The field of public administration is in the middle of a long-standing, self-imposed identity crisis. This is due in part to the acceptance of new perspectives in the field as constituting the identity of the field; but for only as long as the perspective remains dominant. The near future of public administration holds another potential shift in dominant perspective to that of an approach to public administration that is founded in the ideals of democratic theory and public values theory. This approach is supported by trends of increasing research and theory in concepts such as public participation and public service motivation. Continued research on these concepts suggests that the emerging approach will be legitimized within the field. The potential establishment of this alternative perspective in public administration provides an opportunity for public administration scholars to adopt and embrace a new perspective of public administration identity as one that has a changing nature, rather than continuing to place the entirety of a public administration identity in temporally-based dominant perspectives.
Hafer, Joseph A.
"Public Administration’s Identity Crisis and the Emerging Approach that May Alleviate It,"
Hatfield Graduate Journal of Public Affairs:
1, Article 6.
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