Quantitative Methods in Public Administration: Their Use and Development Through Time

International Public Management Journal, Forthcoming

37 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2014

See all articles by Sandra Groeneveld

Sandra Groeneveld

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Lars Tummers

Utrecht University

Babette Bronkhorst

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Faculty of Social Sciences

Tanachia Ashikali

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Sandra Van Thiel

Radboud University Nijmegen

Date Written: April 13, 2014

Abstract

This article aims to contribute to recent debates on research methods in public administration by examining the use of quantitative methods in public administration research. We analyzed 1,605 articles published between 2001-2010 in four leading journals: JPART, PAR, Governance and PA. Results show that whereas qualitative methods are still predominant compared to quantitative methods (56 versus 44 percent), the field is becoming increasingly quantitative. Of quantitative methods used, surveys are most dominant, while a combination of methods is used far less often. In general, very few studies use a mixed methods design. As to the areas of research, we found that the use of quantitative methods is unequally distributed; some subfields (public management) use quantitative methods more often than others (policy and politics), and some journals (JPART, PA) publish articles on quantitative research more than others (Governance). Implications for public administration research are discussed.

Keywords: public administration; methods; techniques; quantitative; qualitative; literature review

JEL Classification: M00; L3; L30; L31; L32; L33; L39

Suggested Citation

Groeneveld, Sandra and Tummers, Lars and Bronkhorst, Babette and Ashikali, Tanachia and Van Thiel, Sandra, Quantitative Methods in Public Administration: Their Use and Development Through Time (April 13, 2014). International Public Management Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2424429

Sandra Groeneveld

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Lars Tummers (Contact Author)

Utrecht University ( email )

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

Babette Bronkhorst

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Faculty of Social Sciences ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062
Netherlands

Tanachia Ashikali

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Sandra Van Thiel

Radboud University Nijmegen ( email )

Postbus 9108
Nijmegen, 6500 HK
Netherlands

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