show how certain public encounters have important democratic content and the potential to reshape the belief systems of those involved. Third, to provide an initial test of these normative expectations in two ways. A pair of survey experiments examine how knowledge and explanations of administrative procedures influence respondents' perceptions of the importance of normative principles and perceptions of responsible action in general population samples from the UK and Italy (AsPredicted #153557). Adapting a recent methodological innovation in the political knowledge literature (Kraft 2023), a mixed methods study explores if and to what extent exposure to democracy-preserving encounters influences respondents' understandings of the administrative process and its underlying normative principles in a general population sample from the UK (AsPredicted #153552). All three surveys will be fielded in December 2023 with results analyzed in January 2024. Finally, we argue that our analytic framework provides insights that encourage the empirical program on public encounters to address explicitly democratic considerations.

08:00-09:30 Session 5L: Civil Service Systems
Permanent Secretaries’ Tenure in the UK: A Glass Cliff?

ABSTRACT. Do women at the highest echelons of public administration face a “glass cliff” (Ryan and Haslam 2005) – a systematically more difficult environment, shortening their tenure relative to men? The “glass cliff” argument suggests that women have a higher chance for promotion to senior positions during difficult periods for an organization. There is generally a limited supply of senior positions and informal hurdles for women to enter them, but their chances are slightly higher during periods of (perceived) low performance. Alas, once promoted to senior positions, it is likely that low organizational performance will be attributed to women, making their tenure more precarious. This mechanism has been found in the private sector. To determine whether it applies to the public sector too, we examine the top of the British Civil Service, the archetype of a merit system. Among the most senior positions in the British Civil Service are Permanent Secretaries, who run the administrative side of cabinet departments. We have an existing data set of all UK Permanent Secretaries from 1976 to 2016. Preliminary findings from Cox proportional hazards survival models show that women face a higher hazard of their tenure ending than men, controlling for political changes. For a stronger test, we are extending the data set to the end of the 2023/24 financial year (March 30, 2024) and adding additional covariates, in particular proxies for perceptions of departmental performance: ministerial resignations, negative media attention, and the presence of budget cuts above and beyond any government-wide ones.

The Impacts of the Political Environment on the Public Sector Labor Market: Assessing the 2019 US Federal Government Shutdown
PRESENTER: William Resh

ABSTRACT. United States federal government shutdowns have long been viewed as signs of government dysfunction. As shutdowns increase in frequency and length for the US federal government, it is not difficult to postulate that such dysfunction might have an impact on the federal government in terms of its agencies’ relative ability to recruit the talent necessary to prevent loss of capacity and further dysfunction. However, we know little about the effects of these phenomena on the US federal civil service labor market. In this paper, we examine the effects on the inflow dynamics of the federal labor market using (among other data) several hundred thousand job posting and applicant observations from USAJobs.gov and USAStaffing.gov across open lines in the federal government from 2018 to 2023. We focus on the 2018-2019 shutdown and its intervening impact of the 2018-2019 shutdown on the federal labor market. We implement various empirical strategies based on the unit of analysis, e.g., individual, agency, job posting, and the structure of the data, e.g., time-series and cross-sectional. In sum, government shutdowns might have immense influence on the US civil service labor market. In this study, we analyze how this may affect potential applicants of public service. We expect that our work will contribute to the executive politics and public administration scholarship along with providing important insights for practitioners.

Personality Traits and Perceptions of Agency Politicization

ABSTRACT. This study explores the role of the Big Five personality traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) in shaping federal employees' perceptions of politicization within their workplaces. While previous public administration research using these traits has primarily focused on performance and job satisfaction (with some notable exceptions), our large-scale survey of federal employees in the United States examines how these personality traits influence the extent to which formal politicization affects perceived politicization. We find that more Neurotic respondents perceive a greater degree of politicization as formal politicization increases, with more modest effects identified for more Conscientiousness. The paper concludes by discussing potential variations in outcomes due to these differences in perceptions and suggests interventions that public agencies can implement to mitigate any negative consequences associated with specific personality profiles. Further investigation of these issues is left to future research.

Forming a measurement index for institutional public-service motivation in state civil service systems
PRESENTER: Gene A. Brewer

ABSTRACT. This paper extends an earlier study that took steps to develop an institutional measure of public-service motivation (Taylor, Brewer & Ripoli, 2022). That earlier article laid the theoretical groundwork for the measure and advanced a set of propositions to assess construct validity and guide future research. This paper takes the next steps: first, we compile a set of measurement indicators and form a combined measurement index; second, we present evidence of construct validity. The unit of analysis for this study is state civil service systems, which are bulwarks of public employment and latent public-service motivation in countries across the world. We begin by assembling an original dataset containing indicators from archival sources that measure all four dimensions of institutional public-service motivation: public-service orientation, legitimacy, merit, and support. These indicators come from a handful of international datasets, including the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, the University of Gothenburg’s Quality of Governance data, and Oxford University’s International Civil Service Effectiveness Index. We then employ appropriate statistical methods to refine and validate the index. This approach to forming an institutional measurement index has solid precedents in economics, management, and political science. If developed properly, the index will bring coherence to existing research on public-service motivation since institutional assumptions underlay virtually all past research on the topic. The index will also be scalable since institutions are encompassing and inclusive (March & Olsen, 1989). Researchers may therefore deploy the index to study institutional public-service motivation in workgroups, organizations, and networks.

08:00-09:30 Session 5M: Comparative Public Administration
Immortal (as long as political leadership is weak): The survival of Japanese government agencies 2001-2021

ABSTRACT. Kaufman famously described government agencies as “immortal”, meaning their continuation is assured once they are established. Many studies have examined this claim by attempting to identify patterns of organizational change in modern government and their underlying reasons. The bulk of this work has focused on western countries, with only limited case studies available for Asia and other global regions. This paper aims to widen understanding of transitions in government agencies and the wider institutional context by focusing on the case of Japanese public agencies (i.e., Incorporated Administrative Agencies (IAAs)). Japanese government was modernized according to the Westminster model. However, its political-administrative institutions have some unique features which set it aside from western counterparts, but have parallels with other Asian countries. This case study improves our understanding of how non-western features of government impact agency transitions and the role played by political leadership. We have developed a survival dataset of IAAs from 2001 to 2021, including the key political and administrative variables. The analysis suggests that political leaders (i.e., prime ministers) tend to adopt non-structural cosmetic transitions to agencies, such as renaming/rebranding, as part of public service reforms. However, political longevity is an important factor since short-lived leaders tend to make little or no impact. Our findings shed light not only on the internal workings of Japanese government, but also on the importance of local political realities in shaping patterns of agency transitions and thus helps to broaden the scope of the literature in this field beyond western contexts.

Making top managers in the public sector: A systems-based study of how senior executives thrive in government

ABSTRACT. Numerous studies suggest that top public managers’ attributes and processes positively influence organizational outcomes and are shaped by environmental factors. Yet, the processes and dynamics whereby these influences occur remain largely unexplored. We draw on systems theories and conducted eight cases of long-serving senior public executives in Chile, including 28 semi-structured interviews, to explore the interaction between senior managers, the organization they led, and their relevant environment. We found that top managers’ public service motivation can also be developed over time and is not necessarily a value required before taking up managerial roles. Still, for the first senior managers assuming roles in the early 90s, their public service motivation was particularly shaped by a pre-existent commitment to consolidate the first democratic government after the dictatorship. The qualitative results also suggest that top managers crafted incremental organizational strategies based on a careful understanding of their organization and its environment—mainly driven by regular interactions with employees and their participation in key decision-making opportunities. Senior managers also strategized based on strong citizen-centered public management reform values. Top managers require and use key distinctive skills and managerial processes to influence organizations, including solid technical skills that shield organizations from political interferences and legitimize them, as well as thoughtful talent management and team-building practices. These qualitative findings provide a deeper understanding of how public managers succeed in leading public organizations.

Environmental de-sectorization in Brazil: actors, instruments and challenges

ABSTRACT. Public action instrumentation (Halpern, Lascoumes, Le Galès, 2014), allows to observe the mediations between State and Society, the combination of devices and the role of values in public policies. Considering the challenges recently suffered by environmental institutions in Brazil, it is argued here that an instrumentation of de-sectorization (Jacquot, Halpern, 2015; Muller, 2018) occurred between 2019 and 2022 in the environmental sector, constituting a rupture with a half-century process of sectoral autonomization (Araújo, 2013). Although historically forged amidst contradictions, Brazilian environmental institutions have faced, during the rise of the far-right to the Federal Executive Branch, their largest setbacks: actors, instruments, institutions and logics were treated as obstacles to be subjected to external interests. Controversies engaging bureaucracy, the judiciary branch and civil society against federal government politicians have increased in the period, once the main governance processes and regulations effectively decreased possibilities of inspection, political participation, protection and sustainable use of environmental resources (Gomide et al, 2022; Daugeard et al, 2023; Silva, Lunelli, 2022; WWF, 2022; Grossi, Medeiros, 2022; Lotta et al, 2022; Observatório do Clima, 2022). Public action instrumentation analysis in federal Brazilian environmental institutions is carried out through a sectoral genealogy (Foucault, 2008), and provides a more specific dense qualitative study on how anti-environmentalist values have effectively operated, demonstrating a policy dismantling dynamic (Bauer, Knill, 2012) through de-sectorization. In the process, an economicist motto found legitimacy and support among large landowners and other broad social groups that have elected the bolsonarist political project.

09:45-11:15 Session 6A: Percolator: IRSPM Practice Panel SIG in co-operation with IRSPM Networks and Governance SIG Bridging Theory to Practice and Practice to Theory: Learning from Challenges and Successes of Academics and Seattle Practitioners
IRSPM Practice Panel SIG in co-operation with IRSPM Networks and Governance SIG Bridging Theory to Practice and Practice to Theory: Learning from Challenges and Successes of Academics and Seattle Practitioners

ABSTRACT. The conventional challenge for researchers and scholars in the university sector is to demonstrate the relevance of their work both on and for practitioners and public policy decision-makers (Dunlop 2019). The expectation is that the value contribution to these relationships is one of theory building and insights, drawn from frameworks and empirical studies. We propose creating a discussion space for a dialogue between both scholars and practitioners that will help close the loop by explicitly addressing how practice informs theory building (Bryer et al., 2020).

Creating space for reciprocal relationships between practitioners and academics informs theory building and practice (Young & Tanner, 2022), and can also shape the ongoing professional development of practitioners and politicians at all levels (O’Flynn 2014). This international panel is convened by experts in community engagement and networks, who are joined by US-based academics and practitioners with direct experience in developing and sustaining engaged relationships. We will include public management practitioners from the conference host city of Seattle to root the dialogue in the experiences of the city. We will explore the lived experiences and professional knowledge of local practitioners and academics who have contributed valuable work to the academy (McDonald, McCandless, & Minkowitz, 2023).

These safe spaces for dialogue allow for more open and participatory exchange, in which questions of power, knowledge creation (who does it and how is it shared), and developing trust and confidence become foreground. In doing so, this panel will facilitate deeper sharing and learning than in a conventional academic panel.

09:45-11:15 Session 6B: Lightning talks: Organization theory and management topics
Theorizing Why Citizens’ Ethical Expectations Differ By Sector

ABSTRACT. This presentation shares qualitative and quantitative findings regarding the influence of different sectors on citizens’ ethical evaluations. The paper seeks to understand if citizens assess misbehavior and corruption differently based on the sector involved. The researchers investigate multiple mechanisms and theories to explain how ethical expectations might differ, especially in the public sector. These include ownership dimensions of publicness theory, expectations Violation Theory (EVT), and endowment effect.

Grassroots public servants’ kinship: how this family tie affects their work performance?
PRESENTER: Tianhang Cui

ABSTRACT. Public administration scholars have emphasized the significance of high-quality workplace relationships for public servant's work performance. However, there is a notable gap in research regarding the impact of kinship ties, particularly among relatives working in government as well. Informed by social capital theory, this research addressed this gap by surveying 264 grassroots civil servants in a Chinese province. It found that those with government-employed relatives outperformed peers absent such ties, demonstrating heightened task performance and more service-oriented organizational citizenship behaviors (SO-OCB). Government-employed relatives provide pivotal resources: directly through augmented social support enhancing career adaptability and task performance; indirectly by facilitating vicarious learning that bolster felt obligation, augmenting SO-OCB. These findings set the stage for further examination into the nuanced effects of kinship ties on civil servant work behaviors, carrying potent repercussions for refining public sector staffing and management approaches.

Coping with Competing Institutional Logics in Policy Implementation
PRESENTER: Manlin Xiao

ABSTRACT. Recent studies have explored the coping behaviors of street-level bureaucrats; however, little has been written about the institutional antecedents of coping behaviors. This paper examines how macro-level institutional influences, specifically competing institutional logics, give rise to meso-level organizational conflicts and micro-level coping behaviors among street-level bureaucrats. We examine street-level bureaucrats in China's environmental protection bureaus (EPBs), a regulatory agency adhering to a strong developmental state logic. Due to the fragmented authoritarian political system, environmental policy implementation in the Chinese context is especially susceptible to competing institutional logics. Drawing on semi-structured interviews and archival data, we identified the presence of both developmental state logic and regulatory state logic during environmental policy implementation in China. We observed that regulatory state logic increases the workload and accountability of street-level bureaucrats, while developmental state logic limits the power and resources available to enforcement officials. These competing institutional logics result in unclear responsibilities, expanding the number of tasks but constraining resources, and creating pressure for enforcement officials while providing few rewards. This, in turn, leads to the coping behaviors of street-level bureaucrats. This research offers a novel perspective through which to comprehend the impacts of competing institutional logics on individual coping, suggesting that attributing performance difficulties solely to job-related factors is inadequate. Our findings also hold significant implications for future policy implementation, emphasizing the need for policymakers and bureaucrats to recognize that conflicting goals and mandates can place street-level bureaucrats under considerable pressure and create challenges that they alone cannot resolve.

Co-creating a hybrid workplace policy: An Irish case study

ABSTRACT. We present a collaborative, Policy Development Framework through the empirical study of an Irish national public sector organisation developing a hybrid work policy. This policy aims to promote a high-performance culture while allowing employees greater flexibility to work from wherever they are most productive. Delivered through a co-creative workshop, the framework is broken into four phases: Phase 1: Identify and prioritize all formal and informal tasks; Phase 2: Identify what is required (resources, location and time of day for completion) to undertake these tasks; Phase 3: Explore, identify and justify the optimum method to complete these tasks; and Phase 4: Cross-share key learnings between participant departments. The learning value is not in the resulting policy itself – these are specific to the organisation in which it is being applied – but in the framework through which it is developed. The case study is instead used to provide tangible key learnings of the framework application and co-creative practice for the public sector. Now in a year of operation, a brief overview of the policy performance at the time of the conference will also be provided.

“Task Complexity and Performance Management in an Era of Technological-Based Learning: Evidence from State Unemployment Insurance Programs.”
PRESENTER: Ji-Hyeun Hong

ABSTRACT. Public administration scholars have generated important insights into the challenges of organizational learning in administrative systems (e.g., Argyris and Schon 1978; Moynihan and Landuyt 2009). The proposed study advances a novel explicit dynamic (temporal) account of organizational learning by evaluating learning processes resulting from an administrative procedural change, and how it substantively effects the quality of administrative performance. This substantive problem is analyzed in the highly salient application of technological change resulting in the transition between in-person to automated case processing of state unemployment insurance compensation (UIC) programs in the American states.

Our theory of organizational learning is rooted in the differential task complexity (i.e., low: monetary eligibility determinations; high: non-monetary eligibility determinations) in which administrative decisions are made, as reflected by administrative error reduction for state unemployment compensation claimant cases. Simply, this theory will be further developed by seeking to demonstrate how the experience level of street-level bureaucrats and the type of state agency head can systematically alter the learning rate for high task complexity administrative errors, but not for low task complexity administrative errors.

Monthly administrative panel data on case errors for the fifty American states from 2002-2022 (N × T = 50 × 252 = 12,600 total observations) are analyzed using nonparametric regression methods that are uniquely able to identify learning processes while avoiding restrictive statistical assumptions. Our proposed study will offer insights into the conditions regarding how public agencies are able to effectively adapt in performing administrative tasks in response to technological changes.

Management Strategies to Reduce Turnover Intention: The Role of Training, Professional Development, Compensation and Benefits

ABSTRACT. The great resignation and long-standing effects of COVID-19 have contributed to the “human capital crisis” in public sector agencies. The inability to retain employees results in increased organizational costs, reduction in public service delivery, and failure to achieve organizational goals. Management strategies improve employees' job satisfaction, motivation and increase retention. Theories of motivation note that employees may be motivated to stay with an employer through varying incentives --- and that those incentives may feed into one’s professional needs and personal needs. Building on content theories of motivation (i.e., Herzberg’s two factor theory), this research examines whether management practices related to training and development, and compensation and benefits reduces turnover intention in public sector employees. A binomial logistic regression analysis of 1,210 public procurement professionals in the United States demonstrate that not all personnel management strategies have the same effect on turnover intention. Only certain strategies associated with training and development, and compensation and benefits are related to lower turnover intention. Offering sufficient training opportunities to keep one’s knowledge and skills up to date and receiving fair and practical feedback from a direct manager to improve one’s work are more effective than other training and development strategies. In terms of compensation and benefits, satisfaction with one’s salary and offering flexible work arrangements are related to lower turnover intention more than other strategies. Findings offer theoretical contributions and practical implications highlighting specific management techniques that reduce turnover intention in public sector employees.

What influences Public Officers’ Quality of Life: Comparison by Job Tenure
PRESENTER: Juhyeon Jeong

ABSTRACT. The global focus on enhancing Quality of Life (QOL) is evident, with public organizations aligning policies to ensure public well-being. Yet, the QOL of "public officers" is often overlooked. In order to prevent disengagement from the public sector and ultimately increase the efficiency of the public service, it is necessary to take a closer look at the factors that affect the QOL of public officers and propose effective organizational and human resource management measures to improve their QOL. Unlike other previous studies that mainly focus on the deterioration of the QOL of low-year public officers, this study focuses on the deterioration of the QOL of not only low-year but high-year public officers due to a decrease in Quality of Work Life. To this end, this study analyzed the impact of workplace Existence, Relatedness, and Growth factors on QOL based on Spillover theory and Alderfer's ERG theory, and examined whether the impact varies by job tenure. The results showed that excessive workload significantly impacts QOL for public officers with ≤10 years' service, while growth factors improve QOL for all in common. These findings suggest the need for a structural change in which job analyses are properly conducted to avoid overburdening low-year public officers, and that the middle management role is relatively more important. It also suggests that in order to improve the QOL of public officers, it is important to design career paths that allow them to achieve fulfillment and performance in the organization in the long run.

09:45-11:15 Session 6C: Collaborative Platforms and Forums
Budget Allocation Processes for Collaborative Governance

ABSTRACT. Public budget allocation processes offer stakeholders a set of mechanisms for determining how to divide and distribute resources among various policy, organization, and/or program priorities. In this article, we explore budget allocation processes for collaborative governance. Collaborative governance involves a variety of organizations, institutions, and/or stakeholders in the processes of public policy decision making and management. As governments increasingly incentivize and mandate collaborative governance, it is important to investigate how budget allocation decisions impact collaborative outputs and outcomes. To that end, we empirically explore budget allocation processes for collaborative governance in the State of Oregon, United States. Our analysis focuses on two analytical levels – collaborative platforms and collaborative governance regimes – which are used in five policy areas in the state, including public health, natural resources, education, economic development, and public safety. Our analysis is rooted in questions about whether and how public budgeting processes support or constrain collaborative advantage, or the generation of synergies among heterogeneous collaborative partners to achieve outcomes that could not otherwise be achieved. We find that while collaborative platforms are actively engaged in budget allocation, collaborative governance regimes play a more limited role. We also consider how existing collaborative platform grant guidelines may structure collaborative governance regime planning and implementation outputs and outcomes. In our discussion, we broach the idea of including collaboratives in budget allocation processes to fully realize collaborative advantage.

Integrating ecosocial policies through polycentric governance – a study of the green transformation of Danish vocational education and training

ABSTRACT. How can polycentric governance promote the development of ecosocial policies within existing policy systems? Through a study of green reforms of Danish vocational education, the paper argues that polycentric governance institutions are particularly useful at engaging constituent actors in innovation and constructive collaboration over reforming education programs to integrate ecological goals into vocational education. Combining significant autonomy for governance units and their nesting in a larger governance structure, polycentric governance helps address three key governance challenges: Developing agreement among actors with clashing material interests about what green transformation entails; identifying how joint gains can be reached within a common vision of the development of the economy; and setting up an institutional structure that supports continuous adjustment to respond to technological advances and shifting social demands. Polycentric governance is, however, not a panacea. The state thus plays an important role in supporting autonomous governance units to develop ecosocial policies.

Can regional governance organizations foster local public service collaborations? Evidence from a longitudinal study

ABSTRACT. Local government fragmentation and the decentralized administrative system in the US have historically presented formidable challenges in addressing regional public issues (Savitch & Vogel, 2000; Norris, 2001; Bryan & Wolf, 2010). In response to these challenges, several strategies have been developed to promote inter-governmental collaborations (Hamilton et al. 2004; Bollens 1997). Within the collaborative governance literature, Regional Governance Organizations (RGOs) have emerged as pivotal instruments to promote collective action, streamline the delivery of regional public services, and allocate federal/state funds (Wolf & Bryan, 2009; Vissor, 2004; Miller & Nelles, 2020). In the discourse on network governance, RGOs are identified as network administrative organizations that spearhead the coordination among local governments and other key stakeholders (Provan & Kenis 2005). However, considering the inherent disparities in authority between RGOs and traditional governmental entities, and criticisms suggesting that RGOs often confine their activities to non-contentious issues (Wikstrom 1977; Goldman and Deakin 2000; Gainsborough 2001), assessing their effectiveness becomes crucial. This assessment is essential to enhance their capacities and strengthen regional collaborations. While the past two decades have seen an uptick in descriptive studies about RGOs, empirical investigations into their influence on local public service networks are limited. This study seeks to address this gap by utilizing a synthetic control methodology, harnessing longitudinal data to determine whether establishing an RGO can influence local public service networks. By examining the transformations in interlocal public service networks both pre and post the formation of RGOs in Iowa, this research aims to shed light on this issue.

09:45-11:15 Session 6D: Organizational Responses to DEI Challenges
Leader Imprinting and Organizational Shifts Toward Equity: Insights from Community Foundations

ABSTRACT. Recent work conceptualizes purposive organizational action to “build new, equitable organizational arrangements or tear down old, inequitable ones” as racialized change work (McCambly & Colyvas, 2022). This study explores racialized change work in the context of two community foundations with years-long, public commitments to racial equity. While community foundations are public charities, McCambly and Colyvas have argued that the distribution of funds for public good by such grantmaking organizations is public management. We ask: How do leaders guide organizations and stakeholders toward racial equity? Using a qualitative, inductive approach, we analyzed interviews with 24 stakeholders across two community foundations selected based on an embedded two-case study replication design. We found that the CEOs of both organizations experienced institutional imprinting, developing persistent characteristics that reflect prominent features of the institutional environment they worked in as young professionals (Marquis & Tilcsik, 2013). Leader imprinting in turn shaped the trajectory of the racialized change work pursued by each community foundation. For example, the CEO with a nonprofit background developed a collaborative leadership style that engages staff in issue framing and solution ideation. The racialized change work of this community foundation focuses on training staff to be responsible for power and privilege in their daily work and interactions with stakeholders. In contrast, the CEO with a public sector background developed a collaborative governance approach that emphasizes engagement of cross-sector leaders in the racialized change work of the organization. Our findings advance theory and practice at the intersection of leadership and racialized change work.

The Impact of Sexual Harassment on the Federal Workforce Leaky Pipeline: A Focus on Women of Color
PRESENTER: Lauren Dula

ABSTRACT. While women and people of ethnically/racially underrepresented identities have made strides in representation in the Federal bureaucracy, their numbers are still in the minority in leadership positions compared to White men (U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 2022). The most recent reports on federal employment do not disaggregate the intersectional identities of employees. By only breaking out race/ethnicity and gender individually rather than through an intersectional lens, we do not know why there is such a precipitous drop-off for women of color from non-leadership to leadership positions. This research asks three key questions. First, we identify whether women of color are leaving the federal workforce at disparate rates before reaching leadership positions, otherwise known as the leaky pipeline phenomenon (Pell, 1996). Secondly, leaky pipeline discussions also often highlight external issues for women, such as leaving work to raise children. This research seeks to understand whether observing or experiencing sexual harassment in the federal workplace leads women of color to leave before they achieve leadership positions. Finally, we ask whether sexual harassment prevention training helps patch the leaky pipeline and improve the likelihood of women of color staying in federal employment through promotion. As leaky pipeline research frequently focuses on the education and STEM fields (see Blickenstaff, 2005 and Pell 1996 for examples), this research is novel in its focus on the public sector as well as its discussion of the potential impact of sexual harassment in the workplace on individuals of intersecting underrepresented identities.

Understanding AmeriCorps Members' Perspectives of Frustrations: Toward Culturally Competent Volunteer Management

ABSTRACT. Referred to as a "Swiss Army Knife," AmeriCorps holds great promise: for society to build social capital, for communities to receive essential services, and for individual members and volunteers to enhance skills, civic participation, and life satisfaction (Perry et al., 1999). Recent nonprofit scholarship calls for a greater emphasis on a rewarding volunteering experience and the need for volunteer management to be strategic and intentional. AmeriCorps' strategic plan emphasizes bridging differences by connecting individuals of diverse identities to work together in solving pressing community challenges. While prior research examines how members of diverse social classes interpret their service experience (Ceresola, 2015), limited research explores members' experiences of frustrations with a focus on their diverse demographics and social identities and the associated challenges with volunteer management. Therefore, the primary aims of the research were to understand (1) the sources of AmeriCorps members' perceived frustrations during service and (2) the extent to which their frustrations were related to culturally competent volunteer management practices and the lack thereof. Through a collaboration with ServeOhio, the Ohio Commission of Service and Volunteerism, this study completed its data collection and used a qualitative approach through open coding of open-ended responses of AmeriCorps members' surveys during their long-term community service volunteering from five consecutive service years, 2018 to 2022. This research has practical implications for public and nonprofit volunteer managers to identify and address volunteers' experienced frustrations in support of volunteers of diverse identities and a culturally competent public service environment.

Tweeting for Social Justice: Institutional Logics, Black Lives Matter, and Community Foundations’ Social Justice Claims

ABSTRACT. Environmental changes-such as the “racial reckoning” of 2020 have prompted some community foundations--i.e., place-based grantmaking public charities—to use social media to advocate for social change. As anchor institutions in communities, community foundations play an important role in public management by administering grants and addressing local issues. Some have posited community foundations' unique organizational form positions them to engage as local advocates for social change. We might, therefore, expect community foundations to have been attuned and responsive to the “racial reckoning” of 2020. While some community foundations utilized social media to highlight social justice issues and others signaled their commitment to social justice philanthropy by pledging to fund Black-led, anti-racist organizations, not all adopted this approach. This study leverages institutional logics (Thornton & Ocasio, 1999) to examine how field-level and local logics (Lee & Lounsbury, 2015) shape social change advocacy of community foundations in the summer of 2020. We ask: How do field-level and local logics shape the social change advocacy of community foundations? Using community and organizational-level data, including tweets from all identifiable community foundation Twitter accounts, we find that community foundations’ social advocacy is positively associated with local community logic, organization age, and organization size. Our results provide insight into the interaction of field-level and local-level logics for community foundations’ engagement in social change advocacy during the summer of 2020. Our study is the first to examine community foundations’ responses during this period. We advance theory and practice at the intersection of institutional logics and organizational advocacy.

09:45-11:15 Session 6E: Nonprofit Resource Development
Public Perceptions of Nonprofits and Government Agencies: The Influence on Donations and Volunteering
PRESENTER: Grant Mobley

ABSTRACT. Behavioral public administration literature on citizen perceptions has extensively explored the effects of organizational sector, performance, and managerial strategies, but it rarely examines the link between citizen perceptions and subsequent behaviors. This study seeks to fill this gap by examining willingness to donate and volunteer with nonprofits and local government agencies delivering public services. Using a preregistered experiment of 1,600 US respondents, we examine the effect of organizational sector, overhead expense, whether the programs focus on equity, and the diversity of staff composition on citizen perceptions and their donation and volunteering intentions in a 2x2x2x2 design. The findings indicate that all four aspects affect citizen’s evaluations of the organization and citizen satisfaction. Citizens prefer public organizations, those with lower overhead expenses, programs focused on equity, and a diverse staff composition. These preferences translate into a willingness to volunteer with the organization and a willingness to make monetary contributions. Mediation analysis indicates that citizen perceptions of performance fully mediate the effects of overhead expenses and partially mediate the effects of staff compositions on intention to donate and volunteer. This study widens our understanding of how citizen evaluations affect their behaviors, contributing to both the citizen evaluation and nonprofit literatures.

Reforming State Grantmaking to Nonprofit Organizations: A User-Centered Design on Request for Proposals

ABSTRACT. Grantmaking to nonprofits and other community-based groups is an important strategy for the government to serve communities, provide public services, and increase the impact of expenditures. Because of the increasing distrust between government and citizens, especially those from historically marginalized communities, government is also actively searching for ways to attract and work with nonprofits embedded in these communities to increase the reach and accessibility of public grant programs. Requests for proposals (RFPs), as one of the first interactions nonprofits have with government agencies, send strong signals to potential grantees regarding who is eligible and welcome to apply. Governmental leaders need to take the design of RFPs seriously, including ancillary requirements of awarded applicants and the design from the perspectives of nonprofit grantees.

Taking advantage of a multi-sector working group of government leaders, researchers, evidence-based policymaking organizations, and nonprofit state associations (the authors of this proposal represent each of these organizations), we propose to use multiple research methods (including interviews, surveys, and conjoint experiment) to design and market test - with non-profits - a government RFP that is oriented to impact, equity, accessibility, and informed by nonprofits' experiences. With an RFP template based on our findings, we would employ our coalitions' connections to state government leaders and provide technical assistance to help them adopt the template in their grantmaking practices. Working with state and local partners, we will also design a field experiment to test whether such designs make a difference in the effectiveness and accessibility of state grantmaking.

Should nonprofits prioritize self-capacity enhancement or collaboration with public institutions? Different mediating roles of legitimacy in charitable donation acquisition

ABSTRACT. During the COVID-19 epidemic, the methods charitable organizations employ in mobilizing resources and address emergent natural and social disasters have become a global issue. We focus on nonprofit resource acquisition, exploring different mediating roles of legitimacy in the acquisition of charitable donations to differentiate the effects and underlying mechanisms of two commonly intertwined nonprofit strategies (i.e. building self-capacity and collaborating with public institutions). A total of 1131 national-sampled individual questionnaire was collected from respondents during the early COVID-19 outbreak, in which results showed that enhancing organizational self-capacity was more effective in attracting donations compared with collaborating with public institutions. Stronger organizational-capacity was associated with more charitable giving in terms of both giving propensity and giving amount. While cooperation with other institutions was associated with less charitable giving amount. As for the mediation analysis, regulatory and cognitive legitimacy played positive mediating roles in the relationship between organizational capacity and donation propensity. However, cognitive legitimacy may have a negative mediating effect on donation amount. This study distinguishes the different results of the two strategies of building self-capacity and collaborating with public institutions in obtaining donations. At the same time, it explains the potential intermediary role of different types of legitimacy in two strategies. These results are of reference value for nonprofits to choose strategies to obtain donated resources in the future.

09:45-11:15 Session 6F: Regulation and Compliance
The Dynamic Co-evolution of Disruptive Technologies and Regulatory Politics: Evidence from FinTech Industry in China

ABSTRACT. Recent studies suggest three modes of disruptive technologies development and regulation, namely regulatory entrepreneurship, regulatory innovation, and regulatory compliance. However, these studies have not systematically explained the dynamic co-evolution of disruptive technologies and regulation, and how the the co-evolution trajectories are driven by different technology disruptions. By exploring the FinTech industry in China, this paper discovers that disruptive FinTech and regulatory politics exhibit dynamic co-evolution trajectories within the state-dominant order system. When the disruptive impacts of FinTech do not threaten the state's dominance, regulatory authorities tend to support FinTech, exhibiting the regulatory entrepreneurship and innovation co-evolution trajectories. However, when the disruptive impacts of FinTech pose threats to the state's dominance, regulators rapidly shift to the technological compliance trajectory. Additionally, the trajectory of technology-regulation co-evolution is influenced by the nature of technology disruption, with decentralized FinTech facing stricter regulations due to its more fundamental disruptive potential to state’s dominance. By doing so, this study addresses the critical question of how a strong and highly autonomous party-state can maintain its dominance in disruptive technological movements. Our cases of China’s FinTech not only provide comparative examples for different financial regulatory regimes but also has implications for other disruptive technologies.

Bureaucratic Structure and Antitrust Enforcement: A Comparative Case Study of Chinese Antitrust Enforcement for Digital Platforms
PRESENTER: Tianhao Chen

ABSTRACT. In the face of the rapid growth of digital platforms and concerns about the potential concentration of economic power, antitrust regulation has gained increased significance globally. While existing literature predominantly attributes variations in antitrust enforcement to external economic and political factors, this study delves into the comparatively underexplored realm of internal factors, particularly bureaucratic structures. Through a comparative case study of digital antitrust regulation in China, we investigate how bureaucratic configurations influence antitrust enforcement styles. Our proposed 2*2 theoretical framework categorizes structures based on horizontal and vertical specialization, revealing distinct effects on enforcement behaviors. We posit that horizontally consolidated regulators are more proactive in identifying violations, whereas fragmented agencies may shirk responsibilities due to coordination costs and moral hazards. Vertically decentralized regulators consistently focus on specialized missions, while centralized agencies react to shifting political priorities rather than applying independent criteria. Our analysis of four cases with varying organizational configurations provides empirical support for the hypothesized relationships. This study underscores the importance of understanding the "black box" of bureaucratic structures in the realm of antitrust enforcement.

Are we in this together? Exploring inequality-driven mistrust and policy compliance during crisis

ABSTRACT. Effective crisis management relies on citizens complying with government interventions, influenced by their trust in governments. At the same time, inequality affects citizens’ attitudes toward the government, including their trust levels. This relationship poses a crucial theoretical dilemma, due to the unequal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which disproportionately affected marginalized communities in the United States. Compliance with public health guidelines, such as stay-at-home orders, will differ across communities. If inequality shapes trust and this relationship influences compliance, then mitigation efforts will result in unequal resilience in communities. Some scholars, however, argue that compliance with social distance measures is largely influenced by socioeconomic status and inequality. Underserved community members may not have the option to work remotely under stay-at-home orders, resulting in violations of the mandate despite their trust levels. Hence, this study investigates two research questions: Does inequality affect compliance with COVID-19 social distancing measures? Does trust mediate the relationship between inequality and COVID-19 measures? This research utilizes multiple sources of data with a panel data structure at the county level. The dependent variable measures the extent of compliance with stay-at-home orders by using cell phone data to track percentage changes in mobility compared to activities on baseline days before the spread of COVID-19. Two key independent variables are inequality and trust and the control variables include stay-at-home policy, partisanship, residential segregation, and other demographic characteristics. This study will conduct a causal mediation analysis to assess whether trust mediate the relationship between inequality and compliance with government policies.

Social-Ecological Explanations for Variation in NEPA Completion Timelines and Exemptions
PRESENTER: Cory Struthers

ABSTRACT. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) and permitting reforms are back on the political agenda (Baldwin et al. 2019, Struthers et al. 2023). Climate change, social justice, and energy supply are fueling pressures to modify long-standing procedures intended to analyze and mitigate potential environmental damages. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and related state-level policies that require governments to complete EIA have received disproportionate attention in this debate; some argue that environmental assessment policies like these slow and sometimes block necessary actions for clean energy, housing development, and wildfire prevention. Recent evidence suggests that other governing processes such as contracting and implementation take just as long or longer than the NEPA process (Struthers et al. 2023); very little work has been able to explain variation in NEPA completion timelines. We use a combination of novel data, including office budgets and counts of public comments, to investigate the factors driving NEPA completion timelines in the US Forest Service. To reduce dimensionality, we develop a social-ecological archetype for forest communities based on their economy, ruralness, and fire landscape. We use survival analysis to consider whether NEPA completion varies by archetype, and how time-variant factors (like the decision’s public salience and weather hazards), condition timelines within archetypes. Finally, we consider how these covariates associate with the spatial extent and count of categorical exclusions and exemptions from the NEPA process.

09:45-11:15 Session 6G: Gender Inequities
How do Public Employees Prioritize and Use Gender Equity Performance Information?

ABSTRACT. Measures of equity performance are rare, and, unlike effectiveness and efficiency performance, public organizations generally have few and poorer opportunities to assess and monitor their equity performance (Cepiku and Mastrodascio 2021; Charbonneau and Riccucci 2008). Consequently, our understanding of how public employees prioritize and use equity performance information remains limited, including differentiation in use compared to performance information on effectiveness and efficiency. This paper contributes to research on both performance information use and social equity by conducting a field experiment to analyze how public employees in schools use ‘gender equity performance information’ (GEPI). Drawing on the theory of bounded rationality, specifically leveraging Lodge and Taber’s (2013) work on ‘affective charge,’ we posit that exposure to GEPI triggers (a) heightened emotional responses among respondents, leading to an increase in both the (b) intended and (c) actual utilization of this information, as well as (d) a greater prioritization of equity goals.

Preliminary results from a pre-registered two-arm field experiment, involving ~1400 respondents (comprising science teachers and school leaders) from 158 Danish public schools, support the hypotheses. Within matched pairs, schools were block randomized to either a control or treatment group. All respondents received a concise school report (less than 5 pages) containing school-level averaged information on students' science abilities, sourced from a 2022 data collection involving ~13,000 students. Importantly, respondents in treated schools additionally received GEPI—information on gender differences in self-perceived science abilities among the students at their respective schools.

Gender at Play: “Mothering Work” of Women City Managers During the COVID-19 Organizational Change Management
PRESENTER: Sebawit Bishu

ABSTRACT. A core aspect of organizational change management is adaptive work, sense-making, and managing relational aspects of new realities. Within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper traces the gendered emotive work of women city managers navigating organizational change. The study explores city managers’ policy and managerial response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The findings trace the gendered “mothering work” of women city managers as they navigated both sensemaking and relational aspects of new realities with their staff, elected officials, and community members. Interviews with 80 (40 women city managers and 40 male city managers) in large US cities with populations of over 50,000 demonstrate that while most men and women city managers in the study engaged in providing appropriate tactical and strategic guidance to those within their organizations, women city managers uniquely engaged in laying out lasting policies and processes to level health, and social inequalities within their institutions and in their communities. We also observe women city managers taking the communal approach to leading their organizations and communities through the crisis.

The results demonstrate a connection between managers’ gender and strategic response to issues that disproportionately impact women and their families. Moreover, the relational approach taken by women city managers centers around care and communal well-being. We discuss and theorize about the gender work women leaders engage in organizational change management during a global public health emergency crisis.

Gender Differences in Academic Administrative Paths: Views from Faculty in Public Affairs Programs

ABSTRACT. Once tenured and promoted to the rank of associate professor, faculty members can advance on the academic path and become full professors and/or they can pursue an administrative career trajectory and occupy leadership positions such as a program director, department chair, and higher leadership roles. The advancement through the academic ranks (from associate to full professor) is permanent whereas the advancement into leadership roles is temporary (Dearlove, 2002) and it’s considered a parallel career path to the former (Peterson, 2014). Hierarchical power structures in institutions of higher education allow men to occupy more leadership positions than women (Johnson et al., 2018), and public affairs programs are no exception.

Seeking to explore the representation of public affairs faculty in administrative positions based on gender, ethnicity, race, and to discuss the gendered norms and obstacles academic women must face when considering leadership career avenues, this study asks the following question: 1) How and why do academic men and women differ in their academic leadership careers in public affairs programs? The study uses data coming from an original survey of over 600 faculty members and from over 20 interviews conducted with faculty in public affairs programs.

Preliminary findings suggest that women and faculty members from ethnically and racially under-represented groups are highly under-represented in academic leadership positions. This means that access to academic leadership positions is contingent on gendered organizational norms where men are seen more fit to serve in leadership roles when compared to women (Schachter, 2017).

How Complexity and Ambiguity Shapes Gender-based Discrimination: The Case of Title IX Implementation
PRESENTER: Elizabeth Bell

ABSTRACT. A key frontier for research on discrimination in public service delivery is determining what factors exacerbate and alleviate inequities in citizen-state interactions. So far, scholars have built evidence on the factors that may contribute to racial discrimination, but other marginalized groups, like transgender people, are understudied.

In this project, we propose a set of hypotheses predicting the determinants of discrimination among Title IX coordinators dealing with sexual misconduct cases and test them using a conjoint experiment. Our survey was sent to all Title IX coordinators and deputy coordinators working in four-year public and private colleges and universities in the U.S. in April 2023.

In the first set of hypotheses, we predict the conditions under which Title IX coordinators will be most likely to engage in discrimination against transgender victims (Butz & Gaynor, 2022). Drawing from theories of implicit bias, we test whether ambiguity and complexity will exacerbate discrimination against transgender clients. In this way, we test a key theoretical mechanism of discrimination that has yet to be thoroughly investigated in existing research with causal inference approaches (Assouline et al., 2021).

Moreover, in the second set of hypotheses, we predict the meso-level organizational conditions that may exacerbate discrimination, including organizational sector (Jilke et al., 2018), performance (Gándara & Rutherford, 2018; Guul et al., 2019), organizational capacity/workload (Andersen & Guul, 2019), and political climate (Druckman & Shafranek, 2020). In this way, our project seeks to explain both the micro-level and meso-level factors that shape the likelihood of bureaucratic discrimination.

09:45-11:15 Session 6H: Conceptualizing Purpose-Oriented Networks: From Inputs to Outcomes
Purpose-Oriented Networks in Context: Theorizing Environmental Influences in Network Formation, Design, Behavior, and Performance

ABSTRACT. A group of international scholars is developing a team science approach to the study of purpose-oriented networks (PONs). This paper is one of four papers exploring the dynamics of these systems. PONs are bounded network entities, often convened as an intervention into a more extensive system-oriented network, thus PONs can be theorized as open systems (Katz & Kahn, 1966) that are simultaneously influenced by and seek to influence a broader environmental context. Despite organizational and management science focusing on environmental influences that predict organizational design and outcomes, we know surprisingly little about how environmental/contextual factors influence the formation, design, development, evolution, behavior, and performance of PONs (Nowell et al., 2019). PONs are a theoretically rich setting as they are inherently multi-level networks that can be examined at multiple, often hierarchical, levels of analysis. In this paper, we develop and offer a conceptual framework for considering the different sources of environmental/contextual effects that may explain variations in PON development, design, behavior, and performance. We situate our framework within the tradition of ecological systems theory (Brofenbrener, 1979) and focus on three nested levels of environment/contextual influences for a given PON: 1) proximate community context, 2) intersecting institutional and policy context, and 3) national and societal context. We further consider temporal dynamics as path dependencies are created over time. We review extant research and theory within these levels to propose key environmental elements likely to influence PON development, design, behavior, and performance.

A Close Look at PON Configurations: A Review of Inputs and Structure
PRESENTER: Alejandra Medina

ABSTRACT. A group of international scholars is developing a team science approach to the study of Purpose-Oriented Networks (PONs). This paper is one of four papers exploring the dynamics of these systems. Public administration and policy scholars study networks to understand the relationships between actors, emergent processes and structures of social interaction, and resulting outcomes relevant to public problems (Robins, 2015). One common area of study within network research is Purpose-Oriented Networks; bounded and self-referencing networks with a shared purpose (Nowell & Milward, 2022). A topic of interest is the variability of inputs and structural configurations of PONs. Previous research has mainly focused on the effect of particular attributes of the PON and its members on shared outcomes, and the extent to which the network structure contributes to goal attainment. However, a review of the literature suggests several gaps in theory development. First, there is very little research on how PON-level inputs like resource munificence, goal consensus, stability, and trust affect the relational configurations of the network and its outcome. Second, little scholarship examines how organization-level inputs such as size, resources, sector, and other variables affect processes and structural configurations. Third, few studies analyze the internal network structure of the PON itself. To address the existing literature gaps, the purpose of this study is to identify and synthesize different inputs, starting conditions, and measures at the PON and organizational levels that help understand the configurations of PONs and the management of network relationships among the members of a PON.

Decoding Purpose: Logic Model Dynamics of PONs’ Process, Outputs, and Outcomes
PRESENTER: Kate Albrecht

ABSTRACT. A group of international scholars is developing a team science approach to the study of purpose-oriented networks (PONs). This paper is one of four papers exploring the dynamics of these systems. Together, the papers address the (i) context, (ii) governance, (iii) inputs and structure, and (iv) the processes, outputs, and outcomes. PONs are a distinct form of self-actualized networks that have long been the focus of public management research (Nowell & Milward, 2022). Recently, the field has turned its attention to how network configurations result in network effectiveness (Cristofoli et al., 2015; Raab, Maanak & Cambré, 2005; Shumate et al., 2023). Past research suggests that combinations of features matter,(Smith, 2020) but there is no logical model of how factors like resource munificence, governance, and activities actually result in outputs and outcomes. To date, PON research largely focuses on either outputs or outcomes with little attention to processes and activities that occur within PONs or the means by which outputs translate into outcomes. To address this gap, based on synthesizing past research, we examine: 1) How are outputs and outcomes differentiated, defined, and operationalized? and 2) What mechanisms between elements of the logic model are unclear? We review extant literature on social service delivery and environmental policy PONs to develop an initial overarching logic model for PONs, clarifying concepts and noting areas for future research. We highlight ways in which different inputs and processes are related to organizational, network, and community outputs and outcomes.

The Governance of Purpose-oriented Networks: Reconceptualization, Operationalization, and an Interdisciplinary Comparative Network Research Agenda
PRESENTER: Jose Sanchez

ABSTRACT. A group of international scholars is developing a team science approach to the study of purpose-oriented networks. This is one of four papers exploring the dynamics of these systems. Together, the papers address the (i) context, (ii) governance, (iii) inputs and structure, and (iv) the processes and outputs. Purpose-oriented networks (PON) are defined as a bounded, self-referencing collective of actors that consciously affiliate with a shared purpose (Nowell & Milward, 2022). Governance is the essential element that makes a network purpose-oriented.

Provan and Kenis (2008) offered a very influential typology for the governance of organizational networks generally and purpose-oriented networks specifically. Though the three modes of network governance are often applied to studies examining organizational networks, what is lacking is an attempt to examine the framework empirically and refine it theoretically. We propose a definition of PON governance that combines Provan and Kenis (2008) and Kiser and Ostrom (1982) and develops conceptualizations for the core elements included in our definition, such as constitutional and collective choice rules, institutions, and structures of authority, control, and collaboration. We then examine the empirical literature applying the Provan and Kenis (2008) network governance typology to test our conceptualization of governance and the implications of revising the Provan and Kenis typology. By synthesizing theoretical perspectives and understandings of governance within networks, our research contributes to future studies of public and nonprofit networks by clarifying and developing useful PON governance concepts to examine and compare the governance of PONs across various contexts.

09:45-11:15 Session 6I: Machine Learning
Political Mobility and Reputation Management in China: Empirical Study Based on Big Data and Machine Learning Methods
PRESENTER: Youkui Wang

ABSTRACT. Although bureaucratic reputation is a growing focus in public management research, the impact of official characteristics and political mobility on local government reputation management remains largely unexplored. Under such an authoritarian setting of China, local government chiefs (mayors) are promoted by higher authorities, and their future promotions are determined by superior officials. Consequently, local governments may adopt distinct reputation management strategies to vie for promotion. Utilizing a unique dataset comprising 55.7 million documents from 281 prefecture-level cities in China and employing machine learning techniques to analyze this vast text data, we gain insights into Chinese local governments' reputation management strategies. Empirical analysis reveals that official characteristics and political mobility have significant effects on these strategies. Some characteristics exhibit nonlinear relationships, often resembling "U-shaped" or "inverted U-shaped" patterns. For instance, officials' age displays an "inverted U-shaped" relationship with performative and moral reputation but a "U-shaped" relationship with procedural reputation. Officials' tenure follows an "inverted U-shaped" relationship with performative reputation but a "U-shaped" relationship with moral reputation. If mayors are directly promoted from "outside," the government emphasizes performative or procedural reputation. Conversely, if mayors are internal appointments, moral or technical reputation takes precedence. Further analysis reveals that official characteristics' influence on reputation management strategies has a significant dividing line effect, determined by China's specific political flow system. For example, mayors under 55 prioritize procedural reputation, while those over 55 emphasize performative reputation. These findings deepen our understanding of the impact of official political mobility on reputation management.

• Araral, E. (2023). 75 Years of Public Administration Review Using Unsupervised Machine Learning: A Conversation Between James Perry, Ken Meier and Artificial Intelligence

ABSTRACT. We analyse the thematic structure of Public Administration Review over the last 75 years (1940s- 2016) based on an analysis of 38 million words from 8,140 articles. We call this a conversation between James Perry, Ken Meir and artificial intelligence. We use correlated topic modelling (CTM), an advanced natural language processing and unsupervised machine learning algorithm for document clustering and text analysis. We find variations, correlations, and recurrent themes in PAR in the last 75 years and among public administration scholars in the US, China, and Europe and between practitioners and academic contributors. Many topics are contextually correlated with each other and are historically, politically, and institutionally contingent. Statistical methods are on the rise along with female authorship. Finally, we spotlight the most prolific authors of PAR overtime and their contributions to the field. We conclude with the implications of CTM for advancing the theory, methods, and practice of public administration.

Machine Learning Generated Transaction Cost Measures from Government Contracts

ABSTRACT. The effectiveness of government contracting is contingent on transaction risks such as product complexity and asset specificity. This study combines new survey measures of transaction cost factors with machine learning and natural language processing to create measures of contracting risks for 186 goods and services commonly purchased by governments. We conducted a survey of government purchasing managers to directly measure transaction cost characteristics for 60 goods and services. We then developed and pre-registered an algorithm based on machine learning for natural language processing (MLNLP) and used it to predict measures for an additional 126 goods and services. We present analyses verifying the accuracy of the MLNLP transaction cost predictions. The goods and services in our measures are categorized using labels from the European Union’s Common Procurement Vocabulary, facilitating their broader use in research and applied settings. Beyond contract management, we show how MLNLP can contribute to theoretically grounded and practically relevant public management research.

09:45-11:15 Session 6J: Work Setting
“Freetime” but not “Bedtime”? Working at Different Times and Well-being of Public Employees: The Role of Recognition
PRESENTER: Haoduo Wang

ABSTRACT. Under the wave of “austerity governance” in various European countries, public employees face heavier workloads than before, which may lead to unprecedented physical and psychological problems. Previous studies have shown that working at different times affects the well-being of workers, but this issue has not been adequately addressed in the public sector context. This study aims to address this issue by conducting a statistical analysis of samples from public sectors in 36 European countries. A mediation model was constructed and tested through regression analysis, which posits that work recognition mediates the effects of night work, freetime work, and busy work on physical and psychological problems of public employees. The results show that night work and busy work significantly increase both physical and psychological problems, with the former being more severe than the latter. Freetime work, on the other hand, can alleviate both physical and psychological problems, with the same degree of effectiveness. Work recognition is an important mediator that amplifies the negative effects of night work and busy work, while enhancing the positive effects of freetime work, on physical and psychological well-being. This suggests that for public employees, making full use of their free time to work is more beneficial to their health than working at night or in a busy state. This also implies that public sector leaders should coordinate and arrange time more reasonably, and provide adequate work recognition, to ensure the well-being of their employees.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind?: Experimental Evidence on Cognitive Biases in Telework

ABSTRACT. Do public managers favor office workers over teleworkers? This paper analyzes this question by focusing on cognitive biases in performance appraisals. It hypothesizes that proximity bias may lead managers to assess the performance of teleworkers unfairly due to the tendency to favor those who are physically present and more visible in the workplace. Additionally, the study investigates how gender-related factors could exacerbate this bias, assuming that female teleworkers may receive lower performance ratings than their male counterparts due to gender-stereotypical assumptions about professional commitment while working from home.

To test these hypotheses, a survey experiment was conducted on public employees in South Korea to examine whether assessments of equally performing employees varied based on their telework status and gender. Participants were tasked with evaluating an employee and provided with identical profile and performance information, with the only differing factors being the employee's telework status (teleworker and non-teleworker) and gender (female and male). Mean comparison and regression analysis were employed to determine if participants rated performance differently based on these factors.

Results show that public managers can make biased decisions against teleworkers. The study finds that managers tend to assign lower performance ratings to teleworkers compared to non-teleworkers. When gender was considered, it was only women who were disadvantaged by working from home; male teleworkers did not face any performance evaluation disadvantages. This underscores the need to address biases against teleworkers and promote gender equality in telework settings within the public sector.

The Dual Nature of Telework: When Does Telework Act as a Job Resource and When Does it Become a Job Demand?

ABSTRACT. Telework has evolved into a common practice across various workplaces, with the COVID-19 pandemic significantly accelerating its prevalence. It has shifted from being an occasional option to becoming the primary mode of work for millions of employees worldwide. Prior research has highlighted the numerous benefits of telework, such as enhanced flexibility, productivity, work-life balance, and cost savings. Within the framework of the Job Demands–Resources Model, employees can recognize telework as both a job resource and a job demand. On the one hand, telework offers flexibility in managing work schedules and enables better focus without office distractions, serving as job resources. On the other hand, it can foster feelings of isolation due to reduced face-to-face interactions with colleagues and challenges in delineating boundaries between work and personal life, thus elevating job demands. This study explores the conditions under which telework acts as a job resource and when it becomes a job demand. Focusing on job performance, autonomy, and role stress (including factors like role conflict, ambiguity, and overload) as potential moderators, we propose that telework functions as a job resource for high-performing individuals with greater autonomy. In contrast, it becomes a job demand for those facing heightened role stress. Utilizing large-scale survey data from South Korean public officials, preliminary findings offer empirical support for our hypotheses. This study provides meaningful implications for both research and practice, particularly in guiding the design and implementation of telework, recognizing its dual role as both a job resource and demand amidst its expanding adoption.

What drives enhanced work engagement during teleworking? Comparison between before and after the COVID-19 pandemic
PRESENTER: Jaehee Jong

ABSTRACT. Research has identified a variety of antecedents of engagement, including several that underscores the significance of a supportive work environment. However, the underlying premise of the previous research may not hold for those working in non-traditional workplace settings. Research on telework emphasizes the importance of managers facilitating effective communication channels. In line with this, we hypothesize that online communication is an important antecedent of engagement, and that the efficiency of online communication is a trigger that can enhance engagement levels during teleworking. Using the survey data collected in the U.S. from December 2020 to May 2021, we examine how online communications within organizations influence employee engagement and how it differs before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We specifically focus on changes in work engagement, where we consider the magnitude of increased engagement as our dependent variable. The preliminary analysis shows that efficient online communication is positively associated with increased engagement. This study contributes to our knowledge of engagement and telework by examining changes in engagement levels. As telework and related hybrid arrangements become a more common and preferred option for employees, it is important to learn how to promote engagement levels during telework.

09:45-11:15 Session 6K: Leadership Styles
How to Activate Distributed Leadership: Insights from Anti-Displacement Community Collaborations in Miami

ABSTRACT. Governments often collaborate with community groups and organizations. Serving the public requires working across organizational boundaries and leveraging the diverse pool of expertise and resources offered by community members (see Agranoff and McGuire, 2003a). Yet, effective collaboration may still need leadership. The general management literature suggests that such leadership can be particularly effective if related behaviors and functions are distributed among members and rotated across initiatives or time (see Gronn, 2006). However, distributed (shared) leadership (DL) is often considered to grow naturally out of social interactions, giving little guidance to groups on how to activate such practices. This paper examines the activation of DL practices through the mechanisms external pressure, missing internal capacity, and shared experience. Specifically, it argues that these factors need to be present in combination for sustainable DL to occur. The paper examines anti-displacement collaborations in Miami, which consist of multi-organizational community groups (over 100) that fight displacement fostered via economic and climate gentrification. The paper relies on a case study that uses narratives of episodes to identify social mechanisms that help explain the use of DL practices. We used the mechanism-based approach to empirically document the processes, procedures, and activities leading to the natural use of DL practices in the anti-displacement community collaborations in Miami. We selected this case study because it is one of the policy areas in which different autonomous organizations with diverse structures are partnering and operating to mitigate the displacement of marginalized people and cultures.

Public Value Leadership
PRESENTER: Trangthu Nguyen

ABSTRACT. How leaders can support and further the public service motivation of subordinates and their creation of public value has theoretical and practical implications for the discipline (Moynihan 2010; Perry 2020). This research introduces a new concept of “Public Value Leadership” (PVL) defined as “managerial leadership that influences follower behaviors to contribute to the common good.” Our conceptualization builds on prior studies (e.g., Tummers & Knies 2016; Ngyuen et al. 2022) and makes PV-focused tasks explicit in effective but currently only generic leadership practices. PVL is conceptualized by four dimensions: (i) public impact; (ii) trust and legitimacy; (ii) service delivery quality, and (iv) efficiency. PVL is hypothesized to have criterion validity with increased PSM and other outcomes. PVL involves public value creation which, perhaps surprisingly, is under-researched in public leadership studies to date.

This presentation also reports on results from new empirical data. The analysis will be completed in early 2024. The three settings are Australia, Brazil, and Vietnam, purposively selected to further generalizability and comparison; they involve a suitable mix of developed/developing, democratic/one-party and general PA/professional contexts. Presentation at PMRC will include multi-step scale development following current practices (DeVellis 2016; Houtgraaf 2023), analysis of factor structures, discriminant and criterion validity, usefulness analysis and measurement equivalency tests (Jilke et al. 2015), and supporting interviews. This study responds to calls in the PA discipline for closer examination of the unique features of public sector leadership, and offers a new construct of Public Value Leadership. We hope you will accept this proposal.

The impact of organizational development on employee acceptance of management authority: Evidence from a field experiment

ABSTRACT. Although most public employees work in hierarchical organizations, they do not always accept their manager’s authority. Building on Simon’s (1997) notion of zone-of-acceptance, acceptance of management authority (management acceptance) describes subordinates’ willingness to comply with their superiors’ decisions, which can affect hierarchical power as well as employee motivation and faith in leadership. Management acceptance can be influenced by performance signals (Nielsen & Jacobsen, 2018), but there is a lack of knowledge about how management acceptance can be cultivated through organizational development. We argue that management acceptance can increase, when employees’ gain knowledge, reflection, and practical experience associated with value produced through leader-centered decision-making. We therefore expect that stronger leader-centrism in organizational development leads to higher management acceptance.

The study uses a pre-registered field experiment to test how organizational development interventions in public organizational units within healthcare, welfare services, and police influence management acceptance. Units were randomly assigned to organizational development directed towards either goal-orientation (high leader-centrism), distributed leadership (medium leader-centrism), or motivation (no leader-centrism). We use already collected data from 129 units and managers and 2,500 employees to test how organizational development affects employees’ management acceptance. We expect the most positive effects in the goal-orientation intervention and more positive in the distributed leadership intervention compared with the motivation intervention.

Nielsen & Jacobsen. 2018. Zone of Acceptance under Performance Measurement: Does Performance Information Affect Employee Acceptance of Management Authority? Public Administration Review, 78(5):684-693. Simon, Herbert A. 1997. Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organizations. 4th ed. New York:Macmillan.

09:45-11:15 Session 6L: Innovation
State ownership and social innovation: the role of patient finance accessibility and long-term orientation
PRESENTER: Siyang Jiang

ABSTRACT. Transitions towards a sustainable and just society necessitates social innovation. Existing literatures mainly focus on the roles of non-profit organizations in advancing social innovation, ignoring roles of for-profit organizations. Increasing literatures indicates state-owned enterprises can be an effective vehicle to solve grand social challenges but do not provide empirical evidences. Drawing literatures from institutional and signaling theory, we hypothesize that state ownership facilitates firms’ social innovation through two mechanisms ease access to patient finance and long-term orientation We extend the measurement of social innovation in for-profit organizations by using textual analysis and natural language processing methods based on patent data. We then use firms’ annual reports to constructure state ownership and firms’ long-term orientation variables. We build a panel data of Chinese listed firms from 2000 to 2020 and then use structural equation modelling (SEM) to examine the impacts of state ownership on social innovation and mediating roles of and patient finance accessibility and long-term orientation. The result demonstrates that state ownership encourages firms to conduct social innovation. Moreover, empirical analysis shows the mediating effects of patient finance accessibility and long-term orientation are contingent on policy environment and market competition. Stable policy environment and intense market competition tend to strengthen those effects. Our findings enrich the field of social innovation by investigating how state ownership helps prompt social innovation in firms. We also suggest that realization of social innovation is not only outcomes of firms themselves but the efforts of all stakeholders and external environments.

Does Public Management Innovation Improve Smart Elderly Care Service Performance? Process Tracing Evidence from Beijing
PRESENTER: Nick Petrovsky

ABSTRACT. Since the advent of New Public Management, innovation in the delivery of public services has been a key area of academic research. Nowadays, facing the two megatrends of population aging and digitalization and the reality of budget constraints, there is a widespread trend toward utilizing digital technologies in elderly care services. Our study addresses the question of whether these innovations (covering e-government and service delivery mechanisms) improve elderly care service performance. Employing the process tracing approach, we collect evidence from Beijing to test the causal mechanism between public management innovation and elderly care service performance. Our theoretical argument suggests that e-government measures, when combined with more decentralized service delivery mechanisms and outreach through nonprofit organizations, remove barriers to access for elderly citizens and provide improvements to their quality of life. The core of our paper then uses the theory-testing process tracing approach to collect evidence from multiple elderly service providers, both public and nonprofit, in Beijing, a city which is relatively far along globally in using digital technologies in elderly care services. We have gathered interview and archival data on a subset of the cases and will complete our research in the first few months of 2024. The initial evidence does support the important role of outreach to and training for elderly citizens.

Public Innovation in the Eyes of Citizens: Program Novelties and Citizens’ Performance Evaluation

ABSTRACT. It is suggested that the diffusion and adoption of public innovations could improve public service performance. However, less attention has been given to how citizens view public innovations per se. Does the degree of novelties of a government program affect how citizens evaluate it?

In this study, we investigate whether the relative and absolute novelty of public programs would affect citizens’ evaluation of government performance and their tolerance of administrative mistakes. Relative novelty refers to whether a program is described as new to the unit of adoption, and absolute novelty refers to the degree to which a program is perceived (by public officials) as new to all other organizations of a similar nature. Drawing on Schema Theory in cognitive psychology, we hypothesize that the perceptions of relative and absolute novelty could improve citizens’ performance evaluation and increase their tolerance of administrative mistakes through activating an innovation schema stored in their mind.

To test the research hypotheses, we conducted a pretest with public officials (n = 73) and a vignette survey experiment (n = 1200) in the context of local government’s attempts to address homelessness. For theoretical contributions, this study moves beyond the “insider” and institutional perspectives of prior innovation research, exploring the implications of public innovation on perceptions of the citizenry toward government. For practice, this study suggests that policymakers need to consider not only the subsequent outcomes of their actions, but also how their actions per se may be evaluated.

09:45-11:15 Session 6M: Individual Agency of Public Servants
Policy Entrepreneurship Under Extreme Uncertainty

ABSTRACT. Policy entrepreneurship is extensively studied in developed contexts, both focusing on select countries and from a comparative approach. However, how policy entrepreneurs engage at different stages of the policy process under the conditions of extreme (political or regime) uncertainty is an understudied theme. Yet, during the times of political openings or thawing, a window of opportunity arises for policy entrepreneurs to navigate and bridge input from internal and external agency perspectives. Success of government reforms that seek to bring openness, however, depends on a balanced focus between the means of reforms versus the ends. Using the context of recent large-scale public sector reforms in the Republic of Uzbekistan, this study explores the role of agency (for internal and external stakeholders) during the agenda setting, formulation, decision, implementation, and the evaluation stages of the process of participatory budgeting. We begin by adapting Ingram et al.’s (2020) dimensions of Open Government public management reform challenges and risks. In their 2x2 matrix, the authors present the dimensions of reforms—separating the means from the ends; and the loci of organizational focus—distinguishing the internal from external. We layer Capano and Galanti’s (2018) typologies of agency at each stage of the policy process—agenda setting, formulation, decision, implementation, and evaluation. That is, since we are interested in the actors, we seek to understand how and whether they feature in agenda setting, formulation, decision, implementation, and policy evaluation stages in each quadrant of the 2x2 matrix. Field interviews/data collection was completed in November/December of 2022.

Political Budget Cycle of Fiscal Performance: Evidence from Accounting Manipulation
PRESENTER: Il Hwan Chung

ABSTRACT. The accrual accounting system has received much attention as means of public sector reform during the past few decades. However, both academics and practitioners were skeptical regarding accrual accounting in the public-sector context. One of concerns is that the accrual accounting system relies heavily on professional judgment due to substantial discretion recognizing revenues and expenses, and reporting of assets and liabilities. This in turn allows managers and politicians to manipulate financial information more effectively about their entity’s financial performance and health. Our study explores this opportunistic behavior of public managers and politicians by using the concept of Earning Management (Jones, 1991). As such this study brings different theoretical frameworks together: political budget cycle (Nordhaus 1975), performance information use (Moynihan and Pandey 2010) and earning management in accounting literature (Jones, 1991). Political budget cycle research poses that the incumbent uses fiscal policy for reelection purposes. In a similar vein, public managers and local politicians have incentives to manipulate the accounting figures under the accrual accounting systems in order to make their performance look better. We have collected the financial statement for 213 local governments and 398 local public enterprises during 2017 – 2021. Using that information, we explore how public organizations may react when fiscal rules and restrictions are imposed by central government; and whether certain contexts could be more prone than others to the manipulation of accounting figures. Our findings have the greater potential to inform fiscal performance information use in terms of accounting and political budget cycle.

Measuring Reputational Signals Regarding Public Sector Professions: Validation of a Scale and a Research Agenda
PRESENTER: Gordon Abner

ABSTRACT. Public administration scholars are devoting increasing attention to the concept of reputation. The emphasis reflects a long-standing concern in the field with the sources of power and influence on administrative processes. This study extends the investigation of reputation from organizational reputation to reputational signals regarding public sector professions. We begin with a definition of reputational signals. We then develop a survey instrument that measures reputational signals coming from two signalers: elected officials and people close to respondents. Results are presented for internal consistency, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, convergent and discriminant validity, and average variance extracted. Next, we conduct a path analysis in which we test the effects of reputational signals on two outcomes using two, staggered survey instruments. We conclude by discussing avenues for future research.

Agency and Public Service Motivation in the Contracting environment of voluntary and community organizations
PRESENTER: Sara Passmore

ABSTRACT. New Public Management and the influence of Agency Theory shifted contracts in the public sector from being outputs-focused to contacts that specify desired outcomes. With regard to goal alignment, there is a clear link between Public Service Motivation theory and Agency Theory within these contracting arrangements. While many policy researchers have explored the effects of contracting arrangements on the provision of public services, few have considered the implications of contracting and how it may affect workers’ motivation to serve the public rather than act in self-interest.

The purpose of this article is to identify the connections between Agency Theory and Public Service Motivation and propose a new conceptual framework that explicates and contextualises the conditions for principles and agents in a contracting relationship. We are interested in what this may tell us for the relationship between public sector and voluntary and community sector organizations who are newly contracting with government.

13:15-14:45 Session 7A: Percolator: Bringing Theory to Practice through Sustained Researcher-Policymaker Partnerships
Bringing Theory to Practice through Sustained Researcher-Policymaker Partnerships

ABSTRACT. In recent years, governments and researchers have demonstrated an increased focus on partnerships that support evidence-based policymaking. Policymakers are more interested than ever in understanding existing evidence base as well as building rigorous evidence of policy innovations. Researchers have also been more engaged than ever in studies whose questions are designed directly with policymakers and in the context program delivery.

Models for sustaining partnerships between policymakers and researchers take many forms across governments intra- and inter-nationally. Each model has advantages and disadvantages. As well, though, some common principles across models can be identified that help sustain partnerships and move research to practice.

I am submitting this initial proposal for an interactive session on fostering sustained researcher-policymaker partnerships after conversation with Evans School Dean Jodi Sandfort. The session could be held as either a percolater or a roundtable and could be shaped in several different ways depending upon how other elements of the conference come together. I will take the lead on bringing in a diverse group of participants to percolate discussion. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in an open dialogue, sharing their own experiences and contributing to a collective understanding of how to strengthen these partnerships, particularly in support of advancing more equitable social impact.

Ultimately, this session seeks to generate practical insights from across different contexts that can inform the development of frameworks and guidelines for fostering enduring partnerships and advancing evidence-based policymaking on an international scale.

13:15-14:45 Session 7B: Public Management
Institutional Isomorphism and Regulatory State Building: The Case of Food and Drug Administration of China
PRESENTER: Xueyong Zhan

ABSTRACT. The diffusion of regulatory instruments across countries is a remarkable phenomenon which has attracted many scholars’ attention. However, little has been written on the diffusion of regulatory agency models from developed to developing countries. By analyzing archival data and original interviews, we conduct a single case study of China’s Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) to investigate how and why Chinese central government has learned from the US regulatory model of food and drugs safety and later deviated from it. Process tracing has been employed to track the development and characteristics of China’s food and drug safety regulatory regimes and its similarities and dissimilarities with the United States FDA since 2000. We observed that there was institutional convergence between these two regulatory systems during 2001-2012, but deviation occurred during 2013-2022. Drawn from theories of institutional change, regulatory diffusion, and political attention, we proposed a framework that focuses on how global and domestic environments influence the policy entrepreneur-politicians’ attention link, thus trigger institutional changes. We found that this institutional diffusion phenomenon can be explained by the synergy of multidimensional factors such as external pressure, bureaucratic strategies (e.g., political attention and entrepreneurship), learning feedback and resource paradox. This research provides new insights to develop a better understanding of the complicated institutional processes in regulatory state building and diffusion. We also argue that single case study with process tracing can be a meaningful tool for scholars to understand institutional convergence and divergence in these processes.

Measuring Efficiency in Public Management: a comparison of DEA and SFA

ABSTRACT. In this study we review Data Envelopment Analysis and Stochastic Frontier Analysis, two popular but very different approaches to measuring efficiency common in the public management literature. We run a simulation experiment comparing efficiency measures estimated with the two techniques. We then compare DEA and SFA using a live example from US public transit. We find that the SFA and DEA scores are highly correlated, and although DEA measures are more sensitive to noise and outliers, that SFA and DEA scores behave similarly as dependent variables. Public Management researchers should be confident that the methodologies produce similar results in general applications, but should exercise caution when the relationship of inputs and outputs is noisy or difficult to specify.

Does Managerial Quality Make a Difference in Goal Conflict? Evidence from South Korea

ABSTRACT. In an article of the Policy Studies Journal on goal conflict in public organizations, Wenger, O’Toole and Meier (2008) questioned the traditional notion of “goal trade-offs,” that is, public managers must trade-off goals against each other, observing that good management could facilitate improved outcomes on multiple goals simultaneously. However, their argument was supported only by qualitative interviews with a small group of managers, not by the quantitative evidence from a large-N dataset, which may weaken the validity of their conclusion.

We empirically test the aforementioned hypothetical relationships between managerial quality and goal conflict with a multi-year, large-N dataset. Whereas Wenger et al.’s study focused on the relationship between speed and accuracy goals in the U.S. unemployment insurance program, the research setting of the present study is the relationship between education and research goals in Korean higher-education institutions, which is another well-known case of goal conflict in the literature of both public management and higher-education.

The sample of this study consists of about 400 universities in South Korea and we use a multi-year dataset developed in the period of 2014-2018. The data was gathered from multiple sources: a NOS (National Organizations Study)-type informant survey and archival sources about Korean universities(www.academyinfo.go.kr). We first examine the level of goal conflict between research and education goals of universities and then explore the moderation effects of managerial quality on the level of goal conflict. The present study confirms that there exists goal conflict only when the degree of managerial quality is below average.

Public managerial responses to disturbances in institutional environments: The case of state preemption of local authority

ABSTRACT. Public managers are critical brokers in navigating disturbances, complexities and conflicts emerging in their institutional environments. One source of environmental disturbance is the rising trend among state legislatures to preempt local government authority. For local government managers, preemptions could threaten their organizations’ effectiveness for providing public services in policy arenas such as police reform, labor, equal protection, environmental protection/climate change, gun control, police reform, health, education, and others.

While there is a growing literature on increased state preemptions of local authority, very little addresses their influence on the roles and functions of local public managers. Preemptions affect at least two important elements of organizational environments: complexity and stability (Andrews 2009). Local managers might consider a range of actions meant to mitigate the drag from preemptions on organizational performance resulting from growing complexity and instability; these actions could be viewed as “buffering” internal organizations and services. Possible actions include full adoption of the preemption, legal challenges, lobbying through intergovernmental sub-units, re-tooling organizational missions, collaborating with third parties to fill service gaps, and others.

This study uses qualitative data from interviews with local public managers and others, with a focus on the following questions: How do preemptions affect their organizations’ capacity to deliver services effectively? How do they address threats to service delivery? What strategies do they judge as most effective in mitigating those threats? The analysis will contribute to research on the environmental context of public management and the implications of increasing state limits on local autonomy for public service delivery.

13:15-14:45 Session 7C: Collaborative Governance Research in China: Building Useable Knowledge from Empirical Research
Government and the Public’s Trust in NGOs in Collaborative Governance in a Strong State Setting: A Case Study of Grassland Governance in Inner Mongolia, China

ABSTRACT. Successful collaborative governance (CG) requires strong and sustained trust among its multiple stakeholders. In strong-state nations, unlike Western democracies, there's a prevalent perception that both the government and the public have low trust in NGOs. Yet, scant research has delved into how this distrust influences NGO's participation in CG. Taking collaborative grassland governance (CGG) in Inner Mongolia, China as an example, this study investigates both the government and public trust in NGOs and their impacts on NGO’s participation in CGG. Based on a field study in 15 counties of Inner Mongolia using survey data, this study presents two major findings: (1) Although low levels of government and public trust in NGOs are confirmed, both the government and public trust in NGOs is strongly associated with the grassland governance performance in IM. Moreover, only the government's trust significantly influences NGOs' participatory performance in CGG, while the public trust in NGOs doesn't have a noticeable impact on their participation. (2) The government and public trust will not only improve NGOs’ participation willingness and capacity in CG but also enable them to better use resources and opportunities to participate in CG, and all these improve NGOs’ participation and their performance. This study highlights the strength of weak trust, suggesting that in strong-state scenarios characterized by limited or weak trust, effective NGO participation in CG remains feasible. It also underscores the pivotal mechanisms through which NGOs operate within CG frameworks.

Enhancing Joint Capacity Through Collaborative Learning: Experimental Insights from a Laboratory-based Team Up Game

ABSTRACT. This research was conducted using a survey-experimental approach in order to effectively explore the effects of joint competence and common motivation on collaboration among multiple subjects in collaborative governance. By designing different experimental groups and utilizing analysis of variance (ANOVA) techniques, the research team was able to systematically compare levels of joint competence and co-motivation under different conditions. The survey experiment methodology enabled the researchers to control the variables and accurately measure the effects of different factors on the results of the experiments, thus increasing the reliability and validity of the study. In addition, the methodology helped the research team collect rich quantitative data, providing a solid foundation for the scientific interpretation of the findings. By adopting the survey experiment method, the research team successfully explored in depth the role of joint capabilities and common motivation in collaborative governance, providing a strong basis and guidance for practice. However, future research could further explore other methods and techniques, such as qualitative research or mixed-methods research, to fully understand the interrelationships of complex factors in collaborative governance.

Similar Structure of Power: Strong State Model of Collaborative Governance and its Dilemma

ABSTRACT. Collaborative governance is recognized as a valuable approach for addressing complex issues, but its realization varies based on the specific context, particularly within different state structures. This study explores institutional models of collaborative governance in highly hierarchical and rigid societies, specifically within an authoritarian government framework. The investigation centers on the "river chief system" governance in various tributaries of the Yellow River Basin. In this system, designated officials, known as "river chiefs," lead decision-making committees by convening relevant stakeholders.

In the authoritarian framework, characterized by a centralized power structure, the study introduces the concept of "power distance" to measure the gap between actors and the center of power. Our findings reveal that various public and even private organizations surrounding the center of power exhibit a power structure akin to "diffusion around the center." This indicates the replication of hierarchical power dynamics throughout organizations at all levels in authoritarian countries and is a common situation in countries with a strong state.

In collaborative governance within strong-government states, projects led by conveners with closer power distances access more collaboration resources, while those with distant power face limitations. All participants' power distance is crucial, as a wider gap challenges achieving genuine synergy. Interestingly, weaker conveners may sometimes enhance synergistic performance.

This study sheds light on power distance's impact, offering valuable insights into contextual differences and implications. It advances understanding, identifies opportunities, and proposes strategies for fostering synergistic outcomes in collaborative governance within strong-government contexts.

Hierarchical Interventions and Their Impact on Collaborative Mechanism Formation: A Case Study of Regional Air Quality Control in China

ABSTRACT. Collaboration is pivotal in addressing complex, "wicked problems," and is often viewed as a self-organizing process influenced by shared experiences, goals, values, and resources. Contrarily, evidence from Chinese case studies suggests that hierarchical interventions significantly shape collaborative governance. This paper explores this phenomenon within the context of regional air quality control in China, investigating the methods of hierarchical intervention and their impact on the formation of collaborative governance. Our research defines successful collaborative mechanism formation and posits that policy and institutional level designs are more effective than operational level actions for sustainable problem-solving. Focusing on the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, identified by the State Council as a priority for air quality improvement in 2013, we analyze 227 cases of air quality control collaboration from 2000 to 2021. Data were gathered from newspaper reports and official documents. We identify five primary state intervention methods: delineating collaboration boundaries, setting shared objectives, establishing procedural frameworks, monitoring and accountability, and resource allocation. Through fsQCA, we find two distinct intervention combinations leading to effective governance: the first involves establishing mechanisms and accountability without additional resources; the second entails undefined participation scopes with clear objectives. We present detailed case studies to explicate the causal relationship between these interventions and collaborative governance outcomes. The findings aim to contribute to the understanding of how top-down influences can foster collaboration mechanisms, particularly in a hierarchical governance context like China's.

13:15-14:45 Session 7D: Frontline Worker Experiences
Managing the Accountability-Innovation Trade-offs in the Administration of Frontline Work: The Case for Strengthening Learning Networks

ABSTRACT. Across the globe, many governments are deploying mobile applications as public innovations to improve frontline work and external accountability. However, when the design and implementation of such public innovations do not fully account for the dynamics of the multiple accountability regimes under which frontline bureaucracies function, they can paradoxically produce perverse effects that further complicate the challenges of translating public policy into practice. This article explores how government bureaucracies at higher levels and the frontlines can better address such a trade-off between frontline accountability and public innovation, using a case study from India on the deployment of mobile apps for accounting for the work of government schoolteachers. It uses interpretive methodology, qualitative interviews, and secondary data sources. The research findings reveal the dark side of public innovation that can emerge in the context of multiple accountability regimes. It makes a case for crafting “learning networks” to actively incorporate the perspectives of multiple accountability stakeholders to further augment the processes of organizational-level learning within the government that can support public innovation.

Administrative Discretion in the Naturalization Process

ABSTRACT. This research proposal investigates the discretionary practices of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers during naturalization interviews, aiming to comprehend disparities in citizenship attainment among immigrants of diverse backgrounds. The odds of immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries and Hispanic immigrants achieving citizenship are significantly less likely than White immigrants–especially White women (Ryo & Humphrey, 2022). Citizenship offers substantial privileges, such as voting rights, eligibility for certain jobs, access to social welfare benefits, and a heightened sense of agency and security. Considering the numerous benefits of citizenship, it is crucial to understand the final step in the naturalization process before an application is approved or denied—the interview with a USCIS officer. Grounded in positioning theory, this proposal asks three research questions: (1) How do USCIS officers describe their role in the naturalization process? (2) How do USCIS officers who conduct naturalization interviews exercise administrative discretion? (3) How do naturalization applicants describe their experiences with USCIS officers? Using a collective case study method, this research aims to interview both USCIS officers and individuals who have been interviewed for naturalization to understand why immigrants from underrepresented religions, races, and ethnicities in the United States achieve naturalization at lower rates compared to individuals from more dominant social groups.

The fearless workplace: Uncovering pathways to psychological safety at the frontlines

ABSTRACT. Many frontline bureaucracies suffer from psychologically unsafe workplaces that undermine frontline workers’ ability to deliver effective public service, pushing them into burn-outs and out of their organization (cf. Eldor, 2018). Psychological safety is frontline workers’ belief that they are safe to take interpersonal risks, encouraging them to speak up, share their experiences, and learn from their mistakes without fear of negative repercussions or judgment (Nembhard & Edmondson, 2011). Without it, frontline workers can refrain from innovating public service or using their resources to benefit citizens (Newman et al., 2017; Davidovitz & Cohen, 2023).

Despite the high stakes involved, a skew towards quantitative survey research in existing scholarship left us without a comprehensive understanding of why and how psychological safety develops in the first place (Newman et al., 2017). This proposal explores how psychological safety is accomplished in and through everyday frontline practice by asking: What dynamic of situations and people fosters or deteriorates psychological safety at the frontlines of public service?

To answer this question, I propose an ethnographic study of frontline tax officials who audit small- to medium sized enterprises (including ~320 hours of observations, and interviews in multiple regional tax offices). Theoretically, the research design proposal will integrate insights from organizational science and psychology with street-level bureaucracy literature (e.g., Raaphorst & Loyens, 2020; Edmondson & Lei, 2014)—a combination of perspectives that will provide much-needed insight into how social processes in public organizations shape public service delivery.

Street level bureaucracy & Stigma: Police Officer Burnout, Protest Stress and Stereotype Threat during the Black Lives Matter Movement
PRESENTER: Bradley Wright

ABSTRACT. Police organizations across the United States are currently grappling with a legitimacy crisis exacerbated by frequent media reports of uses of excessive force by the police against minorities. These incidents have fueled accusations of police racism, which was a significant aspect of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

While research indicates that concerns about being labeled as racist may influence officers to resort to coercive tactics during interactions with the public (McCarthy et al., 2021; Trinkner et al., 2019), the pervasiveness of the “racist cop” stereotype may also amplify stress and burnout for all officers - even those committed to public service and racial equality.

There has been little PA research on stereotype threat, a phenomenon where individuals are apprehensive about being judged based on negative stereotypes (Steele, 1997; Steele et al., 2002). Our study explores antecedents and consequences of officer concerns about being labeled as racist and associated stress. While existing literature focuses on outcomes related to officer-citizen interactions (McCarthy et al., 2021), limited attention has been given to the psychological and motivational effects on officers.

Integrating research on stereotype threat and burnout, we identify and test employee and work environment characteristics that may be linked to officer concerns about being labeled as racist. Subsequently, we examine how racist police stereotype threat and stress associated with the 2020 protests affected burnout and job satisfaction among frontline officers using survey data collected in 2019 and 2021 from officers in a large police agency.

13:15-14:45 Session 7E: Representative Bureaucracy: Causes and Effects
Representative Bureaucracy and Socioeconomic Representation: How Does Childhood Socioeconomic Background Influence Social Workers?

ABSTRACT. The study of representative bureaucracy presents substantial empirical evidence regarding how racial/ethnic and gender representation in public services significantly impacts the experiences of racial minorities and women, remarkably within fields like law enforcement and education. However, this scholarly area notably lacks consideration of other critical sociodemographic characteristics, especially socioeconomic status (SES). Moreover, its applicability beyond its focus on policing and schools raises questions among researchers about its relevance in diverse contexts encompassing various sociodemographic characteristics and policy domains. To address these gaps, the current study aims to broaden the scope of representative bureaucracy literature by investigating the potential impact of socioeconomic representation on interactions between social workers and clients sharing the same SES background. Specifically, it aims to determine whether the match between a social worker's socioeconomic background and that of the clientele groups influences their approach and favorability during interactions. In a survey of 2,126 U.S. social workers, findings from OLS regression analysis reveal a significant trend: social workers from both low and high SES backgrounds show a heightened inclination toward favorable interactions with clients of similar SES. These outcomes substantiate the principles underlying the theory of representative bureaucracy, illuminating the profound policy implications for social equity.

In Pursuit of a Representative Bureaucracy: Attitudes toward Nigeria’s Federal Character Principle

ABSTRACT. While Representative Bureaucracy (RB) research using data from the US tends to focus on race, sex, and the intersection of the two, the literature is yet lacking in its examination both of ethnicity and of representation in developing countries. In this paper, we address these gaps with a study of representative bureaucracy and ethnicity in Nigeria. Specifically, we study the perception and experience among Nigerian federal public servants of the Federal Character Principle (FCP). The FCP – provisions 14.3 and 14.4 – in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is an explicit commitment to ethnic representation within government agencies across all levels of government. But while a constitutional recognition of the potential of ethnic representation to promote social equity, the literature which appraises the implementation and results of the FCP suggests unsatisfactory effectiveness at best. Using qualitative methods including interviews, we answer the following research questions: i) do Nigerian public servants value the FCP and its objectives? ii) do public servants experience a sense of diversity and inclusion within their agencies? iii) what are some ways in which the FCP’s implementation might be improved to better reach its goals? We discuss the implications of our findings for the pursuit of a representative bureaucracy in Nigeria, the reimagination of the FCP. We also outline a research agenda to further our understanding of active representation in this context based on ethnicity.

Of Critical Importance: The Effects of Critical Mass and Salience of Identity on Representative Bureaucracy

ABSTRACT. Henderson (1979) first hypothesized that a critical mass of bureaucrats is needed before active representation will occur. Since then, the evidence for the need for a critical mass has been mixed (Meier 1993, Atkins and Wilkins 2013, Andrews et al. 2017). Recently, Meier and Xu (2022) argue the need for a critical mass may depend on the level of analysis (individual vs. aggregate) as well as the type of outcome (e.g., policy change vs. symbolic representation). This paper argues that critical mass affects the salience of identity in a given context, which, in turn, determines whether representational effects (i.e., active, symbolic, contagion) will occur. Critical mass is important for both the bureaucratic composition as well as for the clientele they represent. I argue that at low levels of organizational representation, the salience of particular identities will be higher, although the ability to affect change will be low. As the representational context changes, the salience of a given identity will peak and then decline, resulting in lower occurrences of acts of representation (although policy change itself may be more likely given the critical mass). I test this using multi-level, longitudinal data in an educational setting.

Client Preferences for Bureaucratic Representation: A Conjoint Experiment Involving Symbolic Representation and Representative Role Acceptance Cues
PRESENTER: Austin McCrea

ABSTRACT. Whether it is a parent deciding on what school to send their child to, a daughter shopping between assisted living facilities for an aging parent, or a Medicare patient choosing a primary care physician, citizens face myriad choices when receiving many public services. Far from passive actors in bureaucratic encounters, literature depicts citizens as active participants who express agency, preference, and choice. This study explores how citizens, when they have a choice, select bureaucrats in a context where bureaucratic profiles signal information about expertise, values, and identities that may be important to citizens.

Prior work on symbolic representation suggests that a bureaucracy which reflects the demographic composition of the public generates positive attitudinal and behavioral changes that facilitate better governmental processes. A bureaucrat who “looks like me” provides a positive cue. However, another underexplored mechanism for selection is representative role adoption (see Sowa & Selden 2003). Role adoption describes a bureaucrat’s expressed willingness to substantively advance the interests of a particular client group (independent of an identity match).

Using a conjoint experiment involving therapist selection on a survey of U.S. adults, we explore the interplay between these two mechanisms by 1) measuring therapist-patient racial/gender matching and 2) providing cues regarding role adoption through information on therapists’ fields of specialization, including specialties in LGBTQ+, women’s issues, and racial identity. Realism in presenting profiles of therapists and specializations was informed by display of search results by Psychology Today’s popular Find a Therapist tool, enhancing the external validity of our research design.

13:15-14:45 Session 7F: Emergency Management and Sustainability
Navigating Transformative Change: Insights into City Information Processing and Disaster Preparedness Evolution in Public Management

ABSTRACT. In the past decade, the world has experienced a notable increase in the frequency and severity of climate change-induced disasters, particularly affecting urban areas. This has spurred a sense of urgency among city leaders to enhance their communities' preparedness for environmental hazards like floods. Adapting management practices to address modern threats has become imperative.

This study aims to understand the factors influencing the evolution of city governments' disaster preparedness practices, with a focus on innovations driven by external knowledge acquisition. Drawing on insights from policy learning literature, we examine the factors that influence cities to look beyond their own experiences and adjust their practices based on information from external sources.

We hypothesize that government capacity, information-seeking behavior, political demand, decision-making institutions, prior hazard experience, and the presence of local policy entrepreneurs shape the extent to which cities rely on external sources of information when modifying their approaches to prepare for potential environmental disasters. We examine these hypotheses using data from a national survey targeted at city leaders responsible for hazard preparation. The survey was administered to all U.S. cities with populations over 20,000 (n=1850). 386 or 21% responded.

Findings from mediated moderation analysis underscore the crucial moderating function of local government capacity in converting externally obtained information into policy changes. Additionally, it plays a mediating role in facilitating the same transformation concerning political demand. The study also delves into the impact of the effectiveness of policy entrepreneurs in situations where these capacities are inadequate or absent.

Organizational adaptation to extreme weather events: The role of risk perception heterogeneity and integration

ABSTRACT. Climate change is exacerbating the frequency and severity of extreme weather events: occurrences that are more severe, inconsistent, and damaging than what has been observed historically. These phenomena are a major source of concern for public sector organizations (WEF, 2022), yet agencies grapple with effectively adapting to these challenges as they face both endogenous and exogenous barriers (Eisenack et al., 2014). While literature mainly focuses on exogenous factors hindering adaptive behaviors (e.g., financial capacity, institutional support, and political contexts) (Biesbroek et al., 2013; Ekstrom & Moser, 2014), this study contributes to the organizational adaptation scholarship by examining the role of internal decision-making processes in enabling or preventing public organizations’ responses to extreme weather.

Drawing on Daft and Weick (1984) framework, I study public agencies as open interpretative systems and investigate how organizational risk perception heterogeneity and consensus-building strategies influence adaptation. To test my hypotheses, I draw on a national survey of the 300 largest local transit agencies in the US.

Results suggest that adaptation is more likely to occur either when public managers develop shared mental models (consensus around content), or when they employ communication approaches that ensures a broad enough framing of the issues (consensus around framing). Findings offer actionable insights for practitioners highlighting the pivotal role of robust communication and socialization mechanisms in enabling adaptation. Theoretically speaking, results underscore the importance of integrating structural and technical assessments of adaptive barriers with a thorough understanding of the social dynamics underlying action-taking.

When civil servants as catalysts: Unraveling the dynamics of issue-selling for sustainable development in Taiwan

ABSTRACT. Previous research shed lights on the interactions of public servants, acting collectively as policy actors, with stakeholders external to public organizations, aiming to address environmental issues in various stages of the policy process, encompassing agenda setting, policy diffusion, stakeholder engagements, and implementation. However, the effective delivery of public services requires credible commitments from individual public servants towards the defined policy goals, especially in the early stages of the policy process. What factors cause public servants sell green issues with in public organizations? Drawing on the literature on organizational citizenship behaviors(OCB)and collective action theory (e.g., Stritch & Christensen, 2016; Lubell et al., 2007), the argument posits that public employees decide to proactively sell policy issues in the workplace, as a form of OCB, influenced by not only the anticipated benefits but also the perceived efforts required for such endeavors. Utilizing survey data with a representative samples of Taiwan public servants, this paper is to investigate public servants’ participation in issue-selling for sustainable development goals(SDG). The findings could offer insights into the significance of public service motivation (PSM) in driving OCB, especially considering that the levels of PSM in Taiwan may not be as high as those in the USA(Chen et al, 2020). Beyond motivational factors, the study examines the effects of individual eco-initiatives and other organizational factors on issue-selling behaviors, suggesting that the adoptions of managerial practices could have impacts on policy outcomes.

Beyond Rhetoric: The Nexus of Coordination and Capacity in Shaping Local Sustainable Actions
PRESENTER: Tianyi Xiang

ABSTRACT. Achieving a better and more sustainable future is an effort to which public agencies are inherently tied. Many local authorities are proactively engaging in sustainability initiatives to improve the current livability and ensure future viability, including setting greenhouse gas reduction targets and adopting comprehensive climate mitigation plans. Pursuing these sustainability initiatives requires collaborative efforts across a wide range of public organizations. Currently, the significance of inter-organizational coordination in the context of local government sustainability efforts is widely acknowledged, but the empirical investigation on how it facilitates action-taking remains scarce.

Moreover, sustainability endeavors often face resource competition with other city programs, posing challenges due to their long-term nature and absence of immediate crisis response or tangible outcomes. Organizational capacity emerges as a crucial factor in addressing the intricacies of coordinating sustainability activities across diverse departments. For instance, cities with robust fiscal standing and dedicated sustainability units are better positioned to make forward-looking investments crucial for sustainable development.

This study employs a nationwide survey conducted in the United States to scrutinize the intricate interplay between inter-organizational coordination and organizational capacity in shaping local government sustainability practices. The results offer valuable insights for public managers, delineating strategies to enhance both inter-organizational coordination and organizational capacity. By doing so, this research aims to facilitate effective sustainability action-taking within city governments, contributing to the broader discourse on fostering a sustainable urban future.

13:15-14:45 Session 7G: Applications of Computational Modeling and Machine Learning to Optimize Equitable Solutions to Policy Challenges
Toward Equitable Resilience: Evaluating Justice Integration in U.S. State and City Climate Adaptation Plans
PRESENTER: Fengxiu Zhang

ABSTRACT. A mounting consensus among academics and practitioners underscores the imperative for incorporating justice considerations in climate adaptation policies. Despite the conceptual advancement (Juhola et al., 2022), there is limited empirical evidence about how justice is integrated in adaptation policymaking. A few notable exceptions exist (Caggiano et al., 2023; Della Valle et al., 2023; Diezmartínez & Short Gianotti, 2022), but they examine city-level climate action plans and do not distinguish mitigation and adaptation efforts. However, such a distinction would be critical for justice considerations, given that the two types of actions have divergent goals and objectives, distinct governance structures and strategies as well as disparate impacts on vulnerable communities.

This study contributes to the literature by examining how states and cities address justice concerns in their climate adaptation plans. It will systematically collect adaptation plans from each of the 50 U.S. states and a sample of most populous cities within each state. The theoretical framework will build upon the adaptation justice index (Juhola et al., 2022) consisting of recognitional, procedural and distributive justice. The analysis will use natural language processing techniques to examine how states and local governments integrate the three dimensions of justice in their plans. We will further assess the extent of state influence on city-level adaptation planning. Insights from this study will inform policy coordination and consistency by unveiling how state governments can shape justice considerations in city-level adaptation planning efforts as well as how state and city governments can collaborate to promote equitable resilience across communities.

Equitable Emergency Management: Using Machine Learning Algorithms to Understand Help and Service Requests During Hurricane Irma

ABSTRACT. Social media platforms have become crucial venues for government agencies to communicate, coordinate, and engage with a wide range of stakeholders in the context of disasters. Massive social media data allow researchers to explore how to better serve impacted residents and communities during a disaster. Yet, research on equitable emergency management and artificial intelligence remains limited (Dwarakanath et al., 2021; Rivera & Knox, 2023). We apply machine learning (ML) algorithms to identify and classify help and service request messages and further analyze the relationship between service requests and social vulnerability of communities. This study addresses two questions: What service needs were prominent during Hurricane Irma, and how did the service request patterns evolve across communities with varying levels of social vulnerability?

Hurricane Irma claimed 129 lives, caused more than $50 billion in damage, and led to the evacuation of more than 6.5 million Florida residents. Many public agencies, nonprofit, and business organizations, and individuals communicated Irma-related information on Twitter. We applied a stratified sampling method to collect a representative sample of 1.1 million Irma-related tweets out of 7.3 million tweets. We then used ML algorithms to filter out messages unrelated to help and service requests and then classified relevant requests into subcategories such as rescue help and sheltering service. Furthermore, we conducted spatial and temporal analysis and mapped out the help and service requests in Florida communities. This study contributes to social equity research in emergency management and informs emergency management regarding resource allocation and crisis communication.


ABSTRACT. In contentious political environments, people’s political perceptions have come to be increasingly tied to their identities. Ideological views are reified within identity groups as members’ views reinforce feelings of identity belonging. In professional identity groups, this process is related to the norms of professions and organizational rituals, resulting in comfortable, but often fictitious narratives about the role of the organization or the rationales for its activities (Eckerd, 2023). Since public organizations operate within political environments, often in the context of contentious politically charged issues, they may be even more affected by unthinking than other types of organizations. This can lead to reinforcing groupthink or what Alvesson and Spicer (2012) refer to as functional stupidity. Functional stupidity is an organizational characteristic defined as “an absence of reflexivity, a refusal to use intellectual capacities in other than myopic ways, and avoidance of justification,” which “gives rise to forms of stupidity management that repress or marginalize doubt and block communicative action” (Alvesson and Spicer, 2012: 1194). In this research, I will unpack the processes of unthinking to explore the circumstances under which functional stupidity can emerge in public organizations. Using an agent-based model to create a representation of different organizational environments to see how institutions come to be operated in a functionally stupid way, I will try to identify opportunities to inject critical thinking into politically charged or institutionally constraining situations.

Where do Best Ideas Come From? The Emergence of Most Valuable Ideas in Networked Collectives
PRESENTER: Spiro Maroulis

ABSTRACT. This study develops a theory of the emergence of the most valuable ideas in networked collectives through the development of a computational model that simultaneously tracks interactions of actors within a network and the idea development trajectories produced by those interactions. Our theory establishes two distinct stages of idea development (1) "outside the last mile," where ideas require significant novelty to develop into the most valuable idea and (2) "within the last mile," where only incremental advancement is needed. It articulates how these stages interact with the processes responsible for exploring combinations of idea features (idea space infiltration), and the processes responsible for spreading ideas among actors (social infiltration), to produce the most valuable ideas in networked groups. Outside the last mile, idea space infiltration drives the likelihood of success, making the recombination of ideas the most potent action in producing the best idea. Inside the last mile, recombinations can be counterproductive. Instead, actions that increase social infiltration, such as transferring existing ideas between network subgroups, become more valuable. Importantly, our model also highlights how the sequencing of these activities can affect an idea’s eventual quality. Within the last mile, having activities that enhance social infiltration occur prior to activities that promote idea space infiltration increases the probability of an idea developing into the best possible idea. Taken together, these insights imply that collaborative groups could consider increasing their focus on dissemination and social acceptance of novel breakthroughs as they occur, rather than waiting until the completion of a project.

13:15-14:45 Session 7H: Identities in Public Administration
The Asian American Experience in the Federal Workforce: How Employees Navigate the Complexities of Racialization
PRESENTER: Emma Northcott

ABSTRACT. The Asian American experience in the federal workforce remains poorly understood. As a heterogeneous minority group, Asian American bureaucrats offer important insights about processes of racialization and efforts to make public organizations more inclusive. In this study, we examine the constraints Asian American federal workers face, strategies they use to overcome constraints, and the workplace characteristics that influence racialization. We interviewed 41 individuals who identify as Asian American and work in U.S. federal government agencies. Interviews ranged in length between 31 and 88 minutes and we followed an inductive, iterative coding approach (Gioia et al., 2013) to uncover patterns and themes in the transcripts. Our coding process revealed five aggregate dimensions that shape the experiences of Asian American federal employees: (1) racial identity formation, (2) instances of racialization at work, (3) aspects of federal government contexts such as organizational culture and practices, (4) individual strategies to overcome constraints, and (5) awareness of the political climate and social ties outside the work context. By probing the mechanisms through which Asian American employees experience racialization and the strategies they adopt in response, this study contributes to a small but growing literature on diversity in the public sector and racialization processes beyond the Black-white binary. Understanding racialization and exclusion of Asian American bureaucrats informs broader study of racial inequality in public administration.

Visible Together: Unwinding Asian Americans and Representation in Public Organizations
PRESENTER: Heyjie Jung

ABSTRACT. While the presence of Asian Americans has been growing in the US, we know relatively little about Asian American bureaucrats. Few studies in representative bureaucracy center on Asian Americans, and many exclude them or use them as a baseline. Additionally, much of the work in public administration on Asians does not meaningfully consider how each ethnic group comes with diverse values and cultural backgrounds (Yu, 2020). Characterization of various ethnic groups into a single group masks individual experiences and can foster false expectations about their ability to represent the broader group, resulting in the identity threats and negative work outcomes (Steele et al., 2002).

To build upon the scholarship on Asian Americans in the public organizations, we turn our attention to race and ethnicity in the context of representing to explore two core questions: (1) How are Asian Americans defining Asian identities? and (2) To what extent do the Asian identities reflect the representation of other Asians? We integrate literature on Asian culture, representative bureaucracy, and identity formation to develop hypotheses. Using a survey data of Asian American public servants, this study disentangles Asians into separate ethnic Asian subgroups to understand their identities as Asian and the implication of their identities on representation of other Asians in the community. This study will contribute to identity and representation literature by adding cultural explanations based on Asian subgroups and findings will provide insights for a more comprehensive understanding of race and ethnicity in public organizations.

Representation in Context: Racial Minority Active Representation and White Americans Prejudice Expression
PRESENTER: Ines Jurcevic

ABSTRACT. (2) Public organizations are working to increase the representation of diversity amongst employees. One strategy includes forming more diverse decision-making bodies within organizations. Extant research on the impact of increased diversity on decision-making committees finds that the presence of racial minority group members can decrease Whites’ prejudice expression. The present research draws on representative bureaucracy and social psychological theory to examine the conditions under which White individuals increase, rather than diminish, their prejudice expression in diverse decision-making contexts. Four experiments examine the influence of Black evaluators’ negative assessments of Black and Latino job candidates on White committee members’ evaluations of these candidates. Across experiments, White participants rated a racial minority candidate as less competent and reported less desire to hire a racial minority candidate after a Black, compared to White, committee member had negatively evaluated the candidate. Clarifying the mechanism, in Experiment 3, White participants’ likelihood of hiring the White candidate was not influenced by the Black or White evaluator’s race, and participants only used the Black evaluator’s negative, and not positive, evaluations of the Black candidate when providing their assessments. Experiment 4 revealed that White individuals’ decrease in concerns about appearing prejudiced statistically mediated the relationship between viewing the Black evaluator’s negative evaluation and Whites individuals’ negativity toward the Black candidate. Together, these findings illuminate challenges to building inclusive and representative public organizations and offer insight into several underlying assumptions present in representative bureaucracy theory.

13:15-14:45 Session 7I: Budgeting Strategies
The evil of budget imbalance to organizational commitment: some flexibility but not too much?
PRESENTER: Fangda Ding

ABSTRACT. Extant research has seldom discussed the fiscal factors shaping employee commitment to public organizations. How does budget imbalance in terms of budget deficit and surplus affect employee’s organizational commitment? How to mitigate the negative impacts of budget imbalances? Using agency theory, public choice theory, and three-component theory of organizational commitment, this paper attempts to holistically explore the impacts of budget imbalance on employee’s commitment to public organizations, along with several organizational elements that help control the possible negative effect. We proposed a inverted U-shaped relationship between budget imbalance and organizational commitment. We argued that budget imbalance in terms of both deficit and surplus can create the funding flexibility that increase employee’s organizational commitment, while too much budget deviation may reduce their organizational commitment. We constructed model based on data from FEVS and federal budget to test the relevant hypotheses in the context of the U.S. federal government. The empirical results supported our hypothesized inverted U-shaped relationship between budget imbalances measured by the differences between the amount approved by the legislature and that actually spent by the executive branch and federal employee’s organizational commitment. The negative effects of budget imbalances can be mitigated by direct informational support (e.g., goal clarification and positive feedback), performance management quality, and indirect technical support (e.g., professional training and supporting technology), while discretion had mixed moderating effects. This study advances both inquiries on budget imbalance and organizational commitment in public organizations by taking a closer look at the role of budget management in managing public personnel.

Engaging Economies: How Community Involvement Redirects Federal Funds in Local COVID-19 Recovery
PRESENTER: Cody Taylor

ABSTRACT. This study investigates the impact of county governments' emphasis on community engagement and social equity on the allocation of COVID-19 local government recovery funds. Advancing community engagement and social equity has become a crucial goal for local governments to address citizens’ needs and reduce inequalities in local communities (Harper-Anderson and Teklemariam, 2023). At the same time, resource allocation is considered an important signal reflecting governmental priorities (Rubin, 2020). Thus, it is worthwhile to consider how prioritizing community engagement and social equity affects managerial decisions regarding funding allocations at the local level.

Employing a propensity score matching approach and leveraging data from Results for America combined with data from the National Association of Counties, we assessed the average treatment effect of community engagement and social equity on county-level expenditures. Our preliminary findings show that local governments prioritizing community engagement allocate more funds for immediate public needs rather than administrative capacity. However, we did not find evidence that local governments prioritizing social equity increased expenditures that immediately benefit citizens.

This study provides meaningful contributions to public administration scholarship and practice. First, our study offers empirical evidence that there may be a potential misalignment between managerial priorities and citizen needs. Second, the findings of the study imply that it is crucial for local public managers to put significant effort into clarifying their priorities for community engagement and social equity in planning processes, as they may grapple with underlying structural issues perpetuating inequality.

Interlocal service collaboration network and fiscal outcomes: empirical evidence from Nebraska counties

ABSTRACT. Researchers have posited that collaborations can generate cost-savings and increase efficiency by promoting economies of scale and reducing transaction costs. While studies have tried to confirm the collaboration-cost savings relationship (e.g., Bel and Warner 2015), there is little empirical evidence examining the relationship between interlocal collaboration and budgetary arrangements (Park et al. 2022; Park, Maher, and Ebdon 2020; Maher 2015). When local governments in the United States are keen on collaboratively delivering public service via Interlocal agreements (ILAs), the set of ILA relations form a macro-level overlapping interlocal service delivery network. This study contributes to the literature by employing social capital theory to explain the fiscal outcomes resulting from the characteristics of each county in the collaborative network. Specifically, do ILAs reduce transaction costs, promote cooperation, and build trust by maximizing information access and strengthening credibility and reciprocity (e.g., Berardo 2014; Yi 2018). Using network data generated by Nebraska counties’ 2012-2017 ILAs, I find governments with more bridging and bonding social capital having lower total per capita revenues and expenditures, but higher property tax and tax rates which can be interpreted as the results of Nebraska fiscal incentives for interlocal collaboration.

From Structure to Outcomes: Unpacking the Effects of Budget Centralization During Financial Crises
PRESENTER: Hala Altamimi

ABSTRACT. Amid economic challenges, questions surrounding government allocation and control of financial resources take center stage. While budgets are means to influence this function, there is limited understanding of how the structural attributes of the budgetary process impact organizational outcomes in austere environments. This study examines the relationship between budget centralization and its consequences on both organizational and budgetary outcomes during financial crises in U.S. city governments.

Organizational theory literature suggests that the decision-making structure and task control can influence resource allocation through two approaches: centralization where decision-making authority rests within a single or few individuals; or decentralization where this authority is distributed across all employees within the organization. Debates persist on the effects of each approach. Advocates argue that budget centralization enhances control and coordination, streamlining oversight and resource allocation (Andrews et al. 2009). However, excessive centralization may impede responsiveness, hindering adaptation to external changes. Proponents propose that a decentralized process can enhance responsiveness but it requires time and resources not always available during a crisis.

Using a national survey of city governments, structural equation models show that budget centralization improves city governments’ ability to balance their operating budget and increase their workforce, service, and infrastructure capacities. These findings could be explained by two mechanisms. First, centralization enables governments to analyze the causes of the budget crisis and formulate a long-term fiscal recovery plan, which both strengthen their administrative capacity. Second, centralization also directly enhances governments’ administrative capacity by allocating resources more efficiently and aligning expenditures with strategic priorities.

13:15-14:45 Session 7J: Street-level Bureaucracy in China
Technology adoption and street-level bureaucracy: A causal exploration of China’s judicial system
PRESENTER: Nancy Jiaxin Wu

ABSTRACT. Street-level bureaucracies have been much talked about as part of policymakers and policy implementers since Lipsky first introduced the dilemma of street-level bureaucracies(Bovens & Zouridis, 2002). With the rapid development and adoption of information and communication technology (ICT), how street-level bureaucrats deliver services, treat clients, and allocate their daily work time has been greatly impacted (Halliday et al., 2009; Vedung, 2015). The recent integration of advanced technologies, notably blockchain technology (BCT), into public sectors offers intriguing implications for these street-level bureaucrats and a fertile ground for investigating these very dynamics.

In this research, we concentrate on the specific technology employed in the evidence verification stage during the trial, collected data from China Judgment Online, which contains all the judgment files of local courts including those cases with the usage of BCT and the others that have not. Then we employ a mixed methods approach based on the synthetic control method, beginning with a quantitative study utilizing the Machine learning algorithm trained by the judgment files to predict the counterfactual control group of each case, facilitating the case-level comparison; followed by a qualitative approach to take in-depth interviews with the courts' officials to figure out their cope strategy while using the BCT verification products. Preliminary findings indicate that the adoption of the BCT has improved the administrative efficiency of the judicial system with discernible shifts in the coping mechanisms of court officials.

Public Villains or Heroes? Citizen Perceptions of Street-Level Bureaucrats during the Pandemic

ABSTRACT. The relationship between street-level bureaucrats (SLBs) and citizens has been a focus of policy implementation studies. However, there is insufficient research about how citizens perceive the roles of SLBs, which can explain their responses to street-level implementation. This study applies the Q methodology to investigate citizen perceptions of SLBs during the pandemic in China. The results reveal three profiles of SLBs: self-preserving implementers, public protectors, and responsibility dodgers. These findings indicate that citizens’ perceptions are correlated with individual’s educational background, geographic locations, and participation in pandemic mitigation activities. Additionally, citizens’ perceptions significantly impact their (non-)compliance behaviours and voluntary cooperation.

Exploring indicators for measuring frontline public servants’ psychological capital during pandemic emergencies

ABSTRACT. The experience of various countries in preventing epidemics has shown that large-scale epidemic infectious diseases cannot fully rely on public policies, and frontline public servants play a vital role during pandemic emergencies in preventing the spread of epidemics, reducing the risk of epidemics among the public, and strengthening the implementation of policies. A great deal of the studies in the field of public administration and policy have emphasized the important role of frontline public servants under COVID-19 paramedic. Some important but unattended considerations under the discussions of frontline public servants, such as psychological capital during pandemic emergencies. The study developed a psychological capital measurement framework and examined the influence of psychological capital and its determinants. This study analyzed the literature to identify the important indicators and measurement components of domestic and international psychological capital literature and planned to integrate the Trougakos, Chawla, and McCarthy (2020) COVID-19 Fear Scale and the Psychological Capital Quantification Scale to develop a large-scale infectious disease psychological capital scale for frontline public servants during pandemic emergencies.

13:15-14:45 Session 7K: Transparency
A Field Experiment on Local Elected Officials’ Responsiveness to Public Request for Police Accountability

ABSTRACT. Can the public motivate government transparency through the leverage of elected officials, given their direct accountability to the electorate and their oversight of bureaucracies?

We identify three key conditions that impact elected officials’ responsiveness to public requests: 1) anticipated political risk; 2) expected contribution to the public interest; and 3) perceived deservingness of the requester. For theory testing, we use the context of police misconduct settlement in the United States, which is a growing concern because it is predominantly financed by taxpayer funds, imposing minimal liability on police departments or involved officers.

We have designed a field experiment that targets approximately 18,000 elected officials (mayors and council members) across 3,000 U.S. cities. We will send emails requesting data on local police misconduct settlements, using a 2X3 between-subject design that manipulates the aforementioned conditions. Specifically, we will randomize the requester’s name between a White- and Black-sounding name, to test the effect of constituent deservingness. Additionally, we will randomly insert two information cues—one signaling potential political risk by referencing existing media coverage on this issue; and another highlighting how elected officials can contribute to the public interest by responding. Each official in our sample will receive a unique email after block randomization. Our primary outcome is the official’s responsiveness, with secondary analysis on response time and quality. This study advances our understanding of government transparency and accountability through behavioral change of elected representatives.

The Nuances of Government Transparency: An Experimental Assessment of the Effects of Polarization and Justification Strategies on Citizen Perceptions
PRESENTER: Kyuwoong Kyeong

ABSTRACT. While many view full government transparency as vital for maintaining citizen support and trust, research has revealed that limited transparency in which decision makers provide justifications for their decisions are often more beneficial than strategies that also include transparency in process. Within this focus on explicability, limited research has revealed that the effects of justification may depend on the nature of the policy as well as a individual’s prior level of knowledge. However, less work has been done to assess the sentiment, or tone, of the justification that is offered by government actors. The aim of this study is to consider the effect of both policy type and justification sentiment on citizen perceptions of government and willingness to accept a policy. To test our hypotheses, we use a 2x2x2 pre-registered factorial survey experiment that manipulates policy type as well as two facets of tone. More specifically, we present information on mail-in voting or energy tax incentives as the former is highly polarized while the latter is not. Regarding sentiment, we examine both whether a justification consists of a positive or negative tone as well as whether it is based on reason or emotion. Analysis will be based on 2000 responses of U.S. citizens gathered through Prolific. Results of this work have implications for understanding the nexus of government transparency and tonality that will be useful for both practitioners and scholars working to understand the ways in which variation in information can shape perceptions of and trust in government.

Contesting Untrustworthy Algorithms in the Public Sector
PRESENTER: Kayla Schwoerer

ABSTRACT. Governments are increasingly using algorithms to make decisions about citizens, which presents a number of new empirical (and practical) questions about public perceptions of the use of algorithms. Recently, scholarly attention has shifted to understanding how not just transparent but explainable algorithms may boost citizens’ trust. However, efforts to promote trust through explainability (XAI) assume that algorithms are indeed worthy of trust. In reality, untrustworthy algorithmic decisions based on biased models or data should be challenged. Algorithmic transparency and explainability, in particular, are widely expected to help with that by increasing the trustworthiness of algorithms and their decisions. At the same time, XAI is considered a promising strategy for providing individuals with the information they need to contest algorithmic decisions.

Surprisingly, limited research tests whether this intended outcome of XAI - contestability - occurs. Using two pre-registered survey experiments, we test whether explainable algorithmic decisions enable individuals’ understanding, ability to detect algorithmic flaws, and - ultimately - contest (untrustworthy) decisions. Study 1 tests three levels of transparency - low, medium, and high - to assess impacts on individuals’ ability to spot algorithmic errors worth contesting. Study 2 builds on the findings by testing two forms of XAI - local and global explanations - as potential strategies for increasing individuals’ understanding and ability to spot flaws.

This research explores the nuances of XAI in the public sector context, notably the role of explainability in improving the trustworthiness of algorithms while also offering a critical assessment of naive assumptions of XAI.

15:00-16:30 Session 8A: Percolator: Pathways of International Scholars in U.S. Academia: Conversations with Public Administration Scholars
Pathways of International Scholars in U.S. Academia: Conversations with Public Administration Scholars

ABSTRACT. The percolator session examines the crucial aspects of navigating academic career and tenure among foreign-born scholars, an understudied group in public administration. The panel aims to dissect the challenges faced by foreign-born academics in navigating tenure and promotion criteria concerning teaching, research, and service. By sharing their lived experiences, the panelists will discuss strategies for overcoming these challenges and offer best practices for the career advancement of this scholarly group.

15:00-16:30 Session 8B: Lightning talks: Collaboration, coordination, networks, implementation, and policy
Bridges over Troubled Water? Examining Collaborative Decision-Making in the Allocation of Public Transportation Funding amid Rules and Regional Power Dynamics

ABSTRACT. Metropolitan transportation systems stretch, physically and economically, across the jurisdictional boundaries of local governments. For many such systems, federally-mandated metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) engage in regional-scale, collaborative governance, facilitating intergovernmental, and increasingly cross-sectoral, interactions in planning and funding processes for the management of interjurisdictional infrastructure. Despite providing a crucial public service, MPOs are, practically and theoretically, underexamined. Past work questions the equity and effectiveness of their governance, identifying potential issues of representation and participation in MPOs’ policy boards as they allocate shared resources. Such scholarship, however, has focused almost entirely on administrative structures, often bypassing the institutional architecture constituting and regulating processes for cooperation and decision-making. Moreover, the presence and effect(s) of these institutions have been seldom examined with consideration for regional power dynamics; what work exists emphasizes the influence of concentrated power on allocations of public transportation funds. My study begins improving our understanding of this aspect of intergovernmental cooperation by creating and analyzing a unique dataset linking MPOs’ institutional arrangements, with socioeconomic characteristics of their composite localities, and transportation investment and infrastructure data for the regions managed by each organization. Through this investigation, regional power is novelly examined from a multi-dimensional perspective to more thoroughly investigate the contexts and outcomes of collective decision-making processes and their geographic allocation of public funds in the presence of various degrees of power diffusion. Furthermore, this research allows for in-depth insight into the composition and role of institutional designs in determining where public investments go in the practice of regional public management.

Exploring Homophily: How It Influences the Formation and Segregation of Organizational Circles in Emergency Collaborative Networks

ABSTRACT. Research on organizational homophily has predominantly focused on democratic countries, examining how homophily influences spontaneously formed collaborative networks. Whether the theory of organizational homophily is applicable within the unique emergency management system characterized by unified command in China is worth investigating. This paper uses the case of the Zhengzhou "7·20" extreme rainstorm disaster to explore how organizational homophily affects the formation of organizational circles and their connections within emergency coordination networks. The study employs social network analysis based on five types of organizational homophily characteristics.

Key findings include: (1) The emergency collaborative networks during the response and recovery phases of the "7·20" rainstorm is divided into 22 tightly connected organizational ciecles, with high isolation between some clircles; (2) Contrary to previous studies, the homophily in organizational type and location does not significantly promote the formation of organizational circles but remains crucial for inter-cluster connections; (3) Interaction analysis reveals that the unified command emergency management system has advantages in cross-regional cooperation but faces issues such as insufficient resources within the same region and limited cross-regional cooperation at the same administrative level; (4) Further analysis indicates that homophily in organizational level enhances overall network efficiency, though current collaboration among organizations at the same level is very limited.

This study contributes to understanding the structure and group dynamics of emergency collaborative networks in the Chinese context, offering significant insights into enriching the theory of organizational homophily and improving emergency management policies.

Bridging Strategic Management and Collaborative Governance at scale: A marriage of necessity?
PRESENTER: Nicola Ulibarri

ABSTRACT. Connecting the literatures on strategic management (SM) and collaborative governance (CG) may help overcome the increasing gap between dwindling public sector capabilities and growing societal expectations. Through CG, the public sector can mobilize resources and manage growing societal expectations. However, the shift toward collaboration may have contributed to the marginalization of government in the first place. Meanwhile, SM could be a way to bring government back by adding needed attention to the management capabilities and resourcing activities that effective governance requires. Adding a SM component to CG may enable growth in organizational capabilities to address big challenges like climate change and sustainable development at the scale needed to make a difference.

For this to happen, CG and SM theory need to be integrated. This paper outlines how such integration might occur, focusing on tensions in the ways SM and CG literatures frame “scale”. CG is generally conceptualized at an inter-organizational or broader level, while SM focuses mainly on single organizations. We address such questions as: how do the literatures on SM and CG articulate the challenges to which SM and/or CG is a response? What is/are the scales at which these challenges present themselves? How is scale defined? How do SM and CG as responses manage different challenges at different scales? And is there evidence that infusing CG with SM yields greater effectiveness? The paper is structured as a problematizing literature review, with the objective of creating a research agenda on the bridging of SM and CG at scale.

The challenges of implementing and sustaining ‘opt-out’ HIV testing across acute, primary and community care service settings in South London, UK: A longitudinal case study.
PRESENTER: Alec Fraser

ABSTRACT. South London is an area with a very high HIV prevalence rate. Many people live with the disease here without knowing they have it, alongside other people who have ceased engaging with NHS services for various reasons. Identifying and engaging both these cohorts and offering them timely treatment helps avoid individual health deterioration, slows the spread of HIV through avoiding future transmissions and reduces the cost implications of treating HIV for the NHS over time. ‘Opt-out’ testing is an evidence-informed approach to increasing HIV diagnoses across acute, primary and community care settings in high HIV prevalence areas. Historically however, South London care services failed to consistently implement the intervention. The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) Zero HIV programme ran in South London from 2018-21 (Fraser et al., 2022). It brought together dedicated private funding and a new constellation of actors from the public, private and non-profit sectors to experiment with strategies to implement opt-out HIV testing. The EJAF programme delivered impressive results, but the funding was time limited. Following the completion of programme, significant changes to NHS funding and management were prompted to sustain the implementation of opt-out testing. In order to understand how cross-sector partnerships identify, implement, and sustain successful interventions, we apply the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (Damschroder et al., 2009) to the initial EJAF programme and the subsequent reformed NHS approach drawing on a longitudinal qualitative case study design. We highlight the importance of changes to the ‘outer-setting’, increased ‘cosmopolitanism’, better coordinated funding, and inter-organisational collaboration.

Investigating the Success of DSME’s HBA1C Monitoring in Alabama among Medicare Recipients 65 and over.

ABSTRACT. Type 2 diabetes is one of the major chronic diseases that has been plaguing the United States for a long period of time with estimated cost of $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity (American Diabetes Association, 2012). This study looks at the allocation of DSME certification from the American Diabetes Association and the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education under the current Alabama mandate to increase glucose monitoring prevalence to 95% by 2018. In this regard, this study sought to determine whether there is a significant relationship between counties with DSME programs and said counties’ overall performance along diabetes indicators in Alabama by testing each county along diabetes outcome indicators for seniors 65 and older, in addition to socioeconomic indicators which pertain to income and education. Also, by focusing our study on people with diabetes for citizens aged 65 and older, the study seeks to determine whether the current state of DSME programs is well equipped to address Alabama’s most vulnerable population. This study employs a multiple regression analysis using a dataset of 67 counties in Alabama and their lists of DSME programs, health outcomes, and socioeconomic indicators. The models in this study test the effect of DSME characteristics, public health characteristics, demographic characteristics, and socioeconomic characteristics on HbA1c Monitoring in Alabama. The results show no significant relationship between the variables of interest and serve as a pointer for the government on future DSME policies.

How the algorithm context and policy instrument affect the social acceptance of algorithm governance: based on case analysis of DIC practice in China

ABSTRACT. The prevalence of algorithm applied in public administration has raised discussions mainly from the perspectives of technology and policy implementation. In era of civic, digital identity code (DIC) is a mode of governance, which is generated by algorithm to represent individual identity and social behaviour, implementing corresponding policy instruments, e.g., bonus or penalty. In spite of the increasing trend of DIC in cities in China, some are facing social resistance and failure. Recent literature and practice have shown that neither algorithm nor policy instruments are Panacea, the appropriateness should be discussed in context. Nevertheless, few have revealed how the context of algorithm and policy instruments affect the social acceptance of DIC. In this paper, we construct the dichotomous analytical framework of "Norm Orientation x Policy Instrument Type", and argue that the appropriateness of the two constructs has an impact on the effectiveness of DIC. Social norms constitute a specific governance context. The fitness of the policy instrument with certain orientation of social norms will influence the social acceptance of DIC. We used case study method and compared local practice of DIC in city of Suzhou, Shengzhou, Wenzhou, and Jinyun. Based on evidence from cases, we found that the incentive policy tools are more suitable with the value-oriented norms, while the coercive tools may not work well except for compliance-oriented normative situations. DIC may lack of social legitimacy and acceptance, and even fail when the two constructs don’t fit well. Corresponding policy implications in algorithmic governance are also stated.

Knowledge-Driven and Environmental Incentives: The Path Selection and Generation Logic of Policy Reinvention —— A Qualitative Comparative Analysis Based on 42 Cases

ABSTRACT. Policy reinvention serves as a significant entry point for the study of national document content. Existing research treats policy reinvention as a phase of "policy diffusion".While policy diffusion involves a binary game of governmental adoption, policy reinvention encapsulates a robust proactive innovation and a bottom-up response process. The study takes the new infrastructure policy as the research subject and builds a theoretical framework directed at the influencing factors of policy reinvention, selecting four dimensions of influence. Using the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis method, it analyzes 42 cases to verify the sufficiency and necessity of policy reinvention's influencing factors.The study employs the fsQCA method. Research findings indicate that for centrally imposed policies necessitating mandatory responses, there are two high-level occurrence paths in local policy reinvention: Path one, the knowledge-driven path, emphasizes local governments' learning and innovative capabilities; Path two, the environmental incentive path, underscores the lack of social conditions and policy responses. In summary, these two mechanisms jointly constitute the action logic of local governments in policy reinvention.Research findings indicate that for centrally imposed policies necessitating mandatory responses, there are two high-level occurrence paths in local policy reinvention: Path one, the knowledge-driven path, emphasizes local governments' learning and innovative capabilities; Path two, the environmental incentive path, underscores the lack of social conditions and policy responses. The study Treats policy reinvention as a way for local governments to respond bottom-up to central commands, explaining different paths and driving mechanisms of local governments responding to central directives through policy document content analysis.

15:00-16:30 Session 8C: Politics of Administrative Burdens
Fraud and Administrative Burden: Quantifying the Access-Fraud Trade-Off in Social Welfare Services
PRESENTER: Sebastian Jilke

ABSTRACT. Cognitive schemas such as welfare fraud are easily evoked in the general public, dating back the Nixon’s infamous depiction of the “Welfare Queen”. However, public reporting is typically one-sided, focusing heavily on fraud. One aspect that is often not mentioned is that there is a trade-off between fraud prevention and program access in social welfare services. Indeed, tackling fraud by increasing administrative burdens makes program access more difficult for those who are in fact eligible (Herd and Moynihan 2019).

This study aims to quantify the access-fraud trade-off in social welfare services by applying the willingness-to-pay (WTP) methodology. Among a representative sample of US adults, we will examine people’s willingness to trade-off fraud prevention with eligible beneficiaries not receiving welfare services because of administrative burdens. We aim to quantify the trade-off point at which people move from supporting administrative burdens as a means of fraud prevention to opposing them.

In a second step we argue that the access-fraud trade-off depends on whether fraud is framed in general versus specific terms. Applying construal-level theory of psychological distance (e.g., Trope and Liberman 2011), we argue that framing welfare fraud in general vs specific terms (e.g., welfare fraud vs. fraud in access to SNAP) will cause greater support of administrative burdens as a means of fraud prevention because abstractness will trigger stereotypical images of fraud.

We will conduct a large-scale randomized survey experiment (N= approx. 2,000) in which the welfare access-fraud trade-off is randomly presented in either general/abstract versus concrete terms.

Strategic framing in the politics of administrative burdens: A theoretical model and empirical examination

ABSTRACT. When exploiting administrative burdens as a malleable policy tool, state actors have political incentives to deflect criticism and garner support from a broad audience. This study conceptualizes three prevailing framing cues that seek to justify burdens for rigorous program implementation: 1) program selectivity cue (need to focus on suitable targets), 2) program integrity cue (need to filter out unsuitable targets), and 3) program economy cue (need to reduce waste of tax money). These cues were examined through a vignette experiment involving the National Basic Livelihood Security (NBLS) program in South Korea, embedded in a large-scale, representative survey (n = 1,624).

Results indicate that the welfare agency’s employment of program selectivity and economy cues positively affected people’s judgment of the agency’s performance reputation. Intriguinly, the three framing cues led people with high administrative literacy to judge burdens in the program as more legitimate. In contrast, for those with low administrative literacy, these cues backfired, making them less likely to see burdens as legitimate. Further thematic analysis of open-ended responses (totaling 13,456 words) provides qualitative insights into the mechanisms. This study suggests that state actors often promote rhetorics that highlight positive aspects of burdens rather than concealing burdens as 'hidden politics,' which accompanies the risk of polarization between people who do and do not see personal disadvantages in the rhetoric. A broader implication is that reform efforts to reduce administrative burdens should focus not only on program designs but also on political narratives that endorse burdens.

Preferences for reducing administrative burden through automated systems in benefits and enforcement
PRESENTER: Susan Miller

ABSTRACT. The adoption of algorithmic systems in public service is often justified, at least in part, by the promised gains in efficiency. In some cases, these gains in efficiency can reduce the administrative burden experienced by individuals as they interact with government programs. However, individuals often have reservations about interacting with automated systems that may counter their preference for the reduced burden associated with this type of program design. Based on two conjoint survey experiments, we test hypotheses about preferences for and confidence in the design of tax compliance and unemployment insurance application systems, varying, inter alia, the level of administrative burden (as measured by time spent - a compliance cost) and with whom individuals would interact (an automated system or a government employee). We expect the preference and confidence penalty associated with higher levels of burden to be greater for the automated system compared to the employee. Drawing from work on the consequences of affective polarization, we also explore the effect of shared partisanship, considering the effect when respondents share or do not share the partisanship of street-level bureaucrats when procedures involve personal interaction with a bureaucrat or an automated system. We expect shared partisanship to increase the preference and confidence penalty associated with higher levels of burden for the automated system compared to the employee. Our findings will offer insight into how individuals think about administrative burden relative to automated systems and whether the characteristics of who they interact with alters this calculation.

Using human centered design to reduce administrative burdens: Flexible interviews to increase SNAP take-up

ABSTRACT. We examine the potential of incorporating human centered design concepts and practices to reduce administrative burdens. Administrative checkpoints - where individuals must demonstrate their identity before progressing in a process - are a compliance cost that often screen out eligible recipients in safety net programs. Mandatory interviews are one such administrative checkpoint. Based on consultation with clients and workers, we tested the effects of flexible interview options, combined with a text-based reminder, to enable clients to manage required interview requirements. Based on a field experiment in Boulder County, Colorado, post-treatment surveys, and qualitative data we find that the interview completion rate was higher for those who received the text-based flexible interview reminder, that interviews occurred more quickly, with higher approval rates among applicants, and that the new system reduced learning costs not just about the timing of interviews, but also about what was expected of interviewees.

15:00-16:30 Session 8D: Trust in Government
Trust in the Balance: A Meta-Analysis of Institutional Trust and Its Influence on Participation in Social Innovation
PRESENTER: Shanshan Liu

ABSTRACT. Social innovation, characterized by its transformative potential in addressing societal challenges, has garnered significant scholarly and practical attention (Bellone & Goerl, 1992; Alvord, Brown, & Letts, 2004; Mair & Marti, 2006; Vedula et al., 2021;).A pivotal determinant of its success lies in the active participation of individuals. While various factors, including local contextual nuances, cultural attributes, and community-level dynamics, play a role (Vedula et al., 2021; Dutta, 2019), the significance of trust in institutions emerges as particularly crucial (Eesley & Lee, 2022). Trust not only bolsters individuals' inclination towards social entrepreneurial ventures but also differentiates the nature and depth of their participation, with heightened trust leading to more profound and sustained engagement in such initiatives. To examine the intricate relationship between institutional trust and participation in social innovation, our study employs a meta-analysis approach. Meta-analysis, allows for the synthesis of findings from multiple studies, providing a more comprehensive and statistically robust understanding of the topic. Preliminary findings reveal heterogeneity in the relationship between trust in institutions and participation in social innovation. We observe variations in participation patterns based on differing trust levels, suggesting the need for future studies to explore potential moderators that can more precisely define the effect sizes of institutional trust on participation. Additionally, our analysis identifies methodological inconsistencies among the reviewed studies, with some of lower methodological rigor potentially exaggerating the influence of trust on social entrepreneurial engagement. We offer recommendations to enhance the rigor and quality of subsequent research in this domain.

How is Users’ Political Trust Affected by Individual and Group Performance in Public Services?

ABSTRACT. Declining levels of trust in government and public services have prompted numerous countries to embark on efforts to restore trust (Kampen, Van De Walle, and Bouckaert 2014). Drawing upon the trust-as-evaluation paradigm (van der Meer and Hakhverdian 2017), public distrust can potentially be attributed to the functioning of public services; users are expected to grant or withhold trust based on an evaluation of service providers' merit. However, our understanding of how users truly respond to the performance of their service providers, including the impact of performance on trust, remains incomplete (Van de Walle and Bouckaert 2003; Van Ryzin 2007).

In this study, we analyze whether performance of one of the primary local public services, public schooling, affects trust in schools and local government. Recognizing that users can draw from both personal experiences with a service and more general information on services, we differentiate between individual (student) and group performance (class performance). Drawing on theory of bounded rationality (Kahneman 2002), we hypothesize that variations in performance levels, whether assessed at the individual or group level, are likely to have only modest effects on trust in service providers. In contrast, disparities between individual and group performance (inequity) are anticipated to yield more pronounced effects. Specifically, we hypothesize that lower student performance relative to class performance will result in diminished trust. These hypotheses are supported by a low-powered pilot survey experimental study among parents and will undergo testing in a fully powered study of parents scheduled for January 2024.

Contagious Distrust in Municipal Service Provision
PRESENTER: Samantha Zuhlke

ABSTRACT. Trust in public service provision is an increasing issue in the United States. As individuals become less trusting of services provided by governments, the feedforward effects lead to increased calls for hollowing out government, turns towards private alternatives, and decreased civic participation (Lerman 2019). But what explains distrust in public services? Building on Teodoro et al.’s (2022) concept of service hyperopia, we argue that distrust in local public services is not simply a function of the quality of services in one’s community, but also a result of observations of service failure elsewhere. Additionally, distant service failure will have the greatest impact distrust if a person observes that the failure is happening to a group that they socially identify with. Bottled water consumption increased after the Flint water crisis, but was mostly concentrated among black Americans. Trust in policing declined after the killing of George Ferguson, and primarily among black Americans. We argue that this is not a coincidence or merely the result of high-profile incidents. Rather, service failure anywhere can lead to distrust everywhere. We test hyperopia theory using three nationally representative survey experiments fielded in Fall 2023 and Spring 2024. We examine how exposure to distant failure and racialized distant failure impacts levels of trust in local policing, water, and public works services. This research will contribute to our growing understanding of the decline of trust in public services in the United States and how contagious distrust may play a role in contributing to it.

15:00-16:30 Session 8E: Digital Government
Bridging Trust in Governance: The Impact of Digital Government Initiatives on Citizen political trust

ABSTRACT. Digital government has sparked great optimism regarding its potential in promoting citizen-government relationship. However, empirical evidence on whether and how the digital government policy affects citizen trust in government has been decidedly mixed. Based on the institutional-based trust theory and the process-based trust theory, this study argues that digital government initiatives enhance citizen trust in government. The first theory underscores this effect by highlighting that digital government elevates institutional performance and efficiency, a perception broadly acknowledged by the public. The latter model emphasizes the service quality, suggesting that citizen trust is improved through better service experiences during their engagement with digital government. Based on a large, representative longitudinal survey dataset in China and a difference-in-differences model, this study provides robust empirical evidence that supports both theories. Furthermore, our findings demonstrate the inclusive nature of China's digital government development: it boosts political trust among those with lower digital skills, contradicting the digital divide theory's prediction that such benefits are exclusive to individuals with higher digital proficiency.

Digital Government Procurement and Market Opportunities of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: Quasi-experiment Evidence from China.

ABSTRACT. Promoting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) is one of the most important goals of government procurement policy worldwide. Conventional studies have shown that factors like political connections can distort the operation and allocation of government procurements, leading to unfair market competition facing SMEs, especially in developing countries. To mitigate such distortion, many countries are expanding the use of digital technologies to reshape government procurement. However, whether SMEs can significantly benefit from the transformation of the procurement process is yet to be known. This paper examines how digital government procurement (DGP) affects the market opportunities SMEs obtain. First, we identify three key mechanisms that potentially influence DGP’s market impact, i.e. (1) administrative burden effects, (2) transparency effects, (3) competition effects, and propose the research hypotheses. Then, we provide estimates of the provincial-level impact of DGP on the market opportunities that SMEs obtain by leveraging a unique quasi-experiment: the staggered introduction of DGP platforms in China. Our analysis couple data on the contracts that SMEs obtain around the launch of DGP platforms from 2015 to 2022, with a staggered differences-in-differences empirical strategy. We find that the launch of DGP platforms reduces the number of SMEs contracts by about 1% to 2%, with more pronounced effects on smaller enterprises. Additional mechanism analysis indicates that the results are mainly due to the increase of diversified market competition. Our findings suggest a comprehensive look at the distributional effects of digital transformation, where the intended benefits for the disadvantaged do not always materialize.

Seamless government in e-platform: Does accountability in a multi-agent system hinder administrative efficiency? A Chinese experience in ICT-enabled public service communication

ABSTRACT. Digitalization in the public sector presents opportunities for governments to address "wicked problems" posed by citizens and assume accountability. In the post-NPM era, the accountability model has shifted to a multi-centered network where each actor needs to be accountable for the rest. In using e-government platforms, most research examines how citizens' requests and issue types shape governments’ responsiveness. Intergovernmental collaboration reshaped the public service accountability mechanism while limited attention focused on the internal institutional collaborative factors behind it from the angle of network governance. To fill this research gap, this work investigates whether collaborative accountability to explanation in the government’s two-way digital platform impacts the effectiveness of government response. We utilized 1,300,000 data from the government message board in China to investigate this question. Firstly, we use the text mining and network analysis approach to map and visualize the bureaucratic stakeholders involved in each communication. Then, we conduct a quasi-experiment research design to see whether the accountability route involving multiple stakeholders will cause an ineffective response. Further, we do interviews with government officials containing domains to trace the institutional reasons behind this phenomenon. This research contributes to existing literature in two ways. First, it creates a dataset drawing each actor in the accountability route, which provides great potential for analyzing the power dynamics and administrative performance among stakeholders. Second, it provides empirical evidence to compare the efficiency of collaborative accountability vertically and horizontally, providing valuable evidence for improving collaborative governance mechanisms among public sectors.

Integrating an Equity Logic into Open Government Data: A Practice-Based Framework
PRESENTER: Jiaqi Liang

ABSTRACT. Institutional logics are frames of references shaping how actors ‘interpret reality, what constitutes appropriate behavior, and how to succeed’ (Thornton, 2004: 70). Using an institutional logics framework, we investigate the integration of various logics into data practices in government agencies, with a focus on openness and equity logics. An openness logic emphasizes public access to government information and decision-making (Schmidthuber et al., 2023). A logic of equity underscores fair opportunities to access and attain the benefits of a system or process for all society members (Blessett et al., 2019). Both logics aim at ensuring governmental accountability and promoting equal participation in policymaking. However, a closer examination suggests that openness and equity can be at stake when shaped into data practices – routines and behaviors adopted by the government to collect, store, use, analyze, and share data. While openness democratizes access to government data for all (Wu et al., 2021), equity requires careful consideration of the needs and voices of vulnerable residents and communities to prevent their further marginalization (Ruijer et al., 2023). Our theoretical framework links data practices to the normative, cognitive, and regulatory elements of government’s institutional logics – bureaucratic, managerial, networked governance, openness, and equity. We then use an original survey dataset on public managers in US state environmental agencies to examine the tensions surrounding open and equitable data practices and the trade-offs made by government agencies. Finally, we discuss managerial implications for interactional justice and public trust in and accountability of government.

15:00-16:30 Session 8F: Entrepreneurship
Local Policy Entrepreneurs in Action: A Systematic Review

ABSTRACT. The public policy and management literature has witnessed a renewed scholarly interest in policy entrepreneurship. A sizable literature across national contexts has documented how reform-minded individual, collective, or corporate entrepreneurs drive innovative policy programs amidst various constraints by employing an arsenal of strategies. It is widely recognized that policy entrepreneurs are not confined to a specific sector, but can come from a variety of backgrounds, including civil society, academia, governmental organizations, and the private sector. A highly exciting progress in the recent literature is the inclusion of middle and street-level bureaucrats into the scope of policy entrepreneurship analysis. Conventionally described as mere policy implementers and law enforcers at the lower echelon of the bureaucratic hierarchy, these individuals are increasingly recognized as a large corps of potential change agents who can catalyse policy reforms not only through entrepreneurial implementation but also by joining policy design activities. Yet, some recent systematic reviews have noted that close to 90% of the policy entrepreneur cases in the literature are at the national level. This contradicts with our long-time observation of the vast amount of policy innovations at the subnational level. This current study zooms into the exciting local arena and examines the characteristics, strategies, attributes, and outcomes of local policy entrepreneurship reforms through systematic review. Aside from bibliographic analysis, we perform CONCOR analysis, network analysis, and multivariate analysis to unravel the motivational mix and strategy mix of more than 100 local policy entrepreneurs in various countries and explain how these factors affect reform outcomes.

Institutional Entrepreneurs in Public Interest Litigation: A Comparative Study of Consumer and Environmental Organizations in China
PRESENTER: Rongzhen Ma

ABSTRACT. Public interest litigations (PIL) promoted by NGOs are important legal actions to defend public interests and in particular, seeking justice for disadvantaged individuals. While existing literature in law and public policy has examined the role of NGOs in PIL in western liberal democracies, little has been written on their practices in PIL in non-western and developing countries, where the rule of law and the existence of a vibrant civil society cannot be taken for granted. Based on interviews and archival data, we compare two types of NGOs: consumer protection organizations and environmental protection organizations, in China’s PIL. We explore NGOs’ institutional entrepreneurship from an institutional work perspective by empirically investigating the how they create, maintain and change the PIL system in China. By comparing the institutional arrangements and implementation of the PIL system in the field of both consumer rights protection and environmental protection in China, this study finds that NGOs may perform as social entrepreneurs in the establishment and development of the PIL system and can activate policy change by collaborating with actors inside the “system” and with international NGOs to improve government responsiveness. The varying degrees of engagement by consumer NGOs and environmental NGOs in PIL in China highlight that the institutional work of organizations is shaped by a combination of internal and external factors, including organizational characteristics and the broader institutional context. This study also introduces a time dimension to the examination of NGO as institutional entrepreneurs, elucidating the longitudinal changes within institutions triggered by civic activists.

Unveiling the Role of Citizen Policy Entrepreneurs in Policy Implementation: Insights from China

ABSTRACT. More and more evidence suggest that policy entrepreneurs play a crucial role in the policy process. Individuals serving as policy entrepreneurs can be found both within and outside the government. In recent years, literature on policy entrepreneurs has expanded beyond the scope of policymaking into the domain of policy implementation. Another notable change is the increasing attention from scholars to the policy entrepreneur behavior of ordinary citizens. However, no literature has provided an in-depth analysis of citizen policy entrepreneurs and their behavioral strategies in policy implementation.

Building upon an ethnographic field study of citizen leaders involved in the implementation of elder-friendly retrofitting policy in China, this study addresses this gap. Specifically, the study aims to answer three questions: 1) Under what conditions can private citizens act as policy entrepreneurs in policy implementation? 2) What strategies do they employ? 3) What changes or outcomes are caused?

Using context analysis of interviews conducted with individuals active in the push for elder-friendly retrofitting policy implementation in China, we first demonstrate that private citizens meet all the criteria defined in existing literature for policy entrepreneurs. We then provide a detailed demonstration of the challenges encountered by civic policy entrepreneurs and their strategies throughout three stages: problem linkage and framing, resource gathering, solution reframing and network management, along with an examination of the potential results of these strategies.

The article concludes by discussing the significance of our findings for policy implementation and its generalizability beyond China.

15:00-16:30 Session 8G: Nonprofit Performance
Is Social Capital a Capital for Nonprofits? The Effects of Social Capital on Income from Individual Donations and Foundation Funding

ABSTRACT. Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in fostering social capital, but social capital, in turn, also acts as a fundamental resource that influences these organizations. It shapes their social connections and interactions with those who provide resources. This analysis aims to investigate how social capital at the community level creates unique environments for nonprofits, serving as a critical form of intangible social resources that forms a basis for obtaining tangible financial resources, especially through individual donations and foundation grants. I draw insights from conceptual frameworks rooted in social capital theory, social network theory, institutional theory, and resource dependence theory to understand how social capital and social networks impact an organization’s revenue generation abilities and their subsequent outcomes. I also delve into the diversity of leadership within organizations, focusing on its role as a moderator or facilitator in connecting community-level social capital to the financial performance of organizations. The findings from these analyses reveal that nonprofit organizations tend to have a lower share of charitable donations in closely-knit communities. Conversely, nonprofits situated in communities with high rates of volunteering are likely to have a larger portion of foundation funding, while a high density of nonprofits has a negative influence. Board diversity significantly moderates the impact of bridging on individual donation income and the impact of bridging or bonding on foundation grant income. This suggests that nonprofit organizations can strategically utilize internal board diversity as a means to harness the social capital embedded in the patterns of social interactions among community members.

Creating A Multi-Dimensional Rationalization Measure

ABSTRACT. Performance in the nonprofit sector is primarily measured by financial measures or idiosyncratic non-financial measures, both sets of which function as proxies for whether or not a nonprofit is able to achieve its mission - the ultimate performance measure of a nonprofit. While there have been efforts across the for-profit, public, and nonprofit sectors to understand the role of processes in achieving performance, this area is understudied for nonprofits and often reliant on out-of-sector theories, practices, and approaches with validity implications when applied to nonprofits. Rationalization, or the formalization of core and support processes within a nonprofit, can affect the kinds of resources required for a nonprofit to achieve its mission through its relationship with performances, i.e., resources consumed, outputs produced, and outcomes achieved. Rationalization therefore presents a reliable alternative to existing nonprofit performance measures. The measurement of rationalization within nonprofits is difficult to perform at scale and when leveraging publicly available tax data. Machine learning techniques can identify variables from large datasets for use in models, but such models may be insufficiently grounded in theory. I test these approaches on “health”-focused nonprofits and find that using a combination of literature- and algorithm-derived variables yields a high-performing measurement tool for rationalization that can be applied to large sets of tax data. This can inform resource-performance relationships explored by nonprofit researchers and practitioners alike.

“The Underdogs”: When volunteers encounter public mistreatment

ABSTRACT. Volunteers who provide unpaid services to society and the public should be respected and treated fairly; however, they are often exposed to mistreatment from service recipients, which may have serious psychological and behavioral consequences. Based on social identity theory, this study explored the influence of public mistreatment on volunteer outcomes by collecting 1768 sets of questionnaire data from volunteers. The results showed that: (1) Public mistreatment affected volunteer outcomes by weakening volunteers’ role identity, which included enhancing volunteers’ turnover intention and reducing their performance. (2) The higher the rumination level of volunteers, the greater the negative impact of public mistreatment on volunteer role identity, which further affected the subsequent volunteer outcomes. This article explored the phenomenon of volunteers encountering public mistreatment and the mechanism of its impact on volunteer outcomes, and put forward relevant suggestions on how to protect volunteers and optimize the management of nonprofit organizations.

15:00-16:30 Session 8H: Citizen Judgments of Agency Performance
Debiasing Citizens’ Responses to Government Performance Information
PRESENTER: Oliver James

ABSTRACT. Reporting information about government performance outcomes to citizens potentially enables them to update their beliefs about outcomes, informs evaluation of outcomes to help them hold politicians and public managers accountable, and can potentially promote citizen participation in coproduction to improve outcomes. However, citizens’ responses to performance information often do not reflect rational updating of beliefs but instead a range of biases in processing it (Baekgaard and Serritzlew 2016; Cucciniello, Porumbescu and Grimmelikhuijsen 2017; James et al 2020; Olsen 2017). But relatively little research has examined means to overcome biases in performance updating to increase the usefulness of performance reporting to citizens for these purposes.

We focus on performance reporting to citizens about local environmental performance in England where, in common with several other jurisdictions, local governments have responsibilities for outcomes. In randomised survey experiments (n =1,800), we use a Bayesian benchmark to assess bias in participants’ updating of their beliefs in response to being given performance information. We estimate the effects of factors suggested by behavioural research as potentially reducing bias including: using credible sources, graphical presentation of information, and boosting the salience of the issue to encourage accuracy motivated information processing. We further assess the moderating role of respondents’ prior personal rating of the importance of environmental policy goals. The findings will contribute knowledge about debiasing responses to performance information and will suggest ways to improve the design of systems of reporting performance outcomes to citizens.

Citizens' Judgements on Relative Performance: Do Reference Points Matter?

ABSTRACT. Public performance metrics are commonly accompanied by benchmarks, such as past performance (historical reference point) or the performance of peer groups (social reference point), which can assist citizens in understanding performance information. While existing literature on citizens' interpretation of this relative performance primarily focuses on the salience of a single reference point (Barrows et al., 2016; Charbonneau & Van Ryzin, 2015; Olsen, 2017), it pays little attention to exploring potential variations within historical and social reference points and the concurrent presentation of multiple reference points. This study aims to fill these gaps by examining the effects of different levels – local, state, and national – of social reference points and multiple reference points on citizens' perceived performance and subsequent attitudes. Through three pre-registered and randomized survey experiments, preliminary results indicate that various social reference points don’t differentiate citizens’ perceived performance, and citizens’ performance judgments are more responsive to the historical reference point than social reference points. It also found that reference points have a limited impact on citizens’ support for the public service organization. Additionally, the results show that concurrently presented multiple reference points exhibit a combined effect on citizens’ perceived performance. The findings contribute to expanding the study on citizens’ cognitive processes in performance evaluation. The results also suggest that performance reporting can be structured in a way that is more informative to citizens and, furthermore, can help public managers set their aspiration levels for organizational goals more responsively to citizens’ expectations.

Halo Effects in Citizens’ Perceptions of Government Warmth and Competence

ABSTRACT. Previous research has examined citizens’ perceptions in relation to different aspects of public performance, such as productivity-related aspects (e.g., efficiency, effectiveness) and normative aspects (e.g., benevolence, fairness). Notably, there has been limited discussion regarding the relationships between citizens’ perceptions of government performance on different aspects. Are citizens’ perceptions of government performance on different aspects related? Say, is a government that is perceived as being more effective also perceived to be more benevolent? Moreover, to what extent can they influence each other? These questions deserve attention because they contribute to our understanding and proper interpretation of the observation of citizens’ perceptions of government performance on different aspects. By applying the social psychology theory of warmth and competence, this article examines the relationships between citizens’ perceptions of government warmth and competence. The warmth dimension and competence dimension capture people’s judgments of governments’ intent and ability, respectively, which corresponds with previous empirical approach to studying citizens’ perceptions of government performance on normative aspects and productivity-related aspects. An empirical strategy that aims to provide both relational and causal evidence to the relationships between citizens’ perceptions of government warmth and competence is adopted. One survey and three survey experiments were conducted for cross-study validation. The results show that mutually positive influence exists between citizens’ perceptions of government warmth and competence, suggesting halo effects. The analyses of the interaction between citizens’ perceptions of government warmth and competence reveal that the influence of government warmth perceptions is stronger, and negative perceptions are more likely to be affected.

What to expect of “expectation”? Unpacking its antecedents and roles in the formation of citizen satisfaction

ABSTRACT. Expectancy-disconfirmation model (EDM) has increasingly become the dominant model to explain citizen satisfaction. Although existing studies almost unanimously support the disconfirmation argument of the model, the conclusion regarding the role of expectation is less clear. This study attempts to unpack the antecedents of citizens’ expectation of government performance, specifically positive/predictive expectation, and delineate and clarify its roles in the formation of citizen satisfaction by extending the EDM.

This study argues that 1) expectation reflects citizens’ existing attitudes and preferences on specific issues and toward government; 2) because of its embodiment of existing attitudes, it has a direct positive impact on citizen satisfaction; 3) expectation also has an indirect effect on citizen satisfaction as a component of disconfirmation (performance – expectation). The first three arguments are consistent with the current EDM. However, 4) since expectation reflects prior attitudes and preferences, it will also moderate the effect of disconfirmation as citizens of different levels of expectoration may attend to and interpret performance cues differently.

I test the four arguments through a survey experiment in the context of a major environmental information disclosure policy in the US. The survey was administered by YouGov, a public opinion research firm, on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents. The results support all four arguments above. The findings have important implications. It delineates and clarifies the roles of expectation in shaping citizen satisfaction. Inadequate consideration of the full range of roles of expectation may lead to contradicting and confusing conclusions regarding how expectation shapes citizen satisfaction.

15:00-16:30 Session 8I: The Sustainability Over Time of Collaborative Networks
Towards a long-term perspective on co-creation

ABSTRACT. Co-creation refers to professionals in public and non-profit organisations actively collaborating with citizens in designing and delivering public services. This research takes a critical view, as it seeks to understand how co-creation, while often initiated with a short-term perspective, can be sustained over time. The overall research question is: What factors facilitate co-creation outcomes and processes to be sustained over time? Firstly, ‘sustainability of co-creation’ is conceptualized. Sustainability of co-creation is discussed in relation to the potential of co-creation to contribute to democratic quality. Reference is made to sustainable co-creation outcomes: the extent to which public values that are co-created are sustained over time. Sustainability of co-creation processes, in turn, concerns building long-term capacity among different stakeholders for setting-up and engaging in co-creation. Secondly, the paper focuses on conditions for sustainable co-creation. This is addressed through literature review and analysis of comparative case study data, and results in identification of factors at micro-level (the role of individual stakeholders), meso-level (organisational and procedural conditions) and macro-level (system-level conditions for sustainable co-creation). The research is highly relevant since literature reviews (Voorberg et al 2015; Sicilia et al 2019; Rodriguez-Müller et al 2021) identify very few studies that examine co-creation from a long-term perspective (exceptions include Jaspers & Steen 2020; Steen & Brandsen, 2020; McMullin 2023). Learning more about conditions for sustainability of co-creation addresses a gap in our theoretical and empirical knowledge, and can provide insights for practice on how to support effective continuation of co-creation projects and their outcomes that contribute to strengthening democratic quality.

Hang in there: Processes of sustaining collaboration over time

ABSTRACT. Sustaining collaboration over time is vital for its effectiveness and long-term success, yet hard to achieve. Collaboration demands ongoing and substantial efforts until it matures enough to yield anticipated outcomes. This inherent difficulty of investing effort without immediate gains acts as a barrier to sustained participation, especially for actors with limited capacity. This study investigates how actors navigate this challenge and continue collaborative endeavors, focusing on a nonprofit collaboration that struggled constantly with capacity constraints but persisted with notable achievements. Through analysis of 165 interviews conducted over 11 rounds, participant observations, and archival documents from 2016 to 2020, this study identifies two key strategies: internal accommodation and external orientation. These strategies empower actors to “hang in there” when collaboration is still in development by assembling different contributions; tailoring work process; searching for relevant opportunities; and creating spin-off projects. Analyzing the application of these strategies across three phases of collaboration development, this study proposes a process model for sustaining collaboration. These findings offer processual insights into the challenges actors face during collaboration, highlighting the need to continually refresh and enhance both the willingness and ability to collaborate. The study provides valuable guidance for practitioners and scholars striving to lead more effective collaborations.

Forming Purpose and Goals in Interorganizational Collaborations
PRESENTER: Stephen Page

ABSTRACT. Common purposes and goals offer interorganizational collaborations guidance, inspiration, and accountability without hierarchy. In diverse partnerships addressing complex problems, however, they can be difficult to establish (Milward et al 2016).

To advance theory and practice regarding formation and evolution of these collective aims (Bryson et al. 2022), this paper first clarifies the concept of “goals,” distinguishing purpose (Carboni et al. 2019) from different goal types – productivity and process, strategic and operational (Vangen & Huxham 2012). We then ask: - What factors external and internal to a collaboration influence how purpose and different goal types form and evolve? - How do those formation processes affect partners’ subsequent joint decisions and actions? Are certain interests privileged over others?

Answers come from carefully coded interview data from cross-sectoral, Collective Impact partnerships (Kania & Kramer 2011) developed to improve public education in two mid-sized US cities. Despite adopting the same guiding framework, the sites chose distinct purposes and goals, enabling systematic comparisons of their formation and evolution. Our analysis found: • Specific external events motivated choices about collaborative purposes, which shaped distinct strategic and operational productivity goals; • The design and membership of decision-making arenas, particular collaborative systems, and staff roles influenced how various goal types formed and evolved in light of joint accomplishments; • Participatory architectures (Ferraro et al 2015) embedded power differences among partners that influenced goal choices; • When choosing shared purposes and goals, practitioners should attend carefully to interactions among governance structures, participatory processes, and power.

Exploring citizens’ sustainability perceptions of public service co-creation through two explorative vignette experiments

ABSTRACT. Increasingly governments turn to involving citizens throughout the public service cycle to offer better services and enhance citizen ownership of the services they make use of. In spite of the evidence that co-creation can enhance public values, it is understood as demanding for citizens. Given this complexity and the increasing use of co-creation in (local) government, it is important to understand whether citizens perceive co-creation as sustainable. We explore the perceptions of citizens in terms of the durability over time of co-creation through two randomized vignette experiment set in Flanders (n = 1074, n = 1054). The results from our robust multivariate regression analysis reveal that compared to traditional public services, citizens consider co-designed and co-delivered public services as more sustainable in terms of processes and outcomes, and as enhancing citizens competences in terms of knowledge and skills more. Our analysis reveals that issue salience impacts sustainability perceptions, as does political efficacy. Our results also show that co-design and co-delivery constitute different dynamics, meriting their own study.

15:00-16:30 Session 8J: Network Learning, Innovation, and Outcomes
Organizational Activities and Relationship Quality: A Fuzzy Set Analysis of a Child Education Network
PRESENTER: Donna Sedgwick

ABSTRACT. Network scholars often examine network structure as the multitude of dyadic ties among organizations that undertake various activities together. However, these same network structural ties can be viewed from the organizational standpoint as dyadic activities between two organizations. When engaging in activities, dyads develop varying degrees of collaborative processes, including relationship norms that can ease organizations working together (Ansell and Gash, 2008; Thomson and Perry, 2006; Bryson, Crosby, & Stone, 2015). Sedgwick (2017) argued that perceived relationship quality taps this normative dimension, and others have noted that collaborative activities and dimensions, like relationship norms, continually shape one another (Thomson and Perry, 2006). We ask, does the number and types of activities that organizations undertake together affect their perceived relationship quality? Using survey data completed by a child education and development (CED) network in 2015 and 2019, we analyze the correlation between undertaken activities and relationship quality for dyadic pairs within the network. Using Quadratic Assignment Procedure (QAP) analysis, we examine the relationship between types and intensity of activities at T1 and relationship quality at T2. Activities are dyadic ties, such as sharing information and sharing resources, and intensity indicates the degree to which the dyads undertake these activities. We then conduct a fuzzy QCA to further examine how combinations of activity types are associated with relationship quality, accounting for other relevant conditions. We report our results, and we highlight how our findings contribute to collaboration theory and the management of public and nonprofit networks.

The network domain of outcomes-based contracts: England 2010-2023

ABSTRACT. Increasingly, it is recognized that the designs and governance of networks are influenced by their external environments and the level of embeddedness within the larger network domain. Yet typically, network scholarship is internally focused, exploring how network characteristics influence internal ways-of-working and effectiveness. In 2019, Nowell, Hano and Yang highlighted this assumption of differentiation, urging scholars to purposefully investigate network interdependence within a broader environment, or an undifferentiated network domain. In 2020, van den Oord et al. examined how Antwerp Port Authority managed a community of organizations and networks, joining the call for deeper research that integrates an exogenous view of networks.

For example, given expectations of isomorphic pressure in social systems with higher connectivity, it is expected that networks in undifferentiated domains are more likely to homogenize over time and give rise to meta-governance networks for coordinating information and increasing efficiency (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983; Nowell, Hano and Yang, 2019). Likewise, the centrality of a given network within a network domain is expected to have a curvilinear relationship to information access and performance (Nowell et al., 2019).

We critically appraise these expectations using data from the population of 94 outcomes-based contracts (OBCs) operational in England from 2010-2023. Employing social network analysis, this paper is among the first to examine how network embeddedness and network positions of OBCs within the network domain explain their designs and outcomes. We contribute to the public management literature by providing empirical evidence and practical recommendations on managing networks in multi-level systems.

The Promise and Pitfalls of Networks for Cross-Boundary Governance: Purpose-Oriented Networks in Disaster Contexts

ABSTRACT. Purpose oriented networks (PONs) are frequently created as interventions into institutionally complex systems (i.e., system-oriented networks; Nowell and Milward, 2022). Generally, the intent is for the PON to have a steering or meta-governance role within a larger network. In other words, the goal is for the PON to intervene into the system-oriented network to shift its behavior and/or outcomes. PONs can be convened as interventions into various levels of systems. Agranoff and McGuire (2001) argued that network steering includes a number of tasks including activation, framing, mobilizing, and synthesizing. Presumably, the positionality of a PON within the larger system oriented network has important theoretical consequences for each of these activities. However, little attention has been paid to how these pursuits may be enabled or constrained based on relationships between the PON and the larger system of interest. In this paper, we take a comparative look at state approaches to their use of PONs to create connections across bureaucratic silos within state governments and in state-regional partnerships to improve forest wildfire resilience in the Western United States. Findings are based on an structural and social network analysis of eight state programs and their associated networks and an in-depth case study analysis of one PON in the state of California. Agranoff and McGuire’s network management framework is used as a theoretical lens to advance theory of how PON activities are enabled and constrained by their relationships within the broader system-oriented network they are seeking to govern.

15:00-16:30 Session 8K: Artificial Intelligence: The Algorithmic State
The Current State of Artificial Intelligence in US City Governments

ABSTRACT. The rapid integration of AI technologies and applications is ushering in a new era of transformative possibilities across various sectors. Public sector organizations are no exception, as AI's transformative potential reshapes their operations, service delivery, and interactions with citizens and other stakeholders. The growing significance of AI technology underscores the urgent need for public sector organizations to harness its potential for enhancing responsiveness to evolving operational landscapes and improving the quality and speed of services provided.

While research on AI in the public sector is growing, studies have predominantly focused on European contexts, leaving a notable gap in understanding AI technology usage in US city governments. This study aims to bridge this gap by addressing two main research questions: 1) What is the scope and pattern of AI adoption within various city functions across US city governments, and how does this adoption vary among different city governments? 2) What are the primary challenges impeding the successful implementation of AI technologies in US city governments, and how do these challenges differ based on the scale and scope of city operations?

To address these questions, this study utilizes data from a nationwide survey targeting chief IT officers in a stratified sample of US city governments. The study’s findings illuminate the intricate dynamics of AI integration in US city governments, guide strategies for harnessing AI's potential to improve city services and enhance greater citizen involvement, as well as inform policymakers about supportive AI policies.

Is GPT a Good Civil Servant? The Evaluation of Artificial Discretion by Large Language Models

ABSTRACT. Algorithmic systems are increasingly relied upon in the public sector as a potential way to make efficient decisions that can utilize big data. Government entities use predictive analytics to make decisions regarding prison sentencing, teacher appraisals, the fraudulent use of social benefits, and more. Ample research in public management raises concerns regarding the cognitive limitations and biases that are often present in bureaucratic decision making. However, while research has shown that automated decision systems, like human bureaucrats, are subject to problematic biases, it is much less clear how the decisions of humans and machines directly compare. The purpose of this study is to examine whether Lare Language Models (LLMs) generate biases similar to bureaucrats. To tackle this question, we replicate 14 survey experiment studies conducted with street-level bureaucrats in public administration and management journals in the last five years using LLMs. More specifically, two approaches are employed. First, we test unconditional prompting in which no respondent information is provided to the LLM to assess whether LLMs inherently generate biases and the extent to which observed biases are similar to human bureaucrats. Second, we examine conditional prompting in which respondent information is provided to the LLM to investigate whether it can replicate the behavior of human bureaucrats. This research provides valuable insights for refining generative algorithmic applications in the public sector. Additionally, it reveals whether and when LLMs can be used as a tool for simulating bureaucratic behavior in building a more robust approach for experimental studies in scholarly domains.

Navigating the Algorithmic State: Unraveling Citizens’ Value Preferences for AI-Driven Public Service Delivery
PRESENTER: Guimin Zheng

ABSTRACT. As the deployment of automated decision systems (ADS) with artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly gaining traction within the public sector, the question of how they impact public values has become a central issue. Yet, there is a limited understanding and lack of empirical studies on citizens’ value preferences and attitudes toward ADS applications in public service provision. We combine public values embedded in the public administration literature and derive three value positions that are highly relevant to AI concerns: traditional public administration (i.e., accountability, transparency, equity), new public management (i.e., effectiveness, efficiency), and new public service (i.e., timely service, privacy protection). Prior research often identifies an inventory of public values yet fails to assess their relative importance or relevance in specific contexts. We employ a conjoint experiment through CloudResearch that simultaneously tests the influence of seven AI system attributes in generating support for the usage of public sector algorithms. Using prominent real-world ADS applications in healthcare eligibility and criminal justice, the preliminary results reveal that it is most salient to the public that AI systems should be effective, transparent, and accountable. Moreover, citizens from different racial groups react differently to the equity issue of potential algorithmic bias. Political ideology and personal relevance also moderate citizens’ value priorities. These findings provide implications on how to communicate with the public when policymakers propose AI initiatives. Knowing and integrating dominant value preferences into AI governance would also help e-government managers deliver public services that are better aligned with citizens’ needs and expectations.

Unmasking Bureaucrats’ Attitudes toward the Government’s Adoption of AI
PRESENTER: Dongfang Gaozhao

ABSTRACT. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been increasingly employed in the public sector to help make decisions and deliver services. This includes predicting the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend and identifying victims who have high risk suffering from domestic violence. Its potential to yield more nuanced, personalized decision and service outcomes is often seen as a pathway towards enhancing citizens’ satisfaction with government decisions and public services (Gaozhao et al., 2023).

Despite this growing reliance on AI, the extent to which bureaucrats are inclined to adopt AI in their decision-making processes and service delivery remains underexplored. On one hand, AI adoption could potentially limit bureaucrats’ discretion and even replace them, by introducing systematic constraints and automating decision-making and service delivery. Conversely, AI could make decisions and services more grounded in data, reducing bureaucrats’ responsibility if the outcomes fall short of expectations. Therefore, public officials’ preference for using AI may vary from scenarios to scenarios, which may significantly influence the incorporation between bureaucrats and AI in the public sector operations.

To address this gap, our study uses survey data from the Taiwan Government Bureaucrats Survey (TGBS) VII in which recent hires are asked to indicate their ideal scenarios of using AI in work. Our results provide insights into how public servants perceive AI, the advantages and challenges they attribute to its use, and the resulting potential implications for public administration theory and practice.

15:00-16:30 Session 8L: Performance Information Use
Managerial Use of Performance Information: A Multilevel Contingency Approach

ABSTRACT. Despite the proliferation of performance assessment models in the public sector, they must be implemented effectively to improve or sustain performance (Gerrish, 2016). This understanding has launched inquiry into when and why managers use performance information to drive strategy. This study seeks to bring quasi-experimental evidence to the table to build upon previous findings that performance relative to peers is a stronger determinant of managers' use of performance information than actual performance. It also tests whether three contingencies — managers’ professionalization, client mix, and community characteristics — moderate this relationship, with the opportunity for contributing to the theory of managerial behavior and performance management. Using the Nursing Home Compare (NHC) dataset from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and the Texas A&M University Nursing Home Administrators Survey (NHAS) for 2016, this study uses regression discontinuity to isolate a raw performance score from a star rating, which is assigned according to a facility’s relative state performance. Preliminary results confirm prior research: performance relative to peers predicts managerial use of performance information, while actual performance does not. Implications include the theoretical — that managers may respond to a rational desire to outrun the competition over a normative desire to sustain or improve performance, and the practical — that performance measurement systems should be designed with these managerial tendencies in mind.


Gerrish, E. (2016). The Impact of Performance Management on Performance in Public Organizations: A Meta‐Analysis. Public Administration Review, 76(1), 48–66. https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.12433

Performance Information Use and Citizen Co-production: The Mediating Role of Citizen Trust Pre- and Post-Sudden Cancellation of China’s “Zero-Covid” Policy
PRESENTER: Binzizi Dong

ABSTRACT. Recent research on performance information use (PIU) has shown that various data types (relative, comparative, perceptual, and archival) and data sources (internal and external) shape citizens’ perceptions of government performance and trustworthiness, subsequently affecting their engagement in co-production (Charbonneau & Van Ryzin, 2015). Additionally, cultivating trust in governments can lead to a more cooperative and compliant response from citizens to governmental policies (Kim, 2005). We are thus interested in examining the mediating role of citizen trust in the relationship between PIU and their willingness to engage in co-production with the government. We examined the interaction effects of data source and data type in two rounds of survey experiments. Experiment 1 (n=1800), with a nationally representative sample, was carried out before the cancellation of the “Zero-COVID” policy in China, while Experiment 2 was conducted in the month following the policy’s sudden discontinuation, using the same population from Experiment 1. Our results indicated that when respondents received external comparative performance information about the Chinese government’s Zero-COVID measures, it led to an increase in citizen trust, which then translated into a greater willingness to cooperate with the government. However, the sudden cancelation of the Zero-COVID policy saw a decline in co-production willingness across all groups. This decline was most acute among those exposed to absolute performance information from the internal government source. This study contributes to the scholarly understanding of PIU by shedding light on the intricate psychological dynamics that interweave PIU, citizen trust, and co-production willingness.

Public Value Integration in the Production of Complex Products: The Influence on Performance from Communication Roles and Behaviors at the Subcomponent Level
PRESENTER: Evan Mistur

ABSTRACT. Complex products consist of several subcomponents each of which are governed by separate policy subsystems. Previous studies have found that communication quality is an important factor in shaping general perceptions of performance and satisfaction amongst agency personnel and contractors. However, previous research tends to focus solely on uncertainties in specifying performance at the onset of production. In this study, we expand this focus to study the specialized investments required to acquire and assemble subcomponents into the production of a complex product. We explore whether a shared understanding of communication roles, forms, content, and norms between subcomponent managers and final product managers influences performance. This is the first study to take a deeper dive into communication patterns at the subcomponent level. Using matched case studies of state-level road and bridge projects, we examine communications in the environmental review process (a critical subcomponent of infrastructure development) and the integration of environmental public values into the design and construction of the infrastructure asset. While we find that high-quality communications are a critical factor in both subcomponent performance and the integration of public values, responsibility for these communications rests increasingly with private-sector contractors. These findings have significant implications not only for research on organizational performance and complex production – introducing the possibility that the win-win and lose-lose scenarios described in the literature within the policy subsystem of the subcomponent might not translate to overall production of complex products – but for practitioners looking for guidance on how to structure communications and improve organizational performance.

Promoting Inter-department Collaboration Through Digitalized Performance Management Approach: Evidence from Local Governments in China
PRESENTER: Xiaozhen Zhai

ABSTRACT. Collaboration among public actors is often considered as a solution to address ‘wicked’ problems. However, the traditional performance management system, based on hierarchical ‘silo’ structures, is seen as incompatible with the collaborative framework. Scholars and practitioners are actively seeking ways to revise performance management systems to align with collaborative arrangements. Our research has identified that e-government offers a digitalized and comprehensive performance management approach for inter-department collaboration. Initially, the Chinese government introduced the ‘12345’ hotline to enable quick responses to citizen complaints on public issues. Through e-governance, the hotline’s data center was able to analyze past experiences, automatically assign cases to relevant departments, and collect outcomes. This transformation turned the hotline into a digitalized managing-for-results center, rather than just a data-collection tool. On the one hand, higher-level government used the completion rate and quality of tasks assigned by the data center as performance indicators to hold collaborative agencies accountable. On the other hand, agencies found that the system helped identify and cluster potential tasks, as well as collect feedback to make more accurate allocation and performance evaluation. Empirically, we first collected a total of 115122 public complaints and solutions collected by the 12345 hotline of N city during 2022. Through text analysis, we found a large number of successful cases of inter-department collaboration. Additionally, we conducted case studies in specific policy areas such as environmental protection and safe production to illustrate the entire process.

15:00-16:30 Session 8M: Percolator: Recovering Designs in Cases: A Methodology for Enhancing Domain Knowledge about Public Management
Recovering Designs in Cases: A Methodology for Enhancing Domain Knowledge about Public Management

ABSTRACT. The objective is to prompt discussion of a newly explicit methodology of case study research – recovering designs in cases -- that aims to enhance domain knowledge about public management and administration. The methodology functions by providing research findings that support critical, evidence- and case-based critical engagement with practical frameworks concerned with implementing public programs and managing public organizations. The research findings result from crafting satisfactory how-explanations of complex particular phenomena. The inclusion of social science theorized mechanisms in such how-explanations allow for case analyses to satisfy the craving for generality and thus meet conditions for domain knowledge. The broadest objective of the session is to create an opportunity to discuss how to enhance domain knowledge about public management, breaking free of the slogan that it’s about bringing theory (of phenomena that exist and occur) to practice.