Public Administration and Teaching – Papers, Madrid 2007

Conference theme: Public Administration & the Management of Diversity

Measuring transfer of Public Management Programmes: The Learning Transfer System Inventory in the Belgian federal administration

Bruno Broucker, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

The focus of this paper is the measurement of transfer, which is the application of newly  achieved knowledge in the workplace. The paper examines whether the Learning Transfer  System Inventory, a survey instrument that measures all the transfer inhibiting and transfer stimulating factors within the individual, the training programme and the transfer climate,  can be used within the Belgian public sector. After describing the characteristics and the origin of  the LTSI, conducted in Belgium, results from a qualitative LTSI-test are presented and discussed.  Those results reveal that not all factors are present in the Belgian administration, and that optimal transfer from a programme in public management is inhibited by factors within the individual,  the transfer climate and the educational programme. The main problems seem to be that the climate  is passive or neutral towards transfer, that respondents are insufficiently prepared to enrol and
that the training shows a gap between theory and practice.

Public Administration Education in Italy: A Statistical Analysis

Denita Cepiku, Marco Meneguzzo , University of Rome Vergata, Italy

The paper presents a statistical analysis exploring public administration (PA) education in Italian universities. It contributes to the literature on PA education and training, developed in specific countries (Lewanski, 2000; Molina, Cèsar, 2000; Pollitt, 1996; Randma, 2001; Rhodes, 1996; Araújo, Alvarez, 2006; etc.) as well as in a comparative perspective (see for example Verheijen, Connaughton, 1999; Toonen, Verheijen, 1999 for Europe and Kettl, 1998; 2001 for the US).

The literature has classified European countries according to the nature of PA education in three clusters: a legal group of countries, where a strong emphasis is put on administrative law; a public group, in which the PA is recognized to have a unique public and political character; and, a corporate or managerial group focused on business management techniques (Hajnal, 2003). In most researches Italy belongs to the legal group of countries (Lewanski, 1999; Kickert, 2005).

The paper aims at verifying if the administrative law approach to university-based PA teaching is still prevalent in Italy, as well as the extent of development of other disciplinary orientations. The research also highlights the main specificities of PA education in Italy with reference to the disciplinary character, the geographical distribution, the type and level of PA programs, etc. It aims at describing how universities are adjusting curricula in relation to public sector modernization, by comparing the main faculties (economics and management sciences, law, political sciences, sociology, engineering, sciences of communication, social sciences) of all Italian universities.

A distinguishing element of the research is the simultaneous consideration and the comparison of different disciplines: economics, management, law, political science, sociology, sciences of communication and engineering, while existing literature often focuses only on single disciplinary areas (Wise, 1999).

The paper relies on original and exhaustive data, which cover the whole population of Italian universities and were collected between June and July 2007. The main source of information are the didactic programs (the so-called “Manifesto degli studi”) approved by the faculties for the most recent academic year (2007/08 or 2006/07). Information from 205 faculties of 76 universities was gathered. 2.198 education programs at different levels were analyzed and classified.
Overall evidence suggests that the legal cluster, including but not limited to administrative law, is not the prevalent approach in teaching PA in Italy. The public cluster – mainly political sciences and public economy approach – is instead widespread in Italian universities. Furthermore, there is a strong, yet more recent, development of the managerial approach. We find substantial variation within and between north, centre and south Italy. In general, an insufficient supply of PA programs is registered in southern regions, which also put a greater emphasis on doctoral education.

Two specificities of PA education in Italy include the prevalence of the juridical approach in public accounting programs and the major political science disciplinary orientation of programs in administrative science. In the next paragraph we give account of the research methods and main steps. A short description of the university education in Italy is offered in the third paragraph. The results of the literature review, including the main historical specificities of PA education in Italy, are presented in paragraph four. The fifth paragraph presents the main results of the statistical quantitative analysis. These are commented in the last paragraph, which also highlights some areas for further research.

PhD Training in the field of Public Administration/Management in Europe

Prof. Dr. Walter Kickert, Prof. Dr. Christoph Reichard, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The overall structure of PhD training in the three German speaking countries Austria, Germany and Switzerland is similar and comparable. All three systems have to some extent common roots and belong to a similar academic culture.  Switzerland is perhaps more open to developments in the Anglosaxon world and more flexible; furthermore, the French and Italian speaking cantons have strong cultural links to their respective language areas.

Conditions and procedures of PhD training are currently changing. Some universities adapt their PhD-concept to the Anglosaxon standards, i.e. offer more organized and substantial PhD courses and provide more tutoring. However, the “classical” way to receive a PhD is still – as in Germany – to contact a professor, to get his/her support and to undertake the PhD-related research under his/her supervision. Universities offer some limited courses and seminars, e.g. on methods. There will be also “internal PhDs” and “external PhDs” in the university departments of the two countries.

Building a New Democracy in Ukraine: The Unacknowledged Issue of Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity in Public Administration Education and Training

Natalya Kolisnichenko Odessa, Allan Rosenbaum, National Academy of Public Administration, Ukraine

The specific purpose of this paper is to address the issue of how current public administration (PA) education and training programs in Ukraine attempt to take account of the Country’s ethnic diversity issues as they go about the business of  preparing the next generation of civil servants and enhancing the capacity, through training, of current public employees. An effort will be made, through survey interview data, to determine what role concerns about ethnic and language diversity currently play in public administration education and training in Ukraine. Special emphasis will be given to the issue of Ukrainian-Russian ethnic and language relationships.

In order to do this, we will look first at the broader national context in which these issues exist and then examine both the role of ethnic diversity in the curriculum of existing PA education and training programs and the way in which these issues are dealt with in terms of recruiting faculty and students. Particular attention will be given to attempting to assess to what extent regions that are identified with one ethnic or language group are attentive to the concerns of other groups. Efforts will also be made to examine the degree of utilization of strategies that address current deficits in extant programs and offer new approaches to these matters.

“Europeanization or curricular harmonization in the area of administrative sciences in Romania (follow-up of Bologna process). Comparative analysis and empirical research”

Prof. Dr. Lucica Matei , National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania
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In this paper we propose to identify some effects for Europeanization at the level of Romanian higher education, possible integration within an indicator for sizing its dimension and to design a model of educational and statistical analysis.
We shall achieve the first objective based on elaboration of some indicators, using valid, comparable and available data. The elaboration of the set of indicators is grounded on the European experiences, the “criteria for accreditation”, the studies achieved by European Association for Public Administration Accreditation, the standards of European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and the European recommendations ( Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 February 2006 on Further European Cooperation in quality assurance in higher education (2006/143/EC).

We shall analyse the curricular content of the programmes from the first cycle, in administrative sciences, and achieve the statistic analysis of the curricular compatibility degree at the level of some representative universities from Romanian area, using 6 variables, to each variables corresponding a number of items, whose quantitative expressions will be described in the paper.

The second objective consists in achieving the comparative analysis between the compatibility degree for curricula of Romanian universities and that of European universities, using the same set of indicators.

The criteria are extracted from European experiences concerning the evaluation and accreditation for the programmes in administrative sciences3 . An independent statistic variable is associated to each criterion.

Making Equality and Diversity Mainstream in Public Management Education

Chrissie Oldfield, London South Bank University, United Kingdom

Equality and diversity are generally positioned as special interests, marginal to the mainstream of social policy teaching and learning. I want to argue the case for shifting equality and diversity out of the margins and into the centre of education for mid career public managers. This is necessary in order to reach an understanding of equality and diversity in general and further to promote discussion on diversity and equality to public managers. I am doing this on the following basis; 2007 has been designated the European Year of Equality for all. In 2005 the European Commission published its strategy framework to promote equality and non discrimination in the EU to inform people of their rights, to ensure that discrimination is tackled, to celebrate diversity and to promote equal opportunities for all in the EU. The current EU policy framework requires public services for the first time to go beyond eliminating discrimination, and to promote equality. However while this offers opportunities for advancing the cause of anti- discrimination policies, the cultures that predominate and notions of institutional discrimination and prejudice may lead to loss and failure.

We have to learn how we relate to each other as educators and students, service providers and users, and as members of our local communities, and as enforcers and implementers of these policies. There is also a need for more exploration of
appropriate pedagogical methods is needed. Finally only by raising issues of equality and diversity to mainstream social policy teaching and learning is there likely to be a shift in (some) of the stereotypical prejudices that ultimately lead to the continuance of inequality in public service provision and employment, and in the imbalance in the diversity of the make up of many public managers and leaders

I want to examine the lack of representation and the absence of equality and diversity in positions of authority and power and decision making within the public sector and to explore some of the reasons for this, and to argue that there are some solutions and positive initiatives in management education and training programmes like our MPA’s.

Education strategies in post-experience Public Administration master programmes

Prof. Dr. Arthur B. Ringeling, Dr. Frans-Bauke van der Meer, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

In the practice of public administration there is an increasing need for insight in the nature and causes of societal problems. Also the need for knowledge of the conditions for and impact of public policies is growing, as is the quest for methods for effective governance in multi-actor contexts. The diversity and turbulence of value patterns and societal developments make the nature of societal problems and the dynamics of policy processes increasingly hard to grasp. New  administrative arrangements or strategies, new modes of interactive and cooperative policy-making and new substantive policies, therefore, frequently have unanticipated and scarcely understood consequences. It is understandable, then, that many practitioners in the public domain are looking for reflection on and new approaches to their day-to-day practice. The part time program in Public Administration we run in Rotterdam is one response to this need, for which there appears to be a continuous en substantially growing demand.

However, at the same time academic Public Administration research and theory is much criticized for its lack of practical relevance or utilization. Practitioners often find scholarly analysis and prescriptions too theoretical and too general. While at the same time scholars are astonished and sometimes disappointed that politicians and administrators do not incorporate ‘evident’ scientific findings in their strategies. The extensive literature on ‘utilization’ of social science research stems from this astonishment (see Weiss – Bucuvalas, 1979, Lindblom, Useable knowledge etc., Ringeling, 1983).

Although it is plausible that scientific knowledge often somehow finds its way towards policy processes in the long run, and it is obvious that scientific reports are sometimes used to legitimate (or fight) existing policies, it is clear that there are
serious problems in the communication between ‘science’ and ‘practice’. These problems, too, manifest themselves in post-experience MPA programs. As a consequence, key questions become:

  • how can we make our teaching more recognizable and relevant for practitioners?
  • how can we help practitioners to link their practice to their study experiences and vice versa?
  • how can the practical relevance of Public Administration research and theory be enhanced and made tangible for practitioners?

Although the last question may be the most important, in this paper we will focus onthe first two, since these are directly related to the design and management of MPA programs. The third question is potentially a nice subject for a separate study in the future.

Something in the Making? – The Role of Professional Academic Institutions in Shaping a European Public Management discipline and profession

Schroeter & Maravic, Zeppelin University, Germany

This paper focuses on the role of these Professional Academic Public Management Institutions (PAPI) in shaping a European Public Management profession on the one hand a European Public Management discipline on the other hand.  Professions refer to work occupations, e.g. civil servants, disciplines to fields of academic study.3 PAPIs may eventually fulfil two major functions in shaping these two developments. PAPIs standardize the ‘production’ of professionals for the public service by regulating Public Management curricula across Europe and work towards a common European Public Management discipline by creating a transnational disciplinary identity. We argue that the role of “professional academic public management institutions” and their effects on the domestic level gain particular significance.

This paper seeks to provide a conceptual framework – informed by empirical observations from the current and changing landscape of public management training in Europe – for  analyzing the relevant “push-and-pull” factors that shape both the process of Europeanization and the evolution of public management as an integrated academic discipline.

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