Public Administration as an Interdisciplinary Field: Assessing Its Relationship with the Fields of Law, Management, and Political Science

Authors

  • Bradley E. Wright

    Corresponding author
    1. University of North Carolina at Charlotte
      Bradley E. Wright is an associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research focuses on how employee attitudes and behavior are infl uenced by the interaction between employee characteristics and the organizational work environment. His most recent research focuses on public service motivation, transformational leadership, and performance management. His work has been published in Administration & Society, American Review of Public Administration, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and Public Administration Review.
      E-mail:bwright@uncc.edu
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Bradley E. Wright is an associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His research focuses on how employee attitudes and behavior are infl uenced by the interaction between employee characteristics and the organizational work environment. His most recent research focuses on public service motivation, transformational leadership, and performance management. His work has been published in Administration & Society, American Review of Public Administration, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and Public Administration Review.
E-mail:bwright@uncc.edu

Abstract

Public administration is an interdisciplinary field, building on a variety of disciplinary approaches and values. But how well does the field of public administration reflect those values and processes? In contrast to previous arguments regarding the degree to which the field does or should incorporate values and lessons from other academic disciplines, this study provides a systematic assessment of the field’s reliance on research and theory from the fields of law, management, and political science. An analysis of journal citations across these fields suggests that research in public administration is largely isolated from the three disciplines that are commonly believed to form its foundation.

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