A Great Schism Approaching? Towards a Micro and Macro Public Administration

8 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2019

See all articles by Donald P. Moynihan

Donald P. Moynihan

Georgetown University - McCourt School of Public Policy

Date Written: November 1, 2018

Abstract

As an emerging field, behavioral public administration (BPA) has spurred important new research, documenting human biases and heuristics in public sector contexts. In doing so, it has embraced Herbert Simon’s call to draw from psychology to understand administrative behavior. To fulfill its potential,BPAshould also pursue another goal of Simon: a normative aspiration toward design science, using its powerful analytical techniques to solve, and not just document, real administrative problems. Another challenge for BPA is understanding where it fits in the constellation of public administration research. One critique of BPA is that a focus on micro-level behavior leads to a neglect of big questions that were once central to public administration. But this tension may also signal the possibility of a productive division of labor, with a micro and macro public administration that addresses distinct questions, but which are connected by common research concepts.

Keywords: Design, Administrative behavior, Experiments, Public administration

Suggested Citation

Moynihan, Donald P., A Great Schism Approaching? Towards a Micro and Macro Public Administration (November 1, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3481460 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3481460

Donald P. Moynihan (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - McCourt School of Public Policy ( email )

Old North, Suite 100
37th & O Streets NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
37
Abstract Views
208
PlumX Metrics