Public Management on the Ground: Clustering Managers Based on Their Behavior

International Public Management Journal (2017)

American University School of Public Affairs Research Paper No. 3083794

48 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2017

See all articles by Mogens Jin Pedersen

Mogens Jin Pedersen

The Danish National Centre for Social Research

Nathan Favero

American University - School of Public Affairs

Vibeke Lehmann Nielsen

University of Aarhus - Department of Political Science

Kenneth J. Meier

American University; Cardiff University; Leiden University - Institute of Public Administration

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

Public management research has identified a dizzying array of management variables that affect organizational performance. While scholars have learned much by analyzing one or a few specific behavioral dimensions of public management at a time, we argue for the value of a more holistic and inductive approach that uses data on several aspects of public management for identifying manager types. Such an approach accounts for both the cognitive processes of people affected by management and the reality that managers’ individual behavioral decisions are interrelated. We examine the overlap of 21 aspects of public school management behavior using cluster analysis. We identify four different manager types (“firefighters,” “laissez-faire managers,” “administrators,” and “proactive floor managers”), each reflecting a distinct constellation of managerial behaviors. The manager types we call “administrators” and “proactive floor managers” are associated with relatively better outcomes, while “firefighters” are associated with relatively worse outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Pedersen, Mogens Jin and Favero, Nathan and Nielsen, Vibeke Lehmann and Meier, Kenneth J., Public Management on the Ground: Clustering Managers Based on Their Behavior (2017). International Public Management Journal (2017), American University School of Public Affairs Research Paper No. 3083794, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3083794 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3083794

Mogens Jin Pedersen (Contact Author)

The Danish National Centre for Social Research ( email )

Herluf Trolles Gade 11
Copenhagen, 1052
Denmark

Nathan Favero

American University - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Washington, DC 20016
United States

Vibeke Lehmann Nielsen

University of Aarhus - Department of Political Science ( email )

Bartholins Allé è
DK-8000 Aarhus, 8000
Denmark

Kenneth J. Meier

American University ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Cardiff University ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3EU
United Kingdom

Leiden University - Institute of Public Administration ( email )

P.O. Box 13228
Den Haag, 2501 EE
Netherlands

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