Defining the Boundaries of Public Administration: Undisciplined Mongrels versus Disciplined Purists



“Undisciplined mongrels” are faculty from public administration programs who publish in a wide variety of journals. We expected that undisciplined mongrels would have more successful publishing records than their counterparts—“disciplined purists” who publish exclusively in public administration journals. This expectation is supported through an analysis of journal publications by a panel of 91 junior faculty members. We also expected that the methods that are currently used to rank public administration programs would discard a massive body of publication activity by public administration faculty. This expectation is also soundly supported. Findings indicate that from 1990 through 1997, a scant 18 percent of the articles published by the faculty panel were published in the highly selective set of 11 journals that are currently used to rank public administration programs.