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08:30-10:00 Session 9A: Percolator: Theory and Praxis of Liberatory Justice in Public Service Organizations: Rewards, Challenges, and the Way Forward
Theory and Praxis of Liberatory Justice in Public Service Organizations: Rewards, Challenges, and the Way Forward.

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 a pressing need within public service organizations to sustainably invest in initiatives aimed at fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and liberatory justice (DEILJ). Grassroots social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter, Healing Justice, Disability Justice, abolitionists movements, and many others call upon us, including public service communities to show up in practice of solidarity and co-create, innovate, and find pathways to cultivate systems, structures, and cultures that are not only anti-oppressive (e.g., anti-racist, anti-ableist), but also are liberatory and life enriching (e.g., pro- Black, pro-Indigenous, pro-disabled) (Ejeris and Piepzna-Samarasinha 2020; Kaba 2021; Page and Woodland 2023; Piepzna-Samarasinha 2022; Sins Invalid 2019). These calls are deeply aligned with ongoing academic and practitioner conversations and initiatives within the public service communities that seek to center the ethics of care, relationality, social equity, and intersectional social justice (Blessett et al. 2020; Burnier 2003; Chordiya et al. 2023; Chordiya and Sabharwal, In Press; Gooden 2014; Guy and McCandless 2020; Stensöta 2011). Furthermore, scholars and practitioners of public service are exploring creative and innovative approaches to build systems- including via policy work, structural, cultural, and leadership praxis- that is anchored in values of anti-oppression and seek collective liberation (Chordiya and Protonentis, In Press; Chordiya and Sabharwal In Press)

08:30-10:00 Session 9B: Performance-based Funding
Money Matters: Does Performance-Based Funding Motivate Dynamic Changes in Institutional Spending in Public Four-Year Institutions?

ABSTRACT. State policy changes in funding public higher education institutions based on their performance and student success have gained traction across U.S. states in recent decades.  Systematic evaluations of PBF policies document desirable and undesirable effects of PBF in public institutions (Ortagus et al., 2020; Li, 2021; Shin et al., 2023). Others highlight inequities in how states allocate resources to public institutions under PBF, with minority-serving institutions (MSIs) often at a disadvantage (Ortagus et al., 2022; Hagood, 2019; Hillman & Corral, 2017). How institutions respond to PBF policies serve as important intermediate mechanisms in the causal linkage between PBF and student success. A few studies have examined PBF-driven shifts in spending patterns in public institutions, finding only marginal to null average treatment effects on financial priorities of public four-year institutions (Rabovsky, 2012; Kelchen & Stedrak, 2016; Hu et al., 2022). However, changes in institutional processes often take time and financial priorities of incentivized institutions may evolve over time as institutions learn and adapt to their changing state funding environments (Heinrich & Marschke, 2010; Mizrahi, 2020). This study examines the dynamic shifts in institutional spending in public four-year institutions subject to PBF policies and by minority-serving institution (MSI) status. The study leverages institution-level data from IPEDS and a comprehensive state-level PBF dataset and employs event study analysis. Understanding the dynamic changes in institutional spending over multiple periods may provide information on why PBF policies continue to yield limited improvements in college completion outcomes. Evidence on the dynamic shifts in institutional spending may also enable states to better design and implement performance incentives that induce desirable institutional changes and improve student outcomes ultimately. 





Matching Matters: Unravelling the effects of demographic (mis)match on the distribution of performance-based cash awards
PRESENTER: Chris Birdsall

ABSTRACT. Public managers exercise discretion in the distribution of rewards and sanctions, and existing research has highlighted how the cumulative effects of manager-subordinate demographic (mis)match significantly influence the work experiences of public sector employees (Grissom, Nicholson-Crotty, and Keiser 2012; Marvel 2023). While a rich body of literature has produced evidence about the implications of demographic mismatch in the education context (e.g., Grissom, Nicholson-Crotty, and Keiser 2012; Haider-Markel, Bright, and Sylvester 2022; Holt and Gershenson 2019; Roch, Pitts, & Navarro 2010), there is still very little research exploring the dynamics of demographic (mis)match in other public sector contexts, such as the federal executive branch in the United States, where managers are afforded considerable discretion in the allocation of performance awards to individual employees. This paper focuses on how demographic (in)congruence between federal managers and subordinates affects this process. We investigate these dynamics using detailed, micro-level federal personnel data covering the years 2003-2013, employing a two-way fixed effects (employee and workgroup) identification strategy. Our preliminary findings indicate that the likelihood of receiving performance awards as well as the sum total of performance awards received in a given year are influenced by the demographic relationship between managers and subordinates. These results have significant implications for our understanding of supervisor-employee demographic congruence and its impact on the exercise of managerial discretion, especially in the context of awarding performance incentives.

The Role of Administrative Leaders on Negative Performance: Understanding Improper Payments in U.S. Federal Agency Programs

ABSTRACT. Despite the continuing efforts of federal agencies to identify and reduce improper payments, the issue still remains one of the most critical challenges in the U.S. government. By focusing on the types of administrative leaders, this study seeks to understand why some federal programs yield more payment errors than others. Specifically, this study predicts that programs administered by career executives or non-acting executives produce lower payment errors than programs administered by political executives or acting executives. Empirical support is obtained for these hypotheses by analyzing data on the U.S. federal program payment errors. In addition, this study separately analyzes different types of payment errors and evaluates how administrative leader types affect the direction of the errors. By distinguishing overpayment and underpayment errors, this study explicitly considers the relations between these two errors and under what administrative leader types these payment errors are better managed.

The Joint effect of Governance Structure and Performance-Based Funding on Organizational Performance
PRESENTER: Tzu-An Chiang

ABSTRACT. Numerous studies explore the impact of performance-based funding legislation (PBF) on public organizations’ performance, yielding mixed conclusions. Using a meta-analysis, Shin et al. (2023), attribute inconclusive findings to variation in PBF policy design, concluding that many PBF policies do not enhance institutional performance . PBF literature reveals several gaps in understanding the consequences of PBF policies: (1) most previous studies focus on PBF policy design variation, thereby ignoring the complex nature of governance structure and how that structure influences organizational behavior; (2) scholars commonly conceptualize governance structure as a continuum, failing to acknowledge unique features of hybrid systems with multiple-levels governing oversight; (3) a myopic definition of organizational performance, focusing on client outcomes, and overlooking other metrics of organizational performance. To fill these gaps, this study builds upon the efforts of Knott & Payne (2004), incorporating state-level governance structures (centralized; decentralized; hybrid) into our empirical analysis and moving beyond governance continuum perspective through the lens of principal-agent theory to ask how does governance structure interact with the implementation of PBF to affect institutional performance across several dimensions? We do this through a difference in difference estimation strategy that identifies the treatment effect of PBF policies on public four-year universities using from 2000 to 2022. We then identify the difference in treatment effects by governance structure through a subgroup analysis. In sum, this study contributes theoretically by integrating governance structures into PBF research, broadening institutional performance conceptualizations, and emphasizing the interaction of state-level and institutional-level factors in performance management scholarship.

08:30-10:00 Session 9C: Corruption Reduction Strategies
Behavioral Insights on Bureaucratic corruptibility and anti-corruption measures in East Asian Chinese societies

ABSTRACT. Corruption undermines the efficacy and legitimacy of governance and distorts the allocation of public resource. However, an interesting and puzzling question yet to be satisfactory answered is why the crucial target group—civil servants, as the major party guilty of corruption—engage in unethical and corrupt behaviors. This study aims to provide a systematic framework for micro and meso-level factors that contribute to bureaucratic corruptibility. This study will focus on three main goals. First, it aims to explore and compare the design of civil service systems and anti-corruption measures in East Asian Chinese societies—Taiwan, Mainland China, and etc. Based on qualitative materials, it will examine the patterns and causes of corruption in the two East Asian societies and compare the anti-corruption measures they adopt. Second, this study aims to examine, based on empirical survey data, how diifferent personality traits, emotional motives, and motives for self-interest among civil servants in Taiwan, and Mainland China affect their tolerance for corruption and explore how socio-cultural context (e.g. guanxi and official-standard culture) and organizational climate (e.g. transparency) affect corruption among civil servants. Third, this study aims not only to shed light on anti-corruption governance in East Asian Chinese societies but also to outline feasible and effective approaches to combating corruption. In short, this study employ both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine and compare anti-corruption measures and their efficacies in Taiwan, and Mainland China and etc. This study will yield theoretical and practical insights for the management of local-level civil servants and the formulation of anti-corruption measures.

Public Corruption in the United States: Discovery from FBI Press Releases

ABSTRACT. Despite the expanding body of empirical research investigating public corruption in the United States, the measure of corruption in most studies was either subjective or unable to tell the story. Utilizing the natural language processing model from OpenAI(ChatGPT), this study gathered corruption cases within the United States reported by the FBI press releases and retrieved detailed information at the case level. The results provide insights into the geographic and government-level distribution of public corruption cases with details on the scale of corrupt activities. While the geographical findings align mostly with administrative record and corruption perception surveys, differences emerge at the government-level distribution, revealing a contrast between disclosed cases and official convictions. The result further sheds light on the scale of corruption, including monetary benefits and group size, which highlights ‘noteworthy’ cases and offers new proxies for investigating nuances of corruption beyond just numerical counts.

Merit, Autonomy, and Public Sector Corruption: Evidence from a Panel of African Countries
PRESENTER: Faisal S. Cheema

ABSTRACT. Appointing civil servants based on merit and granting them autonomy to make their own decisions have become hallmarks of modern bureaucracy. Recent political developments in the United States and abroad, however, have threatened to erode merit principles. Contemporary populist leaders who condemn unelected bureaucrats for wielding excessive power and failing to act in the interests of the citizenry have taken measures to hold bureaucrats more accountable and keep the administrative state in check. Against this backdrop, we set out to examine the impact of merit appointments and bureaucratic autonomy on public sector corruption. The main research questions we ask are how does appointing bureaucrats based on merit and granting them autonomy in decision-making impact corruption and how are these relationships moderated by the strength of accountability mechanisms? We hypothesize that merit appointments and autonomy may be necessary but insufficient conditions for reducing public sector corruption and that strong accountability mechanisms may also be needed to achieve this aim. We explore answers to these questions by analyzing an unbalanced panel of 54 African countries (2013-2021) created using data from the World Bank, United Nations, and Global Integrity. Africa poses an interesting setting in which to explore these relationships due to the continent’s high levels of corruption in government, generally low levels of administrative capacity and expertise, and history of politicizing bureaucracies. Results obtained using two-way fixed effects regression (countries and years) show bureaucratic autonomy generally reduces corruption. However, for merit appointments to reduce corruption, strong accountability mechanisms must be in place.

The Impact of Trade-Based Money Laundering Risk on the Allocation of Homeland Security Grant Funding
PRESENTER: Cary Christian

ABSTRACT. This paper examines the allocation of Department of Homeland Security funding to state and local governments, critiquing its reflection of actual terrorism risks, as highlighted by Mueller & Stewart (2011) and Goerdel (2013). It emphasizes an overlooked danger: the ease of moving large sums and contraband across borders via normal trade activities between unrelated businesses. Such activities often involve price manipulation, mislabeled invoices, or product substitution, facilitating trade-based money laundering (TBML). This study uniquely incorporates the risk of terrorist financing through TBML into the Homeland Security funding assessment. We analyze funding allocations against calculated risks for various U.S. targets, including the first-ever consideration of TBML in terrorism financing. The TBML risk is quantified using detailed state-level data on trade transactions with abnormal pricing, focusing on a five-year period and high-risk countries for terrorist financing. Potential terrorism targets are evaluated based on possible loss of life and resources.

Our analysis employs multivariate regression and other methods, considering variables for major threat categories, consequences of terrorist attacks, and terrorist funding potential through irregular trade. Additional control variables include political, power, and demographic factors. This approach provides a more comprehensive assessment of terrorism risks and funding allocation efficiency.

08:30-10:00 Session 9D: Job Satisfaction
What Matters Most? Examining Self-Selection into Public Service Jobs and its Implications for the Future of Public Service
PRESENTER: Taha Hameduddin

ABSTRACT. Although issues of capacity and expertise/competence had long plagued public service organizations, they were exacerbated by the pandemic and its lingering effects. Specifically, U.S. state and local governments have struggled to effectively retain their employees, attract younger job seekers, and build out an age-diverse workforce.

The latter has become especially salient in public administration, with social equity being elevated as a core public service value and the demonstrated performance benefits of a(n) (effectively managed) diverse workforce. More historically, public organizations have sought to be demographically representative institutions, with recognizable implications for responsiveness among street-level bureaucrats, especially in arenas with administrative discretion (Keiser et al., 2002).

The objective of this paper is to address these policy-salient concerns by examining what qualities of public sector jobs are most attractive across age groups, as well as race and gender. To do so, we utilize a large-scale pre-registered conjoint experiment that allows us to make valid inferences on the impact of our independent variables on job attractiveness.

Our contributions are two-fold: first, we compare the simultaneous effects of a range of variables on job attractiveness whereas previous work has examined them in isolation; and secondly, we devote specific attention to comparing differences in the needs and work values of individuals across age groups. The findings highlight what matters the most in how job seekers self-select into differing organizational/policy domains, professional contexts, as well as job characteristics. The paper ends with a discussion of the findings and future work to advance this area of research.

Job Satisfaction and Work Commitment in Stressed Public Organizational Contexts
PRESENTER: Anita Dhillon

ABSTRACT. The pandemic had multiple negative effects on public sector employment in the US. Of primary concern is the outflux of employees from certain historically stressed professional contexts like teaching, healthcare, and social work. Local and state governments face a human capital crisis within their organizations, highlighting the need for urgent workforce reform in crucial human services.

This study focuses on one such stressed organizational context -child welfare services- and uses the job demands-resource model to unpack the reform needed to motivate and engage child welfare caseworkers. By doing so, it builds on the literature of how work engagement in public sector contexts, especially highly stressed ones, may be differently affected by clusters of job demands and resources. Using an explanatory sequential mixed method approach, the study first identifies the clusters of job demands and job resources that are antecedents of high satisfaction and overall work commitment in child welfare caseworkers. This is done by analyzing secondary survey data from the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being(NSCAW II).

This analysis is followed by in-depth interviews with current child welfare caseworkers to understand the relative importance of the identified job demand and resource clusters. Additionally, the interviews will add richness to the study by unpacking the personal experiences of caseworkers in the post-pandemic public sector human service work environment. The study, therefore, will provide useful insights to better inform the design and implementation of human resource policy reforms in the public sector.

Tower of Babel? DEIA Framing and Practices in Veteran Serving Organizations
PRESENTER: Amanda Bankston

ABSTRACT. Why are some organizations more successful with DEIA work? DEIA is a catch-all term for work preventing exclusion and promoting inclusion of historically marginalized groups in predominantly white spaces. It is a priority for public/nonprofit organizations. Review of the literature indicates there is no common language or approach for DEIA work in organizations and success in DEIA depends on how DEIA is being defined and measured. Organizational activities are often linked to where DEIA motivations originate. In the absence of a systematic language or approach to DEIA work, it is difficult to know whether DEIA work is creating inclusive spaces or simply checking boxes.

In this paper, we develop a model for understanding where organizations fall on the continuum of preventing exclusion to promoting inclusion in their DEIA work. Preventing exclusion is associated with legal compliance, internal processes, and diversity inputs while promoting inclusion is associated with creating equitable environments where individuals feel a sense of belonging.

We test this model using survey data from veteran serving organizations (VSOs) participating in 18 AmericaServes networks across the United States (n=1,000) and individual surveys of veterans utilizing services (n=2,731). We propose that how organizations define and do DEIA work has profound impacts for whether historically marginalized groups access and utilize services. We conclude with guidance for organizations to develop and implement substantive and systematic DEIA work.

This work is funded by USAA and done in partnership with the D’Aniello Institute for Veteran and Military Families.

Organizational Inclusion and Justice in Managing Workplace Harassment: A Mixed-methods Analysis in Public Health Service Organizations

ABSTRACT. While the issue of workplace harassment has garnered considerable attention with legislative and enforcement measures in place, a comprehensive empirical understanding of its antecedents and consequences remains limited. Recent literature suggests that mandated individual disciplines may have limited efficacy in preventing workplace harassment, prompting a shift towards examining the role of leadership and organizational culture. This study addresses presents a theoretical framework and empirical evidence on workplace harassment, employing a mixed-methods approach and analyzing data from public medical service organizations characterized by a strong hierarchical structure and a widespread tolerance for harassing practices.

Specifically, this study explores the impact of organizational inclusion and justice on the behavioral pathways that employees strategically choose in response to harassment experiences and their willingness to report such incidents. The findings reveal diverse effects on behavioral choices: Enhanced justice significantly predicts both the willingness to report incidents and turnover intention, though it is not significantly associated with changes in assignment or transfer. Inclusion, conversely, exhibits nuanced effects across behavioral strategies, significantly predicting the willingness to report but demonstrating positive associations with turnover intention and transfer.

Qualitative data further confirm that organizational inclusion and justice play a crucial role in reshaping policies to protect victims, although mixed perspectives exist among employees regarding their behavioral choices when addressing harassment experiences. The study highlights the substantial impact of organizational inclusion and justice as proactive measures in curbing misconduct within highly bureaucratic settings. However, it underscores the necessity for delicate management strategies to ensure effectiveness in addressing workplace harassment.

08:30-10:00 Session 9E: Navigating the Complexities of Public Service Performance Management: Insights from Interorganizational and Interpersonal Perspectives
Gaps in Disaster Management: States as Critical Arteries of the U.S. Intergovernmental Emergency Management System

ABSTRACT. Extremely high public expectations for relief following a crisis necessitate the effective navigation and use of resources by collaborative networks (Kapucu, Arslan & Demiroz 2010). In the United States, the intergovernmental disaster management system is described as tangled, analogous to an Aspen grove of genetically identical trees with one gigantic root system that connects them all (Burton 2008; Mushkatel and Weschler 1985). In this system, states are critical communication, coordination, and resource arteries that guide funding and resources from the federal government, adjacent to neighbors and partners, and down to localities. Funding and resources channeled well and “in real time” can bolster local abilities to manage day-to-day operations alongside recuperative efforts in the aftermath of a disaster (Birkland 2006). Yet, while research about federal and local roles and actions following disasters is robust, there is little investigation into the states and the scholarship is particularly thin regarding their critical role within the nation’s disaster management system (Comfort 2002 and 2007). This research regards state emergency management agencies in their roles as brokers and intermediaries following disasters. Specifically, are states fulfilling these roles effectively? We define the performance of states in these roles as “advancing the unimpeded flow of resources from the federal government to localities” and we use audits of federal emergency management performance grants to localities through states to measure this performance. Our goal is to measure states along a continuum of high performance to low performance in terms of these roles in the U.S. intergovernmental disaster management system.

To Leave or Not? Employee Responses to Performance Signals
PRESENTER: Weijie Wang

ABSTRACT. How do performance regimes affect employee turnover? Previous research has produced conflicting findings. While most studies find that negative performance signals lead to higher employee turnover, some studies suggest that negative performance signals reduce employee turnover, possibly because employees may find it rewarding to help low-performing organizations improve. An even more glaring issue is the lack of evidence on the heterogeneous responses of employees to performance signals. In particular, given the importance of racial representation in public organizations, we have limited evidence on whether employees from different racial and ethnic groups are differently affected by performance regimes.

To address the gaps, we employ a quasi-experimental method, regression discontinuity (RD) design, based on school performance data and ratings from New York City public schools from 2007 to 2013. We find that performance signals affect overall turnover, but only at the lower end of performance ratings. Compared with schools earning a C grade, schools earning a D grade have higher levels of teacher turnover. Moreover, teachers from different racial groups respond to low-performance signals differently. Compared to their counterparts in schools that earned a C, white teachers in D schools are more likely to transfer to higher-rated schools. In contrast, Black teachers in D schools are more likely to exit NYC schools to join other districts or leave the profession entirely. This study deepens our understanding of employee turnover under performance regimes and shows an unintended effect of performance management: performance regimes drive minority teachers away and worsen the lack of representation.

Promoting Performance in Multi-Level Governance and Delivery of Homelessness Services
PRESENTER: Jordy Coutin

ABSTRACT. Promoting performance management and success in many social services involves complex intergovernmental relationships and networked governance (O’Toole & Meier, 2004; Hong, 2017; Choi & Moynihan, 2019; Musso et. al., 2022). These systems present high transaction costs and complicated multi-agent relationships. Building on Musso et al (2022) this study analyses the impact of key performance indicators on grant awards from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to Continuums of Care (CoCs). It considers whether these intergovernmental grants promote accountability and advance federal and local goals, highlighting practitioner perspectives in grant-in-aid processes.

This case study analyzes interviews with 23 CoC representatives, a survey of 114 CoCs (33% response rate), and HUD performance data. We find limited evidence that funding levels are associated with reported measures of performance. Broadly, our data show that governance complexities and environmental constraints violate many of the principal-agent assumptions embodied within performance management doctrine. At the same time, interviews suggest that some CoCs use HUD reporting requirements for varied purposes, including catalytic and discursive capacities (Musso and Weare, 2019; Moynihan, 2008; Nathan 2008). Overall, CoCs are building performance management systems capacities, but still face challenges regarding sustainable organizational culture. Impediments to performance include both internal organizational factors and external factors such as lack of housing, limited funding, and regulatory restrictions. Overall, the evidence supports a more cooperative and discursive model for capacity building rather than a top-down view of performance management governance in networked grant-in-aid systems.

The Role of Ambiguity, Informality, and Identity in Shaping Collective Performance Data Use: A Case Study of the Citizen Security Plan in Jamaica
PRESENTER: Aubrey Stewart

ABSTRACT. The performance management literature postulates goals, measures, and data as means to combat principal-agent problems. But collaborations use such metrics as well, despite the absence of traditional bureaucratic features that would typically call for the use of performance practices. Within collaborations, collective data use can be understood as a shared process whose outcomes are negotiated via lateral, voluntary, and reciprocal interactions, activated through three mechanisms: sensemaking, deliberating, and debating.

Our paper contributes to the collaborative performance literature. We argue that to understand shared data use during the implementation phase, we need to examine groups’ engagement with performance practices during the earlier planning and coordination phases using a temporal view. We also submit that the three mechanisms constitute broader theoretical streams that call for theorizing about specific causal pathways within them. We identify and examine three lower-level mechanisms that can help explain collective data use: ambiguity reduction, formality-informality complementarity, and identity creation.

To develop and illustrate our arguments, we employ a mechanism-based case study. This approach relies on the use of explanatory narratives, and it is particularly appropriate if the unit of the analysis is a social, interactive process. As our case, we selected the Citizen Security Plan in Jamaica (2020-2023). The Plan is an initiative that aims to combine addressing crime and safety issues with efforts of community development. It was selected because it requires government to collaborate; it relies on the use of goals and data; and it allowed us to observe changes across project phases.

08:30-10:00 Session 9F: Education Policy Implementation
“It’s not a problem at my school”: Faculty perceptions of student homelessness in public post-secondary education
PRESENTER: Sarah Young

ABSTRACT. In AY 2019-2020, 1,280,886 students experienced homelessness, a 162% increase over the last decade (NCHE, 2009; NCHE,2021). In postsecondary education, student homelessness is pervasive, yet difficult to quantify because of its hidden nature (Klitzman, 2017) and lack of inclusion among government agencies' definitions (NNY, 2016; ICH, 2018; Sullivan, A. A., 2023). Faculty, having the most student interaction, are the first line of defense in identifying students experiencing homelessness. Yet, most college faculty receive little training in pedagogical practices or holistic student wellness approaches (Karlin & Martin, 2020). Faculty identification could be a critical first step to connecting these students with critical resources (Collins et al., 2023). Yet, research is needed on what factors affect faculty awareness of this issue. Doing so may facilitate public agencies and universities in designing targeted interventions and training to address faculty awareness of student homelessness.

This study conducts a nationwide survey of 50,000+ faculty at public postsecondary education institutions to assess what factors impact their awareness of student homelessness. We will conduct exploratory factor analysis to investigate a myriad of personal backgrounds, professional experience, university engagement, and campus resource item variables. We hypothesize that faculty with personal experience with homelessness, those in human service and social work fields, and those who frequently engage with their university resources are more likely to have increased awareness of student homelessness. Data collection was completed in December 2023.

Differing impacts of ownership on performance: Comparing charter systems and local charter schools in Georgia

ABSTRACT. This study explores the differences in financial efficiency between charter systems (school districts granted charters) and local charter schools from the perspective of the property rights framework. Georgia is distinguished by the coexistence of both individual charter schools and charter school systems. Both individual charter schools and charter systems essentially function as contractors. However, local startup charter schools are operated and owned by non-government parties, while public schools in charter systems remain publicly owned. According to the property rights framework, the success of outsourcing versus in-house production significantly depends on ownership. Governments enter contracts either with employed managers who lack ownership of facilities or with independent contractors who own their facilities. The primary hypothesis is that costs are lower for contractors as they don’t need approval for cost reduction. However, the realization of efficiency gains remains uncertain. Consequently, this study hypothesizes that cost reduction is more evident for local charter schools. Additionally, the study will examine how ownership affects the quality of public education when there is competition in quantity.

To accomplish this, I will employ a two-way fixed-effect model using data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau, Georgia Department of Education, Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, and National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The dataset spans the school years from 2011 to 2019, with dependent variables of financial outcomes (total expenditure, instructional expenditure, fixed cost) and student outcomes (Georgia Milestones scores, graduation rate, school safety index).

Designed to be Ineffective? Agency Termination, Organizational Identity, and the California Postsecondary Education Commission

ABSTRACT. An oft-quoted truism in public administration is that public agencies, once established, never die. Half a century of research has made considerable progress in complicating our understanding of agency transitions, largely focusing on the role of quantifiable institutional characteristics. However, the organizational, contextual, and temporal dynamics of public agency survival and termination, particularly at the sub-national level, are considerably less developed. In this paper, I elaborate a microhistory of public higher education governance in California by analyzing the creation and termination of the California Postsecondary Education Commission (1973-2011). I find that the agency’s historically contingent enactment of its multiple organizational identities ensured its survival in the short-term, while its inability to connect its multiple identities across leadership transitions was a key factor in its eventual termination. Each enactment ensured survival and policy relevance in its moment but multiple enactment, over time, unmoored the agency from its stakeholders. This study makes both substantive and methodological contributions to public administration scholarship. First, it proposes microhistory as a research method rare in the study of public administration but potentially invaluable in untangling longstanding research puzzles. Second, the study’s substantive findings help reframe the question of agency survival and agency termination from one of rational agency design towards a more agentic and strategic explanation grounded in organizational dynamics.

School Medicaid Expansion: Implementation of the State Plan Amendment in Chicago Public Schools

ABSTRACT. This qualitative study focuses on understanding Year 1 implementation of the Medicaid State Plan Amendment (SPA) in Chicago Public Schools. The SPA expands the ability of schools to receive Medicaid reimbursement for a wider range of school-based mental health services. This study examines how implementation of the SPA shapes student mental health service use and the mental health workforce. Previous research demonstrates that expanding access to health services in the school setting improves education and health outcomes over the life course (Basch, 2011). This study will include 24 semi-structured interviews with purposively selected school administrators and school-based clinicians in Spring 2024. Qualitative interviews were designed and will be coded using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Findings from this policy implementation study will build the evidence base for implementation successes and challenges to school Medicaid expansion by focusing on the case example of Chicago Public Schools. The findings will provide concrete guidance about specific implementation strategies, and processes that improve intergovernmental collaboration between education and health agencies to promote the use of Medicaid funds to increase student access to mental health services. This is an important study in the context of the child mental health crisis and the recent state and federal funding to support districts in expanding their mental health infrastructure. Medicaid is a sustainable revenue source for schools and presents an opportunity for schools to expand and sustain their mental health services.

08:30-10:00 Session 9G: Emergency Management: Coordination and Service Delivery
Interorganizational Collaboration to Build Disaster Resilience at the Local Level: A Social Network Analysis Approach

ABSTRACT. Climate change is expected to exacerbate the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, raising the importance of efforts to augment local community resilience. Resilience can be broadly defined as a community’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from adverse events such as natural disasters. While the literature on resilience and natural hazards is now quite large, analysis of the planning process remains limited. The present study examines inter-organizational collaboration for disaster resilience planning locally, including public, nonprofit, and private actors. Specifically, we examine the structure of the planning network, the composition of actors, their relative positioning, how resilience planning decisions are made, and the pre-dominant policy and issue areas. We pay particular attention to how collaborative actors make decisions and set resilience priorities, and we seek to connect decision processes to network features.

To study this, we investigate disaster resilience planning in a rural county in the Southeast of the US exposed to several natural disasters, including tornadoes, ice storms, and strong winds. The county is characterized as having a high level of social vulnerability compared to the rest of the US (US Federal Emergency Management Administration, 2023). The empirical base includes data from observations of local government public meetings, content analysis of relevant planning documents, and interviews with collaborative partners. The data are analyzed using social network analysis methods, including descriptive and inferential techniques. The findings have implications for public management theory and practice in resilience planning.

Unraveling the Evolution of UAS Technology Adoption in Collaborative Disaster Management Networks in Florida
PRESENTER: Jeonghwa Yang

ABSTRACT. The traditional linear model of technology adoption falls short of comprehensively explaining the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into disaster management networks. To address this gap, this research proposes a modified collaborative governance framework by investigating Emergency Management (EM) Networks in Florida. Based on the Integrative Collaborative Governance and Human-Machine Networks Frameworks, we identify the factors influencing UAS technology adoption within the collaborative governance structure. The study focuses on the case of the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security at Florida State University (FSU) during the 2015 Statewide Hurricane Exercise and Hurricane Ian in 2022. This case study explores the role of FSU’s UAS team and how it evolved from voluntary participation in 2015 to formal integration into disaster management operations in 2022. The research highlights a significant transformation in the role and importance of the UAS team within the EM network, emphasizing the interplay of collaboration dynamics, outcomes, and drivers in successful technology adoption. The analysis underscores the evolving significance of collaborative governance dimensions across different phases, with informal networks and team leadership playing a pivotal role in the foundational phase, while trust, complexity, and technical expertise become crucial in the institutional phase. The study identifies a virtuous cycle in collaborative governance networks in EM in Florida, where positive perceptions and mission success drive further technological advancements. The significance of this research lies in connecting theories with real-world practice. For policymakers, understanding the importance of these factors at different stages can guide strategies to promote technology adoption.

Organizational Support, Decision-Making Structure, and Frontline Emergency Management Professionals’ Administrative Burden When Providing Disaster Services

ABSTRACT. Frontline emergency management professionals (EMPs) have committed to various disaster service provision tasks during the Pandemic. Many of them have experienced significant compliance costs in operating and distributing services and following complicated rules, as well as learning costs such as acquiring new knowledge to protect citizens and themselves, and psychological costs like health concerns, work stress, and burnout. However, few studies have investigated (1) what factors affect frontline EMPs' perceived administrative burden, and (2) how do organizational-level support and decision-making structures affect the relationships between their disaster service provision efforts and perceived administrative burden. Through thematic coding of 38 interviews and statistical analysis of 362 survey responses, this study finds that: First, although disaster impacts on student health and university continuity and operation have no direct effects on EMPs perceived administrative burden, internal coordination efforts within universities to provide disaster services can increase it. Second, EMPs' participation in and influence on disaster decision-making processes has no impact on their felt burden. Last, more importantly, organizational-level support measures such as providing sufficient PPEs and committed leadership can significantly reduce their felt burden. Organizations need to arrange a more robust logistical supporting system to improve frontline EMPs' service provision experiences. Further, although service provision capacity might be limited, how do organizations support frontline EMPs' personal needs, feelings and reduce their fatigue matter for reducing burdens.

Role of IT systems in managing extreme weather events: The case of public transit agencies in USA
PRESENTER: Shaika Islam

ABSTRACT. Public transit agencies are large complex, technology-dependent organizations that are exposed to rising frequency (Huber & Gulledge, 2011; McPhillips et al., 2018) and severity of extreme weather (Parmesan & Yohe, 2003), which often results in negative outcomes. Research has pointed to improving information technology (IT) systems to reduce uncertainties associated with extreme events and improving the management of climate risks (Armstrong et al., 2021; Remy et al., 2018; Zanni & Ryley, 2015;). This paper aims to fill the gap in the knowledge of the role of IT systems in disaster risk management (Meechang et al., 2020) by examining the relationship between risk perception and agency IT investment decisions. The study addresses two primary research questions: (i) How do past extreme events influence IT investment decisions? and (ii) How does investment in IT systems affect perceptions of future anticipated risks related to extreme weather? We draw on prior work to inform hypotheses linking IT system attributes, extreme event history, and risk perception (Ardaya et al., 2017; Lawrence et al., 2014; Hu et al., 2022; Zhang, 2018), and test them using data from the two unique national surveys conducted in 2019 and 2023 of the population of top managers in five leadership positions in transit agencies with over $1 million in revenues. We use structural equation modeling to examine the complex relationships between extreme events, risk perception, and investment in IT systems. Our findings contribute to fundamental understanding and inform public agencies on preparation for future weather hazards.

08:30-10:00 Session 9H: Representative Bureaucracy: Passive and Active Representation
Does Ordinal Representation Matter in Coproduction?

ABSTRACT. Representative bureaucracy stands as a promising method for advancing coproduction and democratic governance. The prevailing body of literature has primarily focused on investigating cardinal representation, defined as the numerical or proportional representation of bureaucrats within a public organization that symbolically reflects the population composition. This existing literature has documented the mixed effects of cardinal representation on coproduction. However, whether there exists an ordinal effect of representative bureaucracy remains unclear.

Ordinal representation pertains to altering the order of representation among bureaucrats when cardinal representation cannot be improved. For instance, in an organization with four bureaucrats where two are female and two are male regarding gender representation, cardinal representation cannot be enhanced. To address the question of whether ordinal representation holds significance in coproduction, this study examines the ordinal effects of gender representation on individuals’ decisions to coproduce.

By employing two distinct policy areas—recycling and emergency preparedness—the study randomizes the order of female officials in a setting with two males and two females, where gender representation cannot be enhanced in a cardinal manner. Both experiments failed to consistently identify evidence of the ordinal effects resulting from placing females in different orders on citizens’ overall willingness to coproduce. However, the results revealed a pattern indicating that the gender of the chief leader influences an increase in the willingness of others of the same gender—and simultaneously decreases the willingness of their gender counterparts—to participate in coproduction.

Disability and active representation: Focusing on the severity and the visibility of disabilities

ABSTRACT. The main argument of the representative bureaucracy is that bureaucrats' identities influence how they exercise their discretion (Meier, 1993; Wilkins & Keiser, 2004). Previous empirical evidence shows that minority bureaucrats tend to respond more sensitively to the needs of minority citizens who share similar demographic characteristics, also known as active representation. This tendency was also observed on the organizational level as organizations with more minority bureaucrats implement more favorable policies towards minority clients. However, the revealed mechanism that links passive representation with active representation primarily focuses on a few selected identities, such as race, while lacking discussion on other socially marginalized identities, such as disability. Individuals with a disability have different antecedents that affect the salience of their identity, such as the severity or visibility of their disability. Thus, they could show distinct patterns of active representation compared to identities explored in previous literature. For instance, bureaucrats with dyslexia might not support policies that benefit dyslexic clients out of the fear of being linked with a stigmatized identity that could affect their work identity and career. This research attempts to discover the relationship between people with disability and active representation using employee disability self-identification data and Section 508 Compliance report from federal agencies.

When are women more likely to police differently? The Role of Salience on Clearance Rates
PRESENTER: Kelsey Shoub

ABSTRACT. Representative bureaucracy scholars often assume two conditions are necessary for passive representation to lead to active representation: that the context in which the bureaucrat does their job or of a given interaction makes the studied identity salient via the issue and that the bureaucrat has the discretion to exercise decision-making. Despite their significance, they have received little empirical investigation. This study explores the role salience plays in translating passive into active representation in law enforcement. We expect that when gender is made salient passive representation is more likely to be translated into active representation (Keiser et al. 2002; Meier and Nicholson‐Crotty 2006), but that translation may not be limited to only highly salient issues. Using a unique aggregation of information made public by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting program and the American Community Survey, we provide the most comprehensive test to date — spanning thousands of agencies — of whether the gender composition of municipal police departments in the United States relates to clearances of rape cases — an issue where a female officers' gender is likely to be highly salient — as well as other felonies. We find that as the proportion of a municipal police force that is female increases, the rate of reported and cleared rape cases increases. However, these patterns and relationships are not limited to this high salience issue. This implies that the consequences of women's inclusion in police forces may be further reaching than is often presumed in extant literature.

08:30-10:00 Session 9I: Turnover: Causes and Consequences
An Armor and Helmet? The Effects of Agency Reputation on Federal Workforce Turnover

ABSTRACT. This paper explores the impact of agency reputation on federal workforce turnover. Informed by the Social Identity Theory (SIT) and Self-Categorization Theory (SCT), this paper posits that an agency’s external reputation (“received reputation”) affects the psychological processes of public employees, thereby influencing their action - turnover. Moreover, the study acknowledges the multifaceted nature of agency reputation, emphasizing that different stakeholders perceive and value elements of organizational success and its reputation distinctly. As such, stakeholders closely linked to an agency's technical core (i.g., delivering service) have a pronounced impact on employee turnover compared to evaluations from distal external stakeholders. Lastly, the paper extends the reputation theory by suggesting that positive internal self-perceptions of public employees (“perceived reputation”) can buffer the negative effects of externally received reputations on turnover tendencies. The study utilizes a system generalized method of moments (system-GMM) with eleven-year (2005-2017) dynamic panel data, combining different data sources on U.S. sub-agencies (bureau-level). In line with previous studies' findings, the result suggests that while external reputation alone does not dictate employees’ turnover action, their internal reputation powerfully influences their response to these external signals. The synergy between internal and external reputations emerged as a salient predictor of turnover. Thus, for public agencies, alongside managing external reputation, cultivating a strong internal reputation is essential for organizational resilience and longevity. This interrelation highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to reputation management, valuing both internal and external reputation(s).

The Role of State Politics in Shaping the Tenure and Succession of Top Managers
PRESENTER: Karl Santiago

ABSTRACT. Scholarship on turnover in the public sector recognizes that politics can influence the tenure length of public managers. This study expands this literature in three key ways. First, while existing research focuses on the implications of political change at the federal or local level, we consider the political dynamics that are becoming more salient at the state level where elected officials face challenges in balancing state interests with the interests of their political party. Second, we observe tenures of officials atop agencies that are held accountable by policymakers but are not directly appointed by them. In doing so, we highlight the ways in which the characteristics of governing boards, which are often responsible for hiring and firing top-level managers, shapes managerial tenure. Third, we consider both the tenure length of public managers as well as the vacancies that sometimes occur following the departure of a public manager in assessing whether board characteristics influence the ability of agencies to effectively hire managerial talent. To test our hypotheses, we use data on presidents of four-year, doctoral colleges and universities in the US from 2004-2019. We include both state-level political variables such as gubernatorial party and tenure and unified/divided government as well as board-level variables including board size and the share of members appointed by the governor. Findings have direct implications for the ways in which the field expands its understanding of the how governing boards influence public agencies as well as the factors that shape the tenures of non-appointed bureaucrats.

Present in Body, Absent in Spirit: The Quiet Quitting Crisis in Public Sector Employees

ABSTRACT. Amid a global rise in 'quiet quitting,' the public sector, including in Korea, is not immune. To secure organizational competitiveness, it is just as important to prevent competent employees from quitting as to motivate those who remain quietly disengaged. This study aims to fill the research gap with empirical studies on 'quiet quitting' as follows. Firstly, this study explores whether the likelihood and influencing factors of 'quiet quitting' significantly differ across generations. Secondly, previous studies often treat behaviors like voluntary turnover, job negligence, and job involvement as separate dependent variables. These are ultimately related to an employee's relative choice regarding work attitudes—whether to leave or stay, and if staying, whether to be negligent or enthusiastic. Therefore, this study utilizes multinomial logistic regression to estimate the relative probabilities of how likely an employee will voluntarily quit or quietly quit, compared to the probabilities of staying and being committed. Lastly, existing studies, typically cross-sectional in nature, tend to focus on analyzing the turnover intention rather than the actual turnover behaviors of employees who remain. This study seeks to move beyond intentions, using panel data to analyze the actual turnover behaviors in the subsequent year. Using data from the Korean Labor Institute’s Korean Labor and Income Panel Study (2016-2021), we reveal that the relative probabilities of choosing voluntary or quiet quitting do not differ by generation, but the factors that significantly influence these decisions do differ. These results support the need for management changes targeted at the younger generation in Korea's public sector.

How Agencies’ Political Environments Shape Agency Performance: Partisan Disagreement, Agenda Change, and Politicization

ABSTRACT. Recent scholarship demonstrates that politicization of federal agencies leads civil servants to report higher likelihoods of turnover and less investment in policy expertise. While this research often suggests the ultimate result of politicization is lower agency performance, it rarely demonstrates it. In this paper, I use a 2020 survey of senior U.S. federal civil servants to demonstrate that increased partisan conflict about what an agency should do is negatively associated with agency performance. Importantly, I replicate the findings from the survey data using the Program Assessment Rating Tool, a measure used for performance budgeting during the George W. Bush administration. I then demonstrate that high levels of partisan disagreement are associated with larger changes in policy agendas during the Obama-to-Trump transition and higher levels of agency politicization and turnover intention during the Trump administration, particularly in liberal agencies. These findings are consistent with a causal pathway from agencies’ political environments to performance via agency personnel.

08:30-10:00 Session 9J: Equitable Outcomes
Promoting Equity in Higher Education: A Two-Level Intersectional Prevention Framework
PRESENTER: Sungdae Lim

ABSTRACT. Low-income high school seniors are 30 percent less likely to enroll in higher education programs compared to their more affluent peers (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). Race, gender, ethnicity, first-generation status, and socioeconomic status are all associated with vast disparity in accessing higher education (Jacob & Ludwig, 2008). Academic inequity gives rise to lifelong and generational social inequity. Unequal access to higher education may perpetuate a cycle of poverty that affects generations.

This paper addresses the widening academic gap and examines the role of public education in fostering academic equity. This study responds to the call for a more holistic understanding of what perpetuates academically successful youth from historically inequitable backgrounds by linking the individual with their greater environment (McCoy & Bowen, 2015). Specifically, we ask, “what individual and institutional factors promote equitable access to higher education across marginalized student identities?” We propose a two-level, intersectional public education equity framework.

The framework is tested using data from surveys conducted among 1,400+ high school seniors and 50 guidance counselors in ten public high schools in the United States. The findings reveal misalignments between schools and individuals regarding perceptions of protective factors for social equity, indicating significant variations in the factors believed to impact access to higher education. Additionally, the study identifies certain risk factors for academic inequity, such as homelessness, first-generation status, lack of school resources, and financial constraints, which can be mitigated through protective factors such as societal expectations, family support, mentorship programs, and peer norming.

Community Investment and Equitable Access to Capital for Homeownership

ABSTRACT. As a political ideology, social equity refers to the fair and equitable division of resources, opportunities, and privileges in society. In application, social equity is reflected by the organization of our social institutions in such ways that provide access to economic benefits for all members of society. While the concept of social equity now permeates academic research in public administration and policy, there is less understanding of how social equity is integrated into public investments in our communities, or whether it is achieved through such activities. Using data for Chicago, Illinois, this paper asks: Do city-backed financial incentives for economic development produce equitable outcomes in terms of access to capital? This question is addressed through empirical analysis of all census tracts in Chicago, 2010-2021.

Research on place-based incentives has primarily focused on single incentive programs, concentrating on property values or job creation as desired outcomes. Few studies have compared multiple place-based investments or evaluated the combination of investments and resulting changes in equitable access to capital for neighborhood residents. This paper contributes to existing research by analyzing several programs—Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF), New Market Tax Credit (NMTC), Property Tax Abatement (PTA), Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF), and Tax Increment Financing (TIF)—and how the related investments alter the racial composition of neighborhoods as a result of home loan approvals. In doing so, this paper offers a better understanding of and policy prescriptions for enhancing social equity when redeveloping and revitalizing local communities in need.

Does Ownership affect Quality in Health and Social Care Provision? Comparing Government-Run Services with Devolved (Spin-out) and Privately-Founded Social Enterprises
PRESENTER: Janelle Kerlin

ABSTRACT. In recent years, some scholars have expressed concern over government efforts to transition the provision of certain public services into social enterprises (businesses with a social mission). This scenario has played out perhaps most clearly in the UK with the devolution or "spin-out" of some government-run health and social care services into a specific form of social enterprise, the Community Interest Company (CIC). The policy rationale for transitioning services into social enterprise was that they would maintain elements of the public sector to fulfill social missions but combine this with a ‘business’ focus that would allow them to be more efficient, adopt flexible structures, and innovate in service arrangements.

We explore these tensions by drawing on quality rating data from England's Care Quality Commission to compare service quality across health and social care organizations that are government-run, CICs "spun-out" of the state, or privately-founded CICs. Specifically, we use ordered logit regression models to compare over 2,000 quality ratings of these three types of providers across five dimensions: safe, effective, caring, responsive, well-led, plus an overall rating. We draw on a 'publicness' theoretical framework to explore whether and to what extent public or private ownership, as well as the loss of public ownership through the ‘spin-out’ of public services into independent social enterprises, impacts quality. Our initial results show that overall, both types of social enterprise CICs performed better than government-run services, whilst non-spin-out CICs performed best on caring and responsive and spin-out CICs performed best on safe and effective dimensions.

Forms of Government Matter: Exploring the Political Determinants of Health Disparities from the Perspectives of Governmental Responsiveness

ABSTRACT. Governmental responsiveness refers to the duty or action of government officials and institutions to address the needs and concerns of citizens through administrative and policy measures. Scholars have found that governmental structure and forms of government can shape governmental responsiveness and performance by prioritizing different public values in policy adoption and implementation. Previous literature suggests that an administrative form of government is more likely to address equity issues; however, empirical investigations into how varying structures affect social equity responsiveness remain scarce. This research delves into the impact of forms of government on racial equities and explores the interplay between administrative capability, political environment, and the resultant equity outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. We propose that counties with predominant administrative structures are more likely to direct essential services and assistance to vulnerable demographics, particularly in fiscally stable conditions. Conversely, in political environments where ideology sways public behavior and policy preferences, governments with strong elected leadership might respond more robustly to equity issues in areas with Democratic majorities. The hypotheses are tested with data collected from 700 American counties. This dataset uses the CDC COVID-19 mortality rate across demographic slices as the dependent variable. Independent variables include the governmental structure collected from each county's official website, the political environment reflective of the 2020 election outcomes, and fiscal conditions such as annual county budgets and relief funds.

08:30-10:00 Session 9K: Financial Management
Financial Management Professionalism and the Fiscal Health of Municipal Governments
PRESENTER: Benedict Jimenez

ABSTRACT. Professionalism in financial management within governments is essential for ensuring fiscal responsibility, transparency, and the effective stewardship of public funds. Despite the importance of financial management professionalism, very few studies have documented the level of professionalism in governments, much less examined how it shapes fiscal performance. Most studies on budget professionalism appeared in the 1990s. We use data from a 2023 national survey of municipal governments with a population of 10,000 and higher to document current trends in financial management professionalism, and test how professionalism shapes government fiscal health. We develop an index of professionalism that focuses on the organizational location of the budget office, responsibility over critical budget and financial management functions, presence and characteristics of a finance director, and organizational resources, among others. Defining fiscal health as the ability of governments to pay for the costs of delivering services and meet other financial obligations, we measure it using self-reported fiscal outcomes from the survey, as well as data from audited financial reports. Using regression analysis and causal inference techniques such as difference-in-differences analysis and synthetic control methods, we find that financial management professionalism does indeed matter for fiscal health. However, its impact depends on the institutional strength of other decision-making actors in city governance, specifically the city council, elected mayors, and appointed chief executives. Our finding contributes not only to the study of organizational professionalism but also to the literature on bureaucratic politics, in particular, how the role and distribution of authority within governments determine critical organizational outcomes.

Examining Public Managers’ Perceptions on Financial Conditions: Insights from Local Governments in Kansas
PRESENTER: Xiaoheng Wang

ABSTRACT. Financial condition is a multidimensional concept reflecting a government’s capacity to meet short-term and long-term financial obligations. A better understanding of fiscal condition helps officials monitor their governments’ financial performance. Although much literature explores “objective” measures of financial conditions via financial indicators, little attention is paid to how practitioners perceive and evaluate their governments’ fiscal health.

Understanding this is important, first, because officials often have a more comprehensive view of local financial health than objective financial indicators can capture alone. Compared to information contained in financial statements, commonly used for indicators, local practitioners possess broader relevant data and a nuanced understanding of what it means in the local context. Second, local government officials, i.e. individuals positioned within a network of government and community actors, ultimately make local investment, policy, and programmatic decisions. As such, when it comes to understanding policy outputs, their perceptions of their municipality’s financial condition arguably matter more than objective measures.

Drawing from open system theory and the literature on perceived organizational outcomes, this research aims to explore whether public managers holding positions in different city departments have systematically different views on financial health. This research examines survey data from city officials in 273 Kansas cities with populations over 500. The survey, conducted between September 2023 and January 2024, targeted professionals in five positions—City Administrator and Directors of Public Works, Planning and Finance. Through descriptive and empirical analysis, this research illuminates how perceived local financial conditions in influence the decisions and fiscal responses across different organizations.

Does Public Financial Management Matter? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the Texas School Districts

ABSTRACT. Holding public organizations accountable for management performance is a common theme in multiple areas, including public financial management. We ask the question: How does the performance feedback of financial management affect the performance of public organizations? The behavioral theory of the firm suggests that negative performance feedback increases future organizational performance. Empirically, public financial management is often difficult to measure and endogenous to outcomes. We exploit the Financial Integrity Rating of Texas (FIRST) data to address these challenges. The State of Texas has implemented the FIRST system since 2002 to evaluate and monitor the financial management performance of school districts. The FIRST system assigns performance scores on dozens of indicators measuring school districts' financial condition and financial management, generating four ratings. We use the performance scores and the rating cutoffs in a regression discontinuity (RD) design to examine the causal impact of performance rating downgrades on school district's financial and academic performance. We look at outputs and outcomes of financial management feedback, including (1) financial condition, (2) budgetary expenditure and allocation, and (3) student academic performance. We have completed the data collection, and the preliminary results show that performance feedback substantially impacts these outcomes. Our contributions include extending the performance feedback literature to public financial management, offering causal evidence that public financial management matters to organizational performance, and demonstrating that performance-based accountability systems work in the public education sector.

When do Governments Obfuscate: Examining Financial Disclosure in U.S. Local Government

ABSTRACT. When reporting financial information, U.S. state and local governments are required to supplement their financial statements with a Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) explaining their current fiscal condition. This requirement aims to provide interested stakeholders with a clear picture of their governments’ fiscal health. Previous research has examined the drivers of financial transparency at the country level (Alt & Lassen 2006; Benito & Bastida 2009). However, the determinants and their effects at the local level are still less understood (Esteller-Moré & Polo Otero 2012). Drawing on democratic theory and principal-agent theory, this study seeks to assess the level of transparency of local governments and analyze under what conditions some governments obfuscate more than others. We also ask whether the level of fiscal autonomy moderates the effect of fiscal conditions on fiscal transparency. To answer these questions, we code the MD&A section of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) of Florida county governments between 2011 and 2021 and construct an index that captures the variation in the level of financial transparency. The study offers novel insights into the willingness of local governments to disclose fiscal information and the factors that contribute to a more open, transparent, and accountable public administration.

10:15-11:45 Session 10A: Energy and Environmental Policy Implementation
Varying Policy Designs, Different Policy Outcomes: How Net Energy Metering Policies Affected the Adoption of Residential Solar
PRESENTER: Min-kyeong Cha

ABSTRACT. The rapid diffusion of distributed energy resources (DERs) has occurred recently in part due to policies encouraging more adoption. Both utilities and state governments have devised various policy instruments, and particularly net energy metering (NEM) tariffs have been widely used. The net energy metering (NEM) tariff, at which utility companies buy the excess solar generated from rooftop solar, provides financial incentives to customers. The NEM tariff differs by state, from a tariff in that utilities provide a retail rate as a buyback rate to several alternative configurations with different billing periods (instantaneous vs. monthly) and various buyback rates (such as avoided cost). Diverse tariff designs provide costs and benefits differently, leading to nonuniform effects on both rooftop solar consumers and potential adopters.

Building upon previous works on policy designs of net energy metering, which have gained less attention despite its prevalence, we explore different tariff designs and create indexes encompassing various NEM tariffs. Using panel data (about 200 investor-owned utilities in 50 states from 2013 to 2021), we evaluate how different tariff designs have affected the penetration of distributed solar. By studying the correlation between policy designs and the adoption of DERs, our study contributes to policy design literature, understanding how various policy designs affect policy outcomes and how to design policies for other distributed resources.

Strategically Managing the Chaos of Climate: A Collective Action Approach to Green Infrastructure in Constrained Cities
PRESENTER: Juwon Chung

ABSTRACT. Climate change presents existential collective-action threats for communities and paradigmatic policy and management challenges for public administrators. Many of the core concerns of local governments are presently being impacted by environmental change. Weather variability is heavily stressing the public infrastructure. More dire growth imperatives are threatening sustainable land uses. Climate change is also increasing the costs of safe drinking water, exacerbating environmental injustices, and enhancing the need for green spaces or natural connectivity. Managing stormwater through land-use tools and Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) is an increasingly common strategy for local governments; however, GSI strategies require considerable integration of planning and management across local governments.

Strategic management is often touted as an approach for integrating strategy formulation and implementation in response to environmental challenges. As one of the popular approaches used by the public sector, strategic management is often touted as a means for effective public service delivery. However, it is unclear whether current strategic management approaches are up to the task of addressing climate-related threats to the sustainability of public services at the local level where problems are fundamentally transboundary and require coordination across typical silos. We address this gap by asking: What manager-led processes drive resource-constrained cities to adapt their capabilities to the accelerating impacts of climate change? Using a novel mixed methods approach combining survey, text analysis of planning documents, and interviews, we examine how resource-constrained cities in Indiana integrate their capabilities and planning in response to climate change in the context of GSI.

Regulatory intermediaries and residential energy retrofits

ABSTRACT. U.S. domestic energy goals demand rapid electrification and efficiency gains in residential energy systems. We use Regulator-Intermediary-Target theory to understand the role of governments, contractors, and homeowners in energy retrofits. Local government contractor licensing and building permit systems aim to ensure that the built environment of homes, buildings, streets, and other amenities protects the health and safety of residents. By pulling permits, contractors serve as an intermediary in the energy regulatory system, recommending residential actions and allowing government inspectors to review an energy installation for code compliance. First, do actions of intermediaries enhance or inhibit potential efficiency gains? Second, do repeated interactions with regulators around new technology make it more or less likely intermediaries will recommend newer devices to consumers? We evaluate these questions using permit and parcel data from Pueblo County, Colorado, and Denver County, Colorado. Using over 20,000 individual permit applications from 2018-2023 matched with publicly available microdata we model, first, the impact of intermediary quality and incentive programs on formation of residential-contractor dyads. Then, we utilize clustered resident-contractor dyads to test how failed permits and successful permits differentially predict future permit applications. Our analysis demonstrates the importance of regulator-intermediary-target dynamics for shaping energy efficiency outcomes.

When Regulators Reward Violations: Decentralized Environmental Enforcement in Intra-firm Networks
PRESENTER: Zhengyan Li

ABSTRACT. Bureaucrats are required to balance conflicting political and economic demands and task requirement. For example, they act strategically by relaxing environmental enforcement to gain advantages over competing jurisdictions in attracting business (as suggested by “race to the bottom” theory). Previous studies on this topic focused on general patterns of enforcement across states. However, we believe the “race” in courting business may be more intense among states that host subsidiaries of the same company. When a company has already established operation in a state, it becomes easier for it to move its capital and operation to the state when it faces setback in other states, which provides stronger motivation for the state to act strategically.

While regulatory competition suggests a state would relax its enforcement on an entity when its corporate siblings (entities that belong to the same company) in other states have been penalized for violations, regulatory learning theory, predicts otherwise. When an entity’s corporate siblings become violators, it tarnishes the reputation of the whole company and indicates possible wrongdoing of the focal entity itself, prompting regulators to increase scrutiny on the focal entity.

We test the two competing theories using a facility-level panel dataset of Clean Air Act enforcement actions. Preliminary results show a mixed pattern. While regulators increase enforcement on a facility when its same-industry siblings located in the same state become high priority violators (regulatory learning dominates), they relax enforcement on the focal facility if the same-industry violator siblings are in competitor states (regulatory competition dominates).

10:15-11:45 Session 10B: Judicial Processes
Intersecting Identities and the Juvenile Justice System: Representation vs Politicalization and Socialization

ABSTRACT. Prior research has documented the relationship of race/ethnicity and gender of top-level law enforcement officials on youth outcomes in the juvenile justice system. In this paper, we ask if the intersecting identities of race/ethnicity and gender of top law enforcement officials are representative in producing better outcomes in justice provision or if they are more politicized and socialized to steer towards conventional practices. This study draws on the juvenile justice system and inquires if youth outcomes (i.e., arrests and probation) vary as a function of the state attorney’s intersectional identity. The framework is conceptualized through the theoretical lens of intersectionality, representative bureaucracy, political control of the bureaucracy, and organizational socialization. We expect counties led by minority female state attorneys to experience fewer youth penalties than those led by others, especially among minority female offenders. Data from Florida’s 67 counties between 2015 and 2020 reveal that a Hispanic female state attorney is associated with mitigating severe consequences for young people, especially among Hispanic female youth when it pertains to arrests. Findings also show that political control and organizational socialization theories hold more explanatory power in this context than the intersectionality of race and gender.

Judicializing Public Interests: Administrative Performance Under the Shadow of Judicial Review
PRESENTER: Tianhao Chen

ABSTRACT. Do active judicial reviews bring about better administrative performance? Most scholars argue that active judicial review creates animosity between the judiciary and administration, leading to bad administrative performance. Others advocate a less hostile but constructive relationship between the two. However, the actual impact and mechanism of such a constructive relationship remain unclear. Employing an analysis of Public Interest Litigation against the Administration (PILA) in China, we present a theory of “bargaining in the shadow of judicial review.” The threat of imminent judicial review forces the administration to negotiate with the prosecutor and enhance its performance in exchange for dropping charges. Additionally, the effect of PILA is stronger in regions with more public environmental concern and weaker in regions with greater superior’s attention. Furthermore, we identify the impact of PILA on local governments' enforcement and legitimacy. The present study sheds new light on the long-standing debate on managerialism vs. legalism.

From Bureaucrats to Judges: A Systematic Review of the Federal Administrative Judiciary

ABSTRACT. In 2018, the Supreme Court decided in Lucia v SEC to place the Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) under the Appointments Clause; meaning that they must be appointed by the agency head or directly by the President. A month later, Republican President Trump issued Executive Order (EO)13843, excepting the ALJ corps out of competitive service. Democratic successor, President Biden would be expected to have overturned this EO, as he did many others; but he did not.

Public Administration scholars must pay attention to this restructuring and its impacts to agency adjudication practices. This working systematic review of the Federal Administrative Judiciary will analyze distinct approaches employed by legal and public administration scholars to explore the conceptual and very practical tension between judicial independence and bureaucratic discretion. As the first systematic review regarding this topic, I expect to chronicle the development of these positions within the federal government by exploring institutional collaboration and influences. And finally, I hope to identify topics that may bolster comprehension of administrative adjudication in the USA.

This presentation is relevant to the overall theme of “Bringing Theory to Practice”. As a heavily applied social science, public administration scholars focusing in management must attend to the legal discourse, particularly regarding judicialized employees. ALJs are in such a position within an agency to provide a unique bridge between public administration and the legal discipline. With the ongoing restructuring of their position, there are ample opportunities for practice to also inform theoretical innovation.

10:15-11:45 Session 10C: New Approaches to State-Market Interactions: A Formal-Relational Contracting Approach
Evolving Relational Dynamics: How Formal Contract Design Features Shape Government-Vendor Relationships

ABSTRACT. Government contracting and procurement play an important role in democratic governance. In the United States, the use of these functions are a pragmatic necessity and arguably on the rise (Warner 2023; Anguelov and Brunjes 2023). However, most scholarly research on the topic has neglected to focus on a crucial component of the contracting and procurement process: contract design features. Thus, we ask, how are formal contract design features used to shape government-vendor relationships? Indeed scholars have pointed out that contract design features, such as extendibility or renewal options, provide “more flexibility for additional types of uncertainty and further integrates the parties into a relationship” (Malatesta and Smith 2011, p. 610). Traditionally the literature has treated formal and relational contracting as distinct managerial approaches. However, empirical evidence shows that they can indeed function as compliments and not substitutes (Poppo and Zenger 2002). In this paper, we explore the role of formal contract design features in shaping government-vendor relationships using a unique dataset of over one hundred thousand state agency contracts. We analyze the language and features of the original agreements for professional services, as well as the language of subsequent contract amendments and renewals. This approach allows us to observe and categorize how different contract design features contribute to evolving relationships.

A Tyranny of Metrics vs. a Tool for Learning: Exploring performance information use on the spectrum of formal to relational contracting
PRESENTER: Carolyn Heinrich

ABSTRACT. The purposeful use of performance information in decision making is critical to improving public services and promoting public value in public-private partnerships (PPPs). In the contract scaffolding a PPP, the parties design mechanisms—formal and/or relational—for monitoring performance and holding service providers accountable for measurable outcomes. We study in-depth and contrast the formal performance provisions and use of performance information in two complex, multi-layered PPPs, formed in the U.S. and the UK to deliver essential public services to vulnerable populations. In both case-study PPPs, performance expectations, measures, and accountability provisions were core elements of the PPP contracts, but they differed in their design and implementation on the spectrum from formal to relational and dynamically in their use of performance information to guide the PPP work. Our theory-informed analysis draws on interviews, contractual documents, court records, performance data, and internal correspondence to examine how performance information use contributed to the PPP outcomes. The U.S. performance-based contract was highly formalized, lengthy, and rigid, with sizeable performance penalties that discouraged trust and information sharing, reinforced an inimical orientation to collaboration, and contributed to the PPP’s spectacular failure. Although the UK case also embodied performance incentives, relational governance structures cultivated a more trust-based approach to performance information use and embedded learning and adaptation into the delivery of services, enabling the parties to work continuously towards better alignment of interests and improved outcomes. We set out the implications for future PPP design and implementation, considering key contract clauses, collaborative structures, and management practices.

Cultivating Trust and Value in Government Contracts: A Formal-Relational Contracting Approach

ABSTRACT. Public and private organizations worldwide are increasingly shifting towards relational contracting approaches, recognizing that the traditional transactional contracting mindset is falling short in delivering the promised value. Formal-relational contracting aims to improve outcomes for buyers and sellers by cultivating trust and cooperation through explicit shared objectives, guiding principles, and governance mechanisms. This paper presents a framework for formal-relational contracting tailored to public sector contract contexts, where purchasing regulations and greater market imperfection exacerbate purchasing challenges and create more opportunity for cooperative purchasing. To illustrate the value of this framework, we report activities in which public contract managers role-played purchasing from the buyer’s and seller’s perspective, using both transactional and formal-relational approaches. Results show that both the buyer and seller achieved more value when they negotiated shared objectives and guiding principles prior to executing the exchange. Additional qualitative evidence from public contract managers suggests that shared objectives and guiding principles facilitated a transition from an adversarial "what's in it for me" mindset to a collaborative "what's in it for we" mindset. We discuss the value of our framework and findings for contract management theory and offer suggestions for how contract managers can use formal-relational contracting to harness buyer and seller value in public sector contracting.

Managing buyer-supplier relationships in public procurement: a systematic literature review of relational contracting in the public sector
PRESENTER: Rianne Warsen

ABSTRACT. The relationship between buyers and suppliers in the public sector is generally managed through traditional contracting practices. But, due to the inherent incomplete nature of contracts, relational contracting is suggested to deal with changing contexts (e.g., Jefferies & Rowlinson, 2016; Bertelli & Smith, 2009). Little is however known about the use and potential of relational contracting in a public sector context. To understand the potential and importance of relational contracting in public procurement this article presents a systematic literature review addressing the drivers, barriers, and the as the conditions under which relational contracting is used in the public sector.

The aim of our review is twofold. First, given the potential of relational contracting as an alternative to traditional contracting in complex situations, we aim to examine how relational approaches may or may not be a viable alternative to traditional transactional approaches. Second, we aim to contribute to the existing literature by developing an integrative framework of relational contracting as a way of managing buyer-supplier relationships in public procurement. Using ASReview Lab, an open-source machine learning software, we identify, collect, and assess relevant articles on this topic. Based on the findings, we develop an integrative framework of relational contracting in public procurement and present a research agenda to tackle theoretical and empirical lacunas in research into relational contracting.

10:15-11:45 Session 10D: Knowledge, Science, and Design Thinking
Action Research Revisited: Unraveling the Translation of Hybrid Development Knowledge into Poverty Reduction Practices by Research Teams in Tanzania and China

ABSTRACT. This paper proposes an analytical framework for action research paradigm in the fields of development management and global governance. In this paradigm, a group of intellectual undertakes the translation of hybrid development knowledge. This knowledge amalgamates participatory development ideas imported from the international development community since the 1980s with a targeted poverty reduction approach derived from China’s indigenous development experiences. The translation process is applied to local poverty reduction practices in remote minority rural villages in both Tanzania and China.

While previous literature discusses how politics and power structure shape global public policy and governance transformation, there is a notable gap in understanding grassroots-based practices that explore innovative narratives, actors, and strategies to establish a community of practices for poverty reduction in the global south. To address this research gap, we outline a processual, multilevel, network-centric perspective by investigating two community-based poverty reduction cases in Africa and China.

Our findings reveal that development narratives, actors’ networks, and pragmatically evolutionary practices constitute the three key pillars for building a community of practice focused on poverty reduction in the global south. The paper contributes to the literatures on the role of action research in poverty reduction in the global south, aligning with the first priority of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Meanwhile, it highlights the significance of knowledge network in the formulation and implementation of public policies. The study also bridges the knowledge gap between development theory and practical applications in poverty reduction in the global south.

"It takes practice": Lessons from a case study explicitly including iterative methodological development, design thinking, and practical considerations in public administration research

ABSTRACT. Co-production and practice-oriented methods have gained prominence in various social sciences, presenting a promising avenue of public administration research and the study of bureaucracies. Drawing from a case study of a Danish municipal agency where a design thinking approach is employed to iteratively co-design a practice-oriented method for conducting sludge audits, I examine the lessons learned and highlight the untapped potential for public administration research and practice. The case study focuses on internal bureaucratic procedures. Leveraging a series observations, in-depth interviews, visualization workshops, and document analyses I design and conduct a sludge audit focused on the practices and experiences of the public employees. The findings underscore four key lessons. For research: 1) The iterative nature of design thinking allowed for continuous refinement of the methodology. Prototyping and testing methods and expectations allowed me to identify shortcomings and develop context-sensitive measures and questions. 2) Including practitioners as early as in the design phase of a study increases access to domain specific knowledge and the feasibility of research-practice integration. For practice: 3) The employee-focused sludge audit lead to the identification and possible transformation of a series of straining procedures and practices. 4) Involving practitioners in the research proces builds reflexive capacity which in turn can increase adaptability and innovation within practice.

Why Trust Science? A Study On the roles of experts and public engagement

ABSTRACT. In theory, the literature on science and policy has uniformly characterised the role of experts - they are professional and rational, representatives of ethics. Few studies mention the considerable variation in the ways in which experts acquire scientific authority, ignoring the impact that such variation may have on the direction of public opinion. Indeed, the role of experts is influenced by governance structures, avenues of political absorption, etc., and this may spill over into their various engagement behaviours of policies. Particularly in countries with technology-based governance, industry experts who acquire scientific authority in different ways, and whose presence in public policy activities is perceived differently by the public, may even create a strained relationship of trust between the public and government departments. This paper collects textual data on Chinese media news and netizen comments reporting on experts' views in four fields: science and technology, healthcare, finance, education. The authors define the roles of experts in policy advice or policy advocacy based on their career paths and political identities, compare the impact of different roles on public participation, and explore the interaction between expert roles and public engagement in technology-based governance.

What makes science useful? An examination of stakeholder perceptions
PRESENTER: Katherine Cheng

ABSTRACT. The science-policy interface is both important and challenging for the development of evidence-based public management. Managing the social process of moving science into practice requires awareness of how information users evaluate information, including attention to credibility, salience, and legitimacy. While prior studies have examined public managers, typically in government agencies, as information users, our study recognizes the role of a variety of information users in collaborative governance. We examine how stakeholders from public and private sectors make judgments about which information is useful for joint decisions. We focus on the use of scientific information, given its importance to environmental management.

Our mixed method study takes place in the Puget Sound Basin of Washington state, where we gather data on stakeholder perceptions from approximately 48 CGRs working on ecosystem recovery. We use an exploratory sequential design, starting with interviews to generate a list of indicators with which stakeholders evaluate usefulness of scientific information. We then draw on this list to develop a survey sent to approximately 800 stakeholders. Our initial data show that scientific information is considered most useful when it comes from a reputable source and is produced transparently. Unexpectedly, less valuable indicators of usability included peer-review and co-production with information users. Our study contributes to CGR theory on knowledge management, identifying qualities that may enhance likelihood that information influences joint decisions. It also offers policy implications for information producers, suggesting ways to enhance information’s usability for practitioners in ecosystem recovery.

10:15-11:45 Session 10E: Learning
Organizational Learning in the public sector: an updated systematic review and future agenda
PRESENTER: Xunyu Xiang

ABSTRACT. Organizational learning (OL, hereafter) is a fundamental but vital concept in organizational studies. It intrigued a significant number of scholars to unveil the myth behind organizational learning for decades. However, there is an important lacuna in the field of OL. The majority of existing empirical evidence comes from the private sector, whereas the public sector is rarely investigated. Most importantly, the scale of public organizations is increasing dramatically, and their impact on society is of significance. This is essential to call for equal attention to OL in the context of the public sector. Hence, this study aims to close this gap by conducting systematic literature review. This article searched journal articles between 2010 and 2022, and bring together qualified empirical academic research on organizational learning in the public sector. The paper analyzed total 89 journal articles based on following themes: (1) basic publication information (countries, journal etc.); (2) Research design (qualitative or quantitative); (3) antecedents of OL; (4) outcomes of OL. Based upon the analysis, we develop a comprehensive picture of OL in public sector for guiding future studies. Last but not least, we put forward few future research suggestions: (1) more diverse methods application in relevant studies: more quantitative studies and mixed methods; (2) extending analysis level from organizational level to multiple (individual/inter- or intra-organizational levels) levels; (3) more studies on cross-national, longitudinal studies.

Pulled In or Pushed Out? The Effect of Learning on Minority Entrepreneurship.

ABSTRACT. Organizational learning has long been seen as a key determinant of its success. While the extant public sector learning literature has predominantly examined why and how organizational learning occurs, few studies have explicitly identified various types of learning and explored which type of learning is most effective in influencing organizational-level outcomes. Using intercity visit as an indicator of intercity learning, in this study, we examine how city government learn from each other to enhance minority representation in private sectors. Specifically, we employ natural language processing and cluster techniques to identify learning goals and techniques during these visits using media reports, internal documents, blogs, and similar sources related to intercity visits from city government and chamber of commerce websites. We further conduct text analysis to identify cities' policy priorities before, during, and after their business diversity learning experiences via intercity visits, using their strategic planning and budgeting documents. We then categorize business diversity learning into four types based on whether cities adopted related goals (i.e., problem-definition learning) or techniques (i.e., solution-generation learning) into their policy priorities after learning, and whether these represent refinements on existing practices (i.e., exploitation) or entirely new approaches (i.e., exploration). Using synthetic control methods, we explore how these various types of learning impact minority representation. This study sheds light on the overlooked risks and costs of learning theoretically, while practically, it offers insights into how public sectors can support minority entrepreneurs more effectively through learning initiatives.

Does a safe learning culture lead to satisfied police officers? A quantitative study on the mediating role of psychological safety in the German police
PRESENTER: Antonio Vera

ABSTRACT. Organizations that cultivate learning are learning organizations (Watkins & Marsick, 1993). Although job satisfaction can be a result of a learning organization (Egan et al. 2004), there is very little empirical research on the relationship between the learning organization and job satisfaction in the public sector in general and policing in particular. Another under-researched aspect is the role of errors. In learning contexts, errors are inevitable and can even be beneficial. However, in police work even small mistakes can have serious consequences and are avoided at all cost. The propensity of organizational members to take risks and to disclose and discuss failures openly is measured via psychological safety (Edmondson, 1999), which is also positively related to job satisfaction (Kim & Kim, 2020). In a learning organization, psychological safety is considered at various levels (e.g. Marsick & Watkins, 2003) and could act as a mediator.

Our quantitative study investigates the link between learning organization and job satisfaction and the mediating role of psychological safety in a policing context. We use the dimensions of learning organization questionnaire (DLOQ) developed by Watkins and Marsick (1997), Edmonson’s (1999) instrument for measuring psychological safety and the short index of job satisfaction (Sinval & Marôco, 2020). The participants in our study are experienced German police officers selected for future leadership positions.

Reducing Learning Burdens with Direct Mail: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment

ABSTRACT. This paper analyzes the effects of direct mail on participation in public assistance programs using a large-scale field experiment. Learning burdens are the first barriers to government service, and so access to public assistance begins with communication: potentially eligible people must learn about a program before they can participate in it. The present study focuses on customer assistance programs (CAPs) that utilities often use to help low-income households. Despite their widespread use, participation in most utility CAPs is low. Direct mail is one of the most common ways that utilities use to publicize their CAPs and improve uptake.

Seeking to identify effective and efficient outreach methods, in 2023 the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District conducted a field experiment involving 56,000 households in the Cleveland, Ohio metropolitan area. Using a conjoint design, the experiment randomly assigned households to a control condition or one of up to 56 combinations of treatments. Treatments included black and white postcards, color postcards, letters from the utility, letters from a community organization, English-only messages, bilingual messages, and multiple mailings. Some mailings framed assistance in terms of dollar value, while others expressed benefits as percentage discounts.

Results indicate that direct mail significantly increased CAP inquiries, and that a single, simple black-and-white postcard was the most cost-effective medium. Surprisingly, messaging variables did not drive significantly different response rates. The study is a model of university-government collaboration, and its findings provide unprecedented evidence about direct mail as a means of reducing learning burdens for public assistance programs.

10:15-11:45 Session 10F: Local Government
Political ideology and policy conflicts: How ideological divide can intensify policy conflicts among local government officials

ABSTRACT. The policy conflict framework suggests that political ideology, an indicator of policy actors’ core beliefs, can affect the actors’ policy positions, which in turn contributes to policy conflict. This paper empirically examines the relationship between local government officials’ political ideology and their policy positions on sustainability policy in general and affordable housing in particular. Analyzing survey data, from the state of Maryland, using multivariate regression analysis and ordered logit models, this study finds that local government officials’ policy positions show strong and statistically significant association with their self-reported political ideology. To account for other factors that might influence officials’ policy positions, policymakers’ level of education, field of expertise, level of engagement with regional governance, and several characteristics of the localities they represent are controlled for. The results suggest that local government officials’ political ideologies may significantly influence their policy positions. In addition, a comparative analysis of the policymakers’ positions on two specific policies—a community sustainability initiative and an affordable housing plan—shows that the influence of ideology is not uniform; political ideology appears to exert a stronger influence on policy positions related to affordable housing than community sustainability. Findings of this study shed light on the level of partisanship in local government policymaking and challenge some earlier claims that in the case of affordable housing, policymakers adopt a not-in-my-back-yard position irrespective of their ideologies. The paper concludes with a discussion of the influence of ideology on policy conflicts and its broader implications on the process of public policymaking.

Local Governments' Management of Federal Grants: Evidence from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

ABSTRACT. In response to the COVID-19-induced economic crisis, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 marked a significant action plan in fiscal federalism, offering substantial grants with relaxed accounting standards and increased local authority discretion (Rocco & Kass, 2022). Despite its importance, research on its local-level fund administration remains scarce. This study addresses this gap by examining the implementation challenges faced by local public managers handling these funds. Employing an online survey of 725 local officials overseeing ARPA allocations, we analyze the effect of federal constraints on fund management difficulties using ordered logistic regression and evaluate implementation effectiveness based on the timeliness and budget adherence of projects using binary OLS regression. We hypothesize that fund management challenges and implementation effectiveness are significantly influenced by three factors: federal constraints (encompassing management discretion and intergovernmental communication quality), local capacity (administrative and fiscal), and political influence (from the level of involvement of city councils, mayors/city managers, and public opinion). We measure fund management difficulties through compliance with federal regulations and internal administration, and gauge implementation effectiveness by project completion within predetermined timeframes and budgets. Our study aims to enhance understanding of ARPA’s impact on local decision-making, scrutinize the effects of federal guidelines on fund management, and offer policy recommendations for the improved local administration of federal grants.

Data Skills in Local Governments: An Emerging Data-Skills Gap

ABSTRACT. Local governments are in the middle of a technological revolution driven by an explosion of data that is transforming how they deliver services and make decisions. For local governments to harness data for the public good, they need employees with the ability to capture, curate, analyze, and apply data for public purposes. However, in government broadly and in local governments specifically there is an undefined but known data-skills gap, the difference between the skills needed by an organization and the skills possessed by its employees. The purpose of this research proposal is to provide initial data and analysis on the data skill levels currently possessed by local governments and to provide an initial measurement of the data-skills gap in local governments.

To understand data and data skills in city governments, this research proposal uses survey results from local government chief administrators in the census west region of the United States. The findings of this exploratory research suggest that 1) a data-skills gap exists in local government, 2) data skill expertise contributes indirectly to a chief administrator’s satisfaction in their organization’s overall data skills, and 3) data capture, curation, and analysis skills have smaller skill gaps compared to data communication and application skills. The findings provide important insight into the data skill needs of local governments and help identify important research questions for local governments and the acquisition of data skills.

Making City Management More Appealing.
PRESENTER: Cali Curley

ABSTRACT. Women hold only roughly 20% of city manager roles nationwide, despite significant engagement at lower levels of public sector work (De-hart Davis et al., 2020). Previous research has offered possible explanations of discrimination in hiring practices (Aguado, Frederickson 2012); other research argues that men and women are socialized and mentored in different ways (Webb Farley, Rauhaus, Eskridge 2021). These explanations assume women are interested in holding city management positions. However, the question of whether the job characteristics of city management are appealing to women (and men), especially those with caregiving roles, is yet to be explored.

To answer this question, we employ a conjoint experiment on high-level directors in local government to determine their interest in applying to management positions given different job characteristics. Our conjoint survey experiment asks respondents to make four discrete choices between paired job descriptions. These job descriptions vary in characteristics of the work of city managers including the flexibility of the schedule, after-hours commitments, paid time off, perceived stability of the position, and requirements for public engagement. The data is then analyzed considering the respondent characteristics, position, mentorship, and family life considerations to more comprehensively explore the propensity of women to seek out next-level managerial roles based on these job requirements. This paper disentangles the question of whether women would be more interested in applying to city management roles if the position was designed differently. This study offers local governments recommendations for rethinking the nature of the city manager role.

10:15-11:45 Session 10G: Organizational Theories and Practices
Organisational munchausen syndrome by proxy: repeated changes to structure and leadership and their effect on capability and performance
PRESENTER: Richard Hamblin

ABSTRACT. Regular and repeated organisational changes to public organisations – sometimes labelled hyper-innovation - remains a common strategy to improve performance despite the reductions in employee wellbeing, job satisfaction and trust that result. Environmental turbulence is often used to justify changes. Yet, paradoxically, making repeated changes to organisational structure, leadership and mission may reduce organisational capacity to respond to turbulence by reducing collaboration and information flows. This then diminishes organisational ambidexterity (OA), a dynamic capability which allows adaption to changing environments while maintaining successful delivery of ongoing work. The New Zealand public sector makes frequent structural changes to its public sector, such as mergers, demergers, and reformulations of entities. Also, turnover in leadership is high, as are regular changes to stated missions. This makes New Zealand an ideal location for studying the effects of hyper-innovation. Some reforms may entail harm to the organisation in order to get benefits for others, such as consultancies and the career goals of executives. We report a study of 34 public sector organisations in New Zealand that expands on the hyper-innovation literature. It examines whether hyper-innovations effects are beneficial, benign, or harmful. Using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), results suggest that the various pathways that lead to high performance share long-term stability and constructive leadership in common, both of which are associated with OA. As well as highlighting implications for theory and practice, the study illuminates the utility and limitations of QCA as an approach to investigate such complex, multi-causal problems.

Collaborator Choice and Performance: Comparing Collaborative Outcomes for School Safety

ABSTRACT. Previous research shows that public organizations perform in a system of incentives that reward risk aversion. This can seem contrary to the innovative promises of collaboration and public contracting. However, we argue that the tendency towards risk aversion also plays out in the case of contracting. Based on the logic of resource dependency theory, public organizations will tend towards selecting collaborators that maximize payoffs without creating mission drift. In this study, we examine this issue in the context of schools contracting police and/or private security and compare payoffs associated with each option. Concerns related to American policing inform fears that collaborating with police or other safety-related personnel in the K-12 education setting may further school-to-prison pipelines. Ideally, embedding safety-related resources in schools improves performance on safety-related indicators without achieving such gain through significantly increasing student discipline. Using U.S. Department of Education data on school safety programs from 2014-2018, we estimate the effects of school-police collaboration on school safety performance by comparing schools contracting sworn police officers through police departments versus schools privately contracting a security guard to deliver school safety. Using a coarsened exact matching design, we test what predicts differences in school choice of safety-related collaborator, as well as differences in performance. We match on county and school-level variables, including race, poverty, and school-level resources. We expect that differences in missions on the part of safety-related organizations make a significant difference in whether gains in safety outcomes are driven by increased student arrests and related punishments.

What Promotes Innovative Behavior in the Public Sector? Self-Motivation, Peer Trust, or Institutional Support?

ABSTRACT. While co-production requires the collaboration of many stakeholders, including private entreprenurs, government and users, the active involvement of public officials is critical to the success of the innovation process. However, often, public officials are blamed by barrier, rather than facilitator. This research aims to uncover the determinants of innovative behavior among national civil servants through a comprehensive survey of 1,800 participants in South Korea.

Our findings indicate that self-motivation emerges as a significant factor positively influencing innovative behavior among national civil servants. Individuals who exhibit a strong internal drive and intrinsic motivation are more likely to engage in innovative practices, contributing to a culture of creativity within the public sector. Peer trust also emerges as a noteworthy factor associated with enhanced innovative behavior.

Surprisingly, institutional support, often considered as a key determinant in fostering innovation, was not found to have a significant impact on innovative behavior in our study. Similarly, the presence of competition among organizations within the public sector was not found to significantly influence innovative behavior among national civil servants. This nuanced finding invites a deeper exploration of the nature of competition and its implications for fostering innovation within the unique dynamics of national civil service environments.

The implications of these findings are substantial for public sector leaders and policymakers:.recognizing the importance of cultivating self-motivation and fostering peer trust can serve as a strategic approach to promote innovative behavior among civil servants.

Task architecture, technology load, and communication systems: reducing employee burnout by managing administrative burden in the workplace.

ABSTRACT. The literature on administrative burden examines the relationship between individuals and the state through the lens of compliance costs and psychological or temporal ‘taxes’ levied on individuals attempting to utilize government services (Moynihan 2015). When agencies increase burden to lower service utilization the design of administrative process becomes a policy tool. Although administrative burden in the workplace is a small subset of the current literature (Rao et al. 2017; Wimsatt et al. 2009) it is becoming an increasingly important topic during a period of exponential rise in burnout and a burnout epidemic (Hurria 2023; Moss 2021). Specifically, organizations have an increasingly sophisticated toolkit of software applications, information technologies, and project management frameworks that can be used to assert control over employees in order to increase productivity. New research highlights the heavy cognitive costs of ‘greedy’ management processes that attempt to maximize productivity, often diminishing the attentional resources of employees and paradoxically leading to reductions in productivity. In this paper we leverage new insights from fields psychology, cognitive science, human and computer interaction, and agile management to develop a conceptual framework linking workplace administrative burden, employee motivation, attention, productivity, and burnout. We highlight the facets of workplace administrative burden that are directly impacted by managerial decisions about business software, communication technologies, and performance systems. We use the conceptual model to develop a research agenda and managerial frameworks that can minimize workplace administrative burden and improve workforce sustainability in mission driven organizations.

10:15-11:45 Session 10H: Organization Structure, Tasks and Behavior
Triad Structure, Composition, Task Characteristic and Policy Outcome

ABSTRACT. This study explores the formation and effectiveness of triadic structures within policy implementation networks, specifically focusing on eradicating red imported fire ants (RIFA) in Taiwan. Triadic analysis is key in policy networks for understanding connections and resource mobilization (Mazmanian & Sabatier, 1983). Triads, bridging dyads and complex structures (Wasserman & Faust, 1994), facilitate organizational partnerships (Goldsmith & Eggers, 2005) and structural holes (Burt, 1992; Madhavan, Gnyawali & He, 2004). Using social network analysis on 14 years of data (2006-2020) from 1,287 organizations, we examined how these triads—groups of three interconnected actors—evolve in response to policy changes and task requirements. Our dataset comprised 5,427 official communication documents, revealing 581,332 triads categorized into five types: central governments, local governments, non-governmental agencies, inter-governmental, and cross-sector agencies. The research addresses how triadic structures form and the effectiveness of different triad types in implementing distinct tasks within a network. Our findings show shifts in triad composition corresponding to policy. We observed that different tasks necessitated distinct triad types. For example, local government-only triads were primarily influential in reporting RIFA locations, whereas cross-sector triads, requiring specialized entomological knowledge, were vital in identifying and verifying RIFA presence. Similarly, inter-governmental triads were crucial for RIFA treatment. This research contributes to understanding how complex network structures, emerging from foundational triads, adapt to policy shifts and task designs. It offers insights into the design of group processes and communication strategies to enhance performance in diverse network tasks, reinforcing theories in implementation studies, group theory, and resource dependency theory.

Affective Reactions to Regulatory Intervention

ABSTRACT. Regulatory authorities play a pivotal role in the coordination of public service provision. Studies in the field of regulation often emphasize formal structures and mechanisms, as well as behavioral and reputational perspectives to analyze the dynamics between regulator and regulatee. Yet, the affective aspect of this relationship remains largely unexplored. Emotional responses of regulatees to regulatory interventions significantly influence the effectiveness of regulation. A large body of empirical evidence confirms that emotions play a crucial role in decision-making – including regulatory compliance. Therefore, understanding the affective dimension is essential for a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory process. This study analyses emotional responses triggered by regulatory reports and the tendency to compliance among regulatees. The study is rooted in the theory of cognitive appraisal of emotions: regulatees evaluate the significance of regulatory interventions for their personal and professional well-being, including their personal and professional needs, goals, and values. We measure reactions as well as behavioral tendencies of 894 Dutch youth care directors who received a regulatory intervention using the Geneva Appraisal Questionnare (GAQ). GAQ is a validated instrument designed to assess emotional responses to events. These data are compared with a document analysis of the accompanying regulatory intervention reports. These documents are analyzed using automated text analysis on content and tone. This study contributes an understanding of the emotional dimensions of the regulator-regulatee relationship. Understanding how regulator intervention and reporting evoke affective responses has implications for regulatory design, intervention strategies, and overall regulatory effectiveness.

The reproduction of inequality in the nature and scope of front-line leadership tasks
PRESENTER: John Marvel

ABSTRACT. The nature and scope of front-line leadership tasks that present themselves to women and men, and the degree to which these tasks might differ, have thus far been overlooked in public management and related disciplines. We know little about how the leadership challenges confronted by women and men differ, and whether these challenges differ in ways that disadvantage women. Moreover, we lack a theory of why women and men who are promoted into leadership positions might find themselves facing substantially different leadership jobs.

We argue that team leadership assignments are gendered in ways that will disadvantage women. Whereas men are likely to be given leadership assignments that are conducive to continuing career progress within their organizations, women are likely to be given leadership assignments that hamper their progress. One reason for this is *structural*: Women and men begin their careers in different types of teams, and consequently accumulate early-career experiences that delimit their future leadership opportunities in divergent ways. A second reason is *aspirational*: Women who are candidates for open leadership positions will be inclined to doubt their qualifications, to be skeptical of their leadership capabilities, and to experience anxiety about assuming formal team-level leadership responsibilities. And a third reason is *stereotypical*: Organizational stakeholders who have input into promotion decisions will harbor differing expectations about women's and men's leadership potential, expectations that will tend to be more negative when it comes to women's leadership capacities.

We test these expectations using longitudinal, individual-level personnel data on United States federal employees.

10:15-11:45 Session 10I: Performance Management in Political Contexts
How Does the Content of Performance Information Affect Politicians’ Beliefs and Attitudes about Performance Measures?

ABSTRACT. Performance information is argued to assist politicians in holding public organizations accountable and informing political decisions about how to organize and budget for public services (Nielsen and Moynihan 2017). Yet, we know less about when politicians find performance information useful – or when they might question the validity or legitimacy of performance indicators. Petersen et al. (2019) found that public sector employees question the validity of performance measures, when they show the employees’ own organizations performing below average, which undercuts the potential to learn from poor performance.

However, in contrast to employees, politicians can be conceived as organizational outsiders. Instead, we therefore argue that political considerations affect how politicians assess and value performance measures. Specifically, we hypothesize that (a) politicians will perceive performance information featuring high and low performance signals differently, but also that (b) political ideology in terms of being aligned/opposed to the measured public services and (c) being affiliated/in opposition to the ruling political coalition will affect their perceptions.

To test these hypotheses, we conducted a pre-registered survey experiment among political candidates for Danish regional councils charged primarily with governing health care services (n=885). Respondents were randomly exposed to either no information or true performance information (high/low) about their own region’s health care system. They were then asked to evaluate the validity, legitimacy, and usefulness of the information, and whether they wanted to receive additional information. The results have potentially important practical implications concerning when political decision-makers are willing to trust and use performance information and policy evidence.

How Are Performance Systems Holding Up if Measured Against an ITO-Standard of Democratic Legitimacy?

ABSTRACT. While performance systems are supposed to foster a focus on managing for results in government, they also impact the way government operates more broadly and the values it promotes. This paper develops an ITO (Input-Throughput-Output) model of democratic legitimacy, which is used to assess the feedback effects of performance systems on governance practices.

The model captures three dimensions at which legitimacy can be created or undermined: the political articulation of public interests (input), the administrative implementation process (throughput), and the results achieved for citizens (output). A comprehensive review of the literature will be structured along the ITO model. Initial findings suggest that results for 1) input and 2) output are mixed, while they are most promising regarding 3) throughput legitimacy.

First, while performance systems can increase political control, they are modest regarding strengthening minority interests. The management literature laments that a stronger results focus has not been accompanied by more resource autonomy, but such an increase in control is not a problem from a legitimacy perspective. At the same time, though performance systems can be pluralist in nature, evidence suggests they often reinforce existing power differentials.

Second, research documents that performance systems improve outcomes, but gains may not be necessarily equitable. Third, they can enhance the evidence base for decision making, and bias here is less of an issue from a democratic perspective if it reflects political values. Performance systems create process legitimacy if they capture citizen feedback, structure interactions between government and civil society, and increase citizen trust.

Reconsidering the Politics-Administration Divide: Politics, Capacity, and Performance in U.S. Federal Agencies, 2000-2022
PRESENTER: David Lewis

ABSTRACT. The most enduring question at the nexus of political science and public administration is the relationship between politics and administration. Scholars have wrestled with the nature of this relationship since Wilson (1887) argued that politics and administration could and should be separate. Modern political science research has focused more on the politics side of the politics-administration dichotomy, exploring how political choices influence the policy direction of agencies, rather than agency performance per se. Public administration research, by contrast, more often examines how organizational characteristics (individual-level behavior and/or organizational entity) and managerial choices shape agency performance, sidestepping how political choices might shape performance.

In this paper, we revisit the relationship between politics and administration, emphasizing how politics can influence agency performance even in the most professional and high performing agencies.

We describe the mechanisms by which political alignment or misalignment influence performance. We detail how presidents work to 1) change outputs by directly influencing agency capacity (e.g., budget and personnel levels) and 2) change outputs without directly targeting capacity by using the tools of the administrative presidency to let capacity idle, reorient capacity, or diminish capacity indirectly.

We test these relationships using newly created measures of agency performance for 139 U.S. federal agencies during the 2000-2022 period. The new measures combine dozens of subjective and objective measures of performance that vary across agencies and time. We conclude with the implications of our findings for future research focusing on the intersection of both politics and management.

The Whys of Performance-based Budgeting

ABSTRACT. Performance management is a process of measuring objective indicators, comparing current performance on those indicators against expectation, and devising strategies based on the information generated through the system to improve organizational performance (Moynihan 2008). Local, state, and federal governments frequently use the system to enhance accountability, increase transparency, strengthen performance, and demonstrate competence to the citizens. Owing to their importance and popularity, performance management systems have found their way into city budget documents, mostly to justify public spending by demonstrating performance on key indicators. Performance budgeting is a management tool that organizations employ to prepare budgets utilizing identified performance measures. Performance budgeting specifically focuses on efficiency and effectiveness, using goals and program purposes to make trade-offs and maintain uniformity in budget decisions (Jordan & Hackbart, 1999). In the proposed paper I study why some cities are more likely to adopt performance-based budgeting and provide recommendations to other cities on some of the essential elements needed to adopt performance budgeting. The sample is 150 large cities in the U.S. as defined by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s Fiscally Standardized Cities (FiSC). The data is collected over the 20-year span (2000-2019). The data on budget presentations is author-sourced and gathered directly from the budget documents of the studied cities. The initial regression analysis shows that more populous cities and cities coming from the larger states are more likely to adopt performance budgets. Cities representing the same state are more likely to follow the same budget presentation.

10:15-11:45 Session 10J: Policymaking Processes
Which side are you on? Analyzing Emotion-Belief Coalitions in Gender Identity Policies

ABSTRACT. Scholars interested in analyzing policy processes and change rely on the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) to understand the impact of policy beliefs and coalitions on expected outcomes (Nohrstedt et al., 2023). Past ACF studies often analyzed public discourse by theorizing and measuring pro or anti positions linked to belief system expressions to identify coalitions (e.g., Heikkila et al., 2019). However, there is little research that identifies how the combinations of emotions and beliefs lead to coalition formation. This study builds on and strengthens the ACF traditional approach by analyzing public discourse and measuring how specific emotions are attached to belief system expressions. Then, to identify coalitions and policy positions we create emotion-belief dyads. Besides capturing the same positionality as found in traditional ACF work (e.g., measures of emotions of affinity or dismay regarding a policy core belief), this approach takes a step further by integrating additional emotional expressions, such as fear, anger, content, and compassion tied to various belief system expressions. This study focuses on coalition formation using hand-coded emotional-belief statements from legislative testimony of Arkansas, one of the nation’s first gender affirming care bans. Additionally, we complement this research design with network analysis to identify the factors that lead to the formation of these coalitions. We use Exponential Random Graph Models to understand the effect that exogenous factors to the network like specific actor attributes, and endogenous structural configurations have on coalition formation.

Whose Fault? How Citizens Attribute Blame for Street-level Service Provision Failures

ABSTRACT. Whether and how citizens respond to service provision failures largely depends on how they assign blame for those failures. If citizens do not blame the government for a given failure, they are unlikely to attempt to hold the government accountable for the failure. In this paper, I extend previous research on blame attribution by examining how citizens attribute blame for service delivery failures to four possible recipients: a bureaucrat, a client, an agency, and “other factors”. To do so, I draw on data from a vignette-based survey experiment (n = 1,734) based on a hypothetical interaction between a street-level bureaucrat and client. I leverage variation in the bureaucrat’s rule compliance (follow/break) as well as the client’s social identity (Black woman/Black man/white woman/white man), and deservingness (more/less) to understand whether and how citizens’ blame attributions are affected by each. Findings show that clients themselves are primarily blamed for the negative outcomes they receive; on average, citizens allocated over twice as much blame to clients than any other category. While the client’s social identity did not affect the amount of blame they received, deserving clients received significantly less blame than clients framed as undeserving. Interestingly, and in line with hypotheses drawn from the social psychology literature, bureaucrats received significantly less blame when they followed agency rules; the agency, however, received more.

An unfinished task: to complete the cyclic loop of policy feedback theory
PRESENTER: Jingshi Hong

ABSTRACT. Scholars in public policy have been taken policies as "outcomes" and extensively delved into the factors influencing the formulation and enactment of public policies. However, policy feedback theory reverses this causal arrow by proposing the idea of "policy as causes," namely, "policy shaping politics." According to them, public policies reshape the existing political environment, thereby impacting subsequent round of policy formulation. This process of "Policy at Time 1 influencing Policy at Time 2" constitutes the core of policy feedback theory. Resource effects and interpretive effects have been cited as the mechanisms of this feedback process. A quick examination of extant literature, however, shows that few empirical researches of policy feedback have actually looked at the cross-temporal impact of policies as claimed. Most policy feedback studies, falling short of looking at “policy at time 2”, are not that different from conventional researches on policy evaluation or those revealing unanticipated outcomes of policies. We thus conduct systematic review on policy feedback literature to evaluate that to what extent extant empirical researches have actually diverted from the theory of policy feedback. Researches on major English journals and Chinese journals are included in our sample. We expect this research will be useful for two reasons. First, it clarifies what is policy feedback and what is actually not. Second, it enhances the understanding of long-term changes caused by policies and the mechanisms of such changes.

10:15-11:45 Session 10K: Proceduralism and Red Tape
Policy Change and Procedural Accuracy: The effect of statutory change on administrative errors
PRESENTER: Robert Greer

ABSTRACT. Organizations make changes to policy for many different reasons. However, the process for changing a policy and how that process affects policy outcomes is often a black box of public administration. In this paper, we examine changes in state unemployment insurance (UI) policy and how those changes affect procedural accuracy and errors of UI payments. We unpack the black box of policy changes by comparing those originating in state legislatures to those originating in state workforce agencies. We also examine the effects of frequency and types of policy changes on payment errors in state UI programs. Errors in administrative processes cost program efficiency and effectiveness, and can further burden clientele by underserving or wrongly denying public goods or services. Therefore, understanding the causes of administrative errors is important from both organizational and customer experience perspectives. We argue that the source of the policy change along with the volatility of frequent policy changes are drivers of procedural inaccuracy and result in more errors. We use administrative data from US Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs from 2002-2018 to describe state policy changes and test our theory of policy change and procedural accuracy. Preliminary results suggest that both types of changes and where those changes originated have a significant impact on payment errors.

The Evolution of Red Tape Research in Public Administration Scholarship: A Thematic Review of Thirty Years Research

ABSTRACT. Red tape has been one of the most researched topics in public administration since the inception of the concept in 1977 with Herbert Kaufman. Nevertheless, it continues to attract the interest of public administration scholars. There is a consensus among public administration scholars that red tape is an organizational pathology inherently harmful to the organization, which makes interventions aiming at reducing its detrimental effects of utmost importance. The purpose of this study is to trace the evolution of red tape research in public administration scholarship over the past 30 years through a thematic review using text network analysis. The study highlights how red tape research has evolved along with the evolution of public administration from Weberian bureaucracy to New Public Management, New Public Governance, and Digital Governance. The study will focus on the evolution, measurement, and approaches to the concept of red tape, highlighting the major themes as well as the different red tape reduction strategies that have been associated with each stage of this evolution. This study contributes to both theory and practice of public administration. Theoretically speaking, this study gives insights into the evolution of red tape research, with an emphasis on the different red tape reduction strategies that have been used over the years. In terms of practice, this study provides public sector managers with an array of tools and strategies that can be employed to reduce the detrimental effects of red tape on their organizations, particularly in the areas of human resource management, procurement, and budgeting.

Comparing the employability of public and private employees: The relation between perceived employability and work engagement with the moderating role of PSM and red tape

ABSTRACT. Although the employability of employees has increasingly become an issue for both public and private employers (OECD et al. 2016), some scholars argue that especially the employability in public organizations is under pressure due to its relatively aging workforce compared to the private sector (Van Harten & Vermeeren, 2021; Van Harten & Rodrigues, 2021). The scarce employability literature in public sector settings confirms that both public employees’ self-perceived internal job opportunities in their current organization as well as external job opportunities to gain a job at other employers are low (De Cuyper & De Witte, 2011; Van Emmerik et al., 2012; Van Harten & Rodriguez, 2021). Moreover, scholars argue that employability outcomes such as work engagement are particularly under pressure among public servants relative to private employees because public servants have to deal with red tape and experience possible hindrance of their Public Service Motivation (Van Harten & Vermeeren, 2021). At the same time, the comparative empirical employability research studying these propositions is so far non-existent, and employability scholars therefore call for more rigorous contextualized research comparing the public and private sector (Van Harten & Vermeeren, 2021; Forrier et al., 2018). This study responds to this call by studying the role of PSM and red tape in the relations between perceived employability and work engagement across the public and private sector. To reach this goal, we use a representative sample of Dutch government employees (N = 9,427) and private sector employees (N = 2,057).