routines, continued

In a long-winded and slightly off-topic comment responding to Nicole’s review of Habit, I noted that interest in habits and routines runs deep in thinking about government and organizations. I also mentioned recent scholarship by Martha Feldman and others looking at routines not only as sources of stability in organizations, but also of endogenous change and adaptation. Continue reading

the hidden costs of reform?

The contemporary rhetoric of education reform says that a new emphasis on “results” – defined chiefly by student standardized test scores – will help school administrators improve performance by rewarding effective and rooting out ineffective teachers. In other words, teacher turnover improves performance by removing the deadweight. What happened to the value of experience? Mark Simon points to recent study, “How teacher turnover harms student achievement,” linking teacher turnover to reduced test scores in math and English among 4th and 5th graders in the New York City public schools particularly among low-performing and minority students. Simon writes: Continue reading

bureauphile celebrates the life of a great scholar

We are sorry to see the passing of the 2009 Nobel winner, Dr. Elinor Ostrom. Lin made critical contributions to the fields of economics, political science, and public administration. Her work and her perspective rejected the stove-piped nature of our disciplines, and we are all better for it. Today, take some time to reorient yourself with Dr. Ostrom’s seminal work.

Our sympathies to her colleagues, friends, and family.

academic articles of bureauphilic interest


Here are some recent publications in academic journals that we are reading:

“Using Employee Empowerment to Encourage Innovative Behavior in the Public Sector,” by Sergio Fernandez and Tima Moldogaziev; J Public Adm Res Theory, first published online May 23, 2012 doi:10.1093/jopart/mus008

“Oversight as Constraint or Catalyst? Explaining Agency Influence on State Policy Decision Making,” by Christine Kelleher Palus and Susan Webb Yackee; American Review of Public Administration, first published on May 23, 2012 doi:10.1177/0275074012443730

“Public Managers in the Policy Process: More Evidence on the Missing Variable?” by Michael Howlett and Richard M. Walker; Policy Studies Journal 40, no. 2 (2012): 211-33.

“Their Views Matter: Frontline Regulators’ Perceptions of the Regulated Community in Ohio,” by Michelle C. Pautz; Policy Studies Journal 40, no. 2 (2012): 302-23. (

“Does Involvement in Performance Management Routines Encourage Performance Information Use? Evaluating GPRA and PART,” by Donald P. Moynihan and Stéphane Lavertu. Public Administration Review  (2012):

“Preferences for Careers in Public Work: Examining the Government-Nonprofit Divide Among Undergraduates Through Public Service Motivation,” by Roger P. Rose; American Review of Public Administration published 10 May 2012, doi: 10.1177/0275074012444900.