Source: Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene, Governing Magazine, March 2008
Information is king. No single idea emerges more clearly from year-long research done for the 2008 Government Performance Project. As always, this report focuses on four fundamental areas of government management: Information, People, Money and Infrastructure. But this year, the elements that make up the information category — planning, goal-setting, measuring performance, disseminating data and evaluating progress — overlap with the other three fields to a greater degree than ever before. Information elements, in short, are key to how a state takes care of its infrastructure, plans for its financial future and deals with the dramatic changes affecting the state workforce.
Get individual state report cards via dropdown menu.
Pew Center on the States
Source: Kimberly A. Helton and Robert D. Jackson, Public Personnel Management, Vol. 36 no. 4, Winter, 2007
(scroll down)(subscription required)
Through its workforce and succession planning efforts, Pennsylvania is committed to proactively indentifying, preparing for and maintaining pools of well-trained and motivated state government employees to assume critical positions of leadership. But the concept of leadership extends beyond senior-level positions within agencies. The goal in Pennsylvania is to improve leadership capabilities in every work unit and to encourage all employees to use their skills to build stronger teams. Leadership at all levels means equipping employees with the tools, skills and expectations to communicate effectively and foster leadership at every organizational level. Leadership at all levels ensures that no lack of business continuity results from staff departures such as retirements, resignations, promotions or reassignments or other situations in which an individual is unable to or unwilling to continue his or her role within an organization.
Source: Arthur Holdsworth, Government Finance Review, Vol. 23 no. 1, February 2007
Interjurisdictional cooperation is becoming more common, but there are pros and cons. Evaluating cooperative initiatives should begin with a thorough and clear-cut feasibility study addressing the concerns of all parties.
Source: Christopher G. Reddick and Jerrell D. Coggburn, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Vol. 27 no. 1, March 2007
Employer-sponsored health benefits are an important but relatively understudied area in public sector human resource management. This study examines the choices that state governments make in the United States and the views of state human resource directors (HRD) on health benefits. Survey data, gathered from state HRDs in fall 2005, reveal several important findings: In terms of choices, the most common plan offered is the preferred provider organization (PPO); less than one third of states offer health benefits to nontraditional partners; health benefits improve employee satisfaction and the performance of the state government; and cost to the state government is the most important factor that affects choice of plan. There is not a high level of agreement on what strategies state government should pursue to reduce costs of health benefits; however, there is some agreement that premiums will be increasing in the near future.
Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement
These mini-case studies explore the practice of collaborative management within a variety of public sector settings, focusing on the meritorious roles played by public managers – how they performed well and why their actions mattered.
– Amy K. Donahue, “The Space Shuttle Columbia Recovery Operation: How Collaboration Enabled Disaster Response.”
– Mary Belefski, “Collaboration at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: An Interview with Two Senior Managers.”
– Kurt Thurmaier, “High-Intensity Interlocal Collaboration in Three Iowa Cities
– Heather Getha-Taylor, “Preparing Leaders for High-Stakes Collaborative Action: Darrell Darnell and the Department of Homeland Security.”
– Kim Eagle and Philip Cowherd, “Collaborative Capital Planning in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.”
– Tracy Yandle, “The Challenger Scallop Enhancement Company: Collaborative Management of a Natural Resource Based in the Private Sector.”
– Sharon Friedrichsen, “Collaborative Public Management in San Francisco.”
– Gerald Andrews Emison, “The EPA Bureaucrat Who Could.”
– David W. Sears and W. Robert Lovan. “Encouraging Collaboration in Rural America.”
– Brenda Bushouse, “West Virginia Collaboration for Creating Universal Prekindergarten.”
– Rob Alexander, “Kirk Emerson and the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution.”
Source: Tomas M. Koontz and Craig W. Thomas, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement
To what extent does collaborative management lead to improved environmental outcomes? Despite the academic excitement over collaborative management, the authors of this provocative article argue that the empirical evidence on existing practices does not match the desired outcome of a better environment. Although we know a great deal about the why, how, and what of collaborative management, it is no panacea. Rather, students of this subject should remain hard-headed realists and focus on whether actual environmental improvement results. Does real-world application of collaborative management processes achieve more or less than alternative managerial methods such as traditional top-down, command and control, or newer market-driven techniques?
Source: William D. Leach, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement
Based on a random sample of empirical studies of 76 watershed partnerships in California and Washington, the author assesses the democratic merits of collaborative public management according to seven norms: inclusiveness, representativeness, impartiality, transparency, deliberativeness, lawfulness, and empowerment. The article stresses the pluses and minuses of each norm according to the actual practices discovered from an analysis of the working partnerships. Several insights and revealing patterns of collaborative relationships are drawn from this evidence.
Source: Martha S. Feldman, Anne M. Khademian, Helen Ingram, and Anne S. Schneider, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement
How can public managers constructively intervene to engage stakeholders in new ways of knowing about and resolving the public issues they confront? This article offers important new perspectives on how policy issues can better be understood as fluid policy networks and how public managers in particular can facilitate the framing of such issues to improve public deliberations and achieve constructive policy results.
The authors engage structural and agentic perspectives to examine opportunities for deliberation and the purposeful role of managers in creating those opportunities. Drawing on actor-network theory as a way of understanding the process of structuring knowledge, this essay focuses on the continuous enactment and reenactment of networks of human and nonhuman actants and the associations that connect them. This thinking is applied to policy issues, which the authors propose should be understood as ways of knowing. The fluidity of such ways of knowing provides opportunities for public managers to use the inclusive practices associated with boundary experiences, boundary objects, and boundary organizations to facilitate deliberation.
Source: Terry L. Cooper, Thomas A. Bryer, and Jack W. Meek, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement
This article begins with a brief history of civic engagement in the United States and the develops a conceptual model of five approaches to civic engagement based on how each one contributes to citizen-centered collaborative management and enhances civic-centered collaboration, The authors point out fruitful ways to advance empirical research on this crucial topic, which can assist practicing public managers and promote active citizenship among individuals.
Source: Archon Fung, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement
What are the central challenges of governance through collaborative networks? The author outlines three crucial challenges: Who participates? How do participants communicate with one another? And do such links achieve successful public action? The article offers a useful framework for comprehending these three problems, concluding that citizens can be “the shock troops for democracy,” and their active involvement may in fact yield rich pragmatic benefits for self-government. An analytic approach that jettisons preconceptions about what participatory democracy is all about remains fundamental to realizing this goal.
The multifaceted challenges of contemporary governance demand a complex account of the ways in which those who are subject to laws and policies should participate in making them. This article develops a framework for understanding the range of institutional possibilities for public participation. Mechanisms of participation vary along three important dimensions: who participates, how participants communicate with one another and make decisions together, and how discussions are linked with policy or public action. These three dimensions constitute a space in which any particular mechanism of participation can be located. Different regions of this institutional design space are more and less suited to addressing important problems of democratic governance such as legitimacy, justice, and effective administration.