Academic journal article Public Administration Quarterly

Spod at 40! Editors Comments

Academic journal article Public Administration Quarterly

Spod at 40! Editors Comments

Article excerpt

For seventy-six years the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) has been an overarching umbrella organization for practicing public administrators, academic and students studying public administration. Over the many decades the field has grown in diversity, complexity and specialization. ASPA's sections provide professional and intellectual homes for specific technical areas such as Emergency Management, Budgeting, and Finance, Nonprofit Management, and broader all-encompassing topics such as International Comparative Administration, and Ethics.

Under the watchful eyes of many ASPA early greats like Nesta Galas, Dwight Waldo, Chet Newland and Frank Sherwood, the Section for Professional Development (later renamed as the Section for Professional and Organizational Development or SPOD) was created in 1975. The SPOD was ASPA's forth professional section. Today there are 28 sections in ASPA.

This symposium, marking the SPOD's fortieth anniversary, celebrates SPOD's past, present and future in four outstanding articles. The first two articles address the broad topics from which the section takes its name--professional development and organizational development. These articles chart the general growth of the topics and their relationship to SPOD over the past forty years. SPOD was created to address a desire "to fuse professionalism with organizational change in our public institutions." Carol Rusaw and Vinton Fisher chronicle the background and thinking that went into SPOD's creation in their article "Promoting Training and Professional Development in Government: The Origins and Early Contributions of SPOD."

Hindy Schachter's article, "Organization Development and Management History: A Tale of Changing Seasons" demonstrates the rise and fall of big ideas and theories in organizational development (OD) using Barly and Kunda's tripartite analysis (1992) on OD. …

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