From Data Dashboards to Human Hearts

  • Sharon H. MastracciEmail author
  • Mary E. Guy


The purpose of this chapter is to trace trends in government reforms, to connect them to public administration theory, and to explain why emotional labor should be integrated into theory and practice. Three main phases are described. First is reliance on bureaucratic processes, second is reliance on market mechanisms, and third is reliance on collaborations across multiple entities. Attempts to preserve the best of the first two phases—the scale and predictability of bureaucracy with the responsiveness and agility of the market—while adding an emphasis on service and attention to the citizen–state encounter, characterize the third phase. As governments use organizations and networks to address public problems, the importance of responsiveness, co-production, and citizen engagement demands emotive competencies. Easily measured “things” stop short of comprehending the wholeness that public administration seeks to achieve. Emotional labor is foundational to effective public service delivery, and it is time for public administration theory to embrace it.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.School of Public AffairsUniversity of Colorado DenverDenverUSA

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