Advertisement

Public Organization Review

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 581–598 | Cite as

Political Orientation and Policy Involvement of City Managers: An Empirical Study of the Value-Activity Relationship

  • Tansu Demir
  • Christopher G. Reddick
Article
  • 233 Downloads

Abstract

Research shows that city managers have adopted a political orientation toward their roles in an effort to increase their contributions to democratic governance. This paper asks the research question, does political orientation with its focus on collaboration, democratic principles, and representation impact political responsiveness and political neutrality? This study examines the relationship between these values, by specifying and testing four theoretical models of increasing complexity. Using survey data collected from a nationally representative sample of U.S. city managers, this study finds that politically orientated managers are more likely to get involved in the policy process. However, the impact of policy involvement on political responsiveness and political neutrality varies depending on the type of policy involvement. The findings of this research contribute to the literature on politics-administration relationship.

Keywords

Professional values City managers Survey research Local government 

References

  1. Agranoff, R. (2006). Inside collaborative networks: Ten lessons for public managers. Public Administration Review, 66(s1), 56–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ammons, D. N., & Newell, C. (1988). City managers don’t make policy: A lie; let’s face it. National Civic Review, 77(2), 124–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benavides, A. D. (2006). Hispanic city managers in Texas: A small group of professional administrators. State and Local Government Review, 38(2), 112–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2008). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  5. Box, R. C. (1992). The administrator as trustee of the public interest: Normative ideals and daily practice. Administration & Society, 24(3), 323–345.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Box, R. C., Marshall, G. S., Reed, B. J., & Reed, C. M. (2001). New public management and substantive democracy. Public Administration Review, 61(5), 608–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Braun, C. (2013). The driving forces of stability: Exploring the nature of long-term bureaucracy-interest group interactions. Administration & Society, 45(7), 809–836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cooper, T. L. (2004). Big questions in administrative ethics: A need for focused, collaborative effort. Public Administration Review, 64(4), 395–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cooper, T. L., Bryer, T. A., & Meek, J. W. (2006). Citizen-centered collaborative management. Public Administration Review, 66, 76–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cooper, T. L., & Gullick, L. (1984). Citizenship and professionalism in public administration. Public Administration Review, 44, 143–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Demir, T. (2008). Is political public administration a threat to legislative supremacy? International Journal of Public Administration, 31, 574–591.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Demir, T. (2009). The complementarity view: Exploring a continuum in political-administrative relations. Public Administration Review, 69(5), 876–888.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Demir, T. (2011a). Professionalism, responsiveness, and representation: What do they mean for city managers? International Journal of Public Administration, 34(3), 151–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Demir, T. (2011b). Interaction frequency and quality as two dimensions of complementarity: An empirical examination of some contingency variables. Public Organization Review, 11(3), 265–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Demir, T., & Nank, R. (2012). Interaction quality in political administrative relations in the United States: Testing a multi-dimensional model. International Journal of Public Administration, 35, 329–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Demir, T., & Nyhan, R. C. (2008). The politics-administration dichotomy: An empirical search for correspondence between theory and practice. Public Administration Review, 68(1), 81–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Demir, T., & Reddick, C. G. (2012). Understanding shared roles in policy and administration: An empirical study of council-manager relations. Public Administration Review, 72(4), 526–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Denhardt, J., & Denhardt, R. (2003). The new public service: Serving, not steering. Armonk: M. E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  19. Fox, C. J., & Miller, H. T. (1995). Postmodern public administration: Toward discourse. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Frederickson, G. H. (1996). The spirit of public administration. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  21. Golembiewski, R. T., & Gabris, G. T. (1994). Today’s city managers: A legacy of success-becoming-failure. Public Administration Review, 54(6), 525–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hassett, W. L., & Watson, D. J. (2002). Long-serving city managers: Practical application of the academic literature. Public Administration Review, 62(5), 622–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. ICMA (2009). ICMA 2009 state of the profession survey. Retrieved March 10, 2012 from http://icma.org/en/icma/knowledge_network/documents/kn/Document/100267/ICMA_2009_State_of_the_Profession_Survey.
  24. Jacobsen, D. I. (2006). The relationship between politics and administration: The importance of contingency factors, formal structure, demography, and time. Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, 19(2), 303–323.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kaplan, D. (2000). Structural equation modeling: Foundations and extensions. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Kernaghan, K. (2003). Integrating values into public service: The values statement as centerpiece. Public Administration Review, 63(6), 711–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kirlin, J. J. (1997). The big questions of public administration in a democracy. Public Administration Review, 56(5), 416–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lee, M. (2001). Looking at the politics –administration dichotomy from the other direction: Participant observation by a state senator. International Journal of Public Administration, 24(4), 363–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lewis, E. B. (1982). Role behavior of U.S. city managers: Development and testing of a multidimensional typology. International Journal of Public Administration, 4(2), 135–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lyons, S. T., Duxbury, L. E., & Higgins, C. A. (2006). A comparison of the values and commitment of private sector, public sector, and parapublic sector employees. Public Administration Review, 66(4), 605–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Miller, H. T. (1993). Everyday politics in public administration. American Review of Public Administration, 23, 99–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Miller, H. T., & Demir, T. (2007). Policy communities. In F. Fischer, G. Miller, & M. Sidney (Eds.), Handbook of public policy analysis: Theory, politics, and methods (pp. 137–149). London: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  33. Montjoy, R. S., & Watson, D. J. (1995). A case for reinterpreted dichotomy of politics and administration as a professional standard in council-manager government. Public Administration Review, 55(3), 231–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Moore, M. H. (1995). Creating public value: Strategic management in government. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Mosher, F. C. (1982). Democracy and the public service. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Musso, J., Weare, C., Bryer, T., & Cooper, T. L. (2011). Toward “strong democracy” in global cities? Social capital building, theory-driven reform, and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council experience. Public Administration Review, 71(1), 102–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nabatchi, T. (2010). Addressing the citizenship and democratic deficits: The potential of deliberative democracy for public administration. American Review of Public Administration, 40(4), 376–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nalbandian, J. (1994). Reflections of a “pracademic” on the logic of politics and administration. Public Administration Review, 54(6), 531–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Nalbandian, J. (1999). Facilitating community, enabling democracy: New roles for local government managers. Public Administration Review, 59(3), 187–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nalbandian, J. (2001). The city manager as political leader. Public Management, 83(3), 7–12.Google Scholar
  41. Nalbandian, J., O’Neill, R., Wilkes, M. J., & Kaufman, A. (2013). Contemporary challenges in local government: Evolving roles and responsibilities, structures, and processes. Public Administration Review, 73(4), 567–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Park, H. M., & Perry, J. L. (2012). The transformation of governance: Who are the new public servants and what difference does it make for democratic governance. American Review of Public Administration, 43(1), 26–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pynes, J. E., & Spina, S. (2009). Council-manager conflict and cooperation in times of fiscal stress. State and Local Government Review, 41(3), 208–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rohr, J. A. (1986). To run a constitution: Legitimacy of the administrative state. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.Google Scholar
  45. Rossmann, D., & Shanahan, E. A. (2012). Defining and achieving normative democratic values in participatory budgeting processes. Public Administration Review, 72(1), 56–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schmidt, W. H., & Posner, B. Z. (1986). Values and expectations of federal service executives. Public Administration Review, 46(5), 447–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Schneider, M., & Teske, P. (1992). Toward a theory of political entrepreneur: Evidence from local government. American Political Science Review, 86(3), 737–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Spicer, M. W., & Terry, L. D. (1993). Legitimacy, history, and logic: Public administration and constitution. Public Administration Review, 53(3), 239–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Stillman, R. (1991). A preface to public administration: A search for themes and direction. New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  50. Svara, J. H. (1990). Official leadership in the city. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Svara, J. H. (1997). Professional administration (and representative governance). In J. J. Gargan (Ed.), Handbook of local government administration (pp. 387–402). New York: Marcel Dekker.Google Scholar
  52. Svara, J. H. (1999). Complementarity of politics and administration as a legitimate alternative to the dichotomy model. Administration & Society, 30(6), 676–705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Svara, J. H. (2006). The search for meaning in political-administrative relations in local government. International Journal of Public Administration, 29(12), 1065–1090.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Teske, P., & Schneider, M. (1994). The bureaucratic entrepreneur: The case of city managers. Public Administration Review, 54(4), 331–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Waldo, D. (1981). The enterprise of public administration. Novato: Chandler & Sharp.Google Scholar
  56. Waldo, D. (1984). The administrative state: A study of the political theory of American public administration. New York: Holmes & Meier.Google Scholar
  57. Watson, R. P. (1997). Politics and public administration: A political profile of local bureaucrats in Alabama. Administration & Society, 29(2), 189–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wheeland, C. (2000). City management in the 1990’s: Responsibilities, roles and practices. Administration & Society, 32(3), 255–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yackee, J. W., & Yackee, S. W. (2006). A bias towards business? Assessing interest group influence on the U.S. bureaucracy. Journal of Politics, 68(1), 128–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Zhang, Y., & Feiock, R. J. (2010). City managers’ policy leadership in council-manager cities. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 20(2), 461–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Public Policy, Department of Public AdministrationUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

Personalised recommendations