Challenges of (Dis) Connectedness in the “Big Questions” Methodologies in Public Administration

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Abstract

The “big questions” articles previously published in Public Administration Review found a widely divergent set of questions rather than a shared research agenda. This article applies the concept of layers of society to analyzing the author's starting points and developing questions that link the organizational and institutional levels. Connecting these levels offers the potential to overcome the limitations of problem solving on only one level. In addition, this framework explains the diversity of research in public administration as potentially productive and connected, rather than fragmented and in intellectual disarray. This article offers four researchable questions that connect the organizational and institutional levels. The proposed questions build on existing research and address practical problems in public administration. This framework provides a typology that expects diverse research questions and can productively connect researchers with each other and with the complex challenges of democracy.

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