Academic journal article Public Administration Quarterly

Diversity in Public Administration Research: A Review of Journal Publications

Academic journal article Public Administration Quarterly

Diversity in Public Administration Research: A Review of Journal Publications

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Diversity research in public administration is a critical area of scholarship and exploration, particularly given the changing demographics and its impact in public service. This paper reviews over thirty journal publications published between 2006 and 2011. Over 7000 articles have been published during this time period covering a variety of public administration issues. The journals selected include 20 of the top ranked journals in public administration (Bernick and Krueger, 2010) and all the section journals associated with the American Society of Public Administration. We review how many of these published articles have addressed issues of diversity. Data shows which journals publish the highest percentage of diversity articles and what types of diverse topics are being addressed. Analysis of the data highlights trends in diverse topics; including race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, faith and spirituality, class and equity, ageism, culture and language, and disabilities.

Keywords

Diversity, race and ethnicity, equity, gender, sexual orientation, culture, research

INTRODUCTION

Determined the third pillar of public administration (PA) by Frederickson (1990) and elevated to the fourth pillar by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) in 20051, social equity is a core tenet of the field and should be considered alongside effectiveness economy, and efficiency. Diversity, a term used to better comprehend the broader concept of social equity (Frederickson, 2010), has increasingly become relevant for public administrators and researchers alike, and has shown to improve the quality of democracy, leading to "more sustainable decisions" (Guy, 2009), and making a difference in productivity (Meier, Wrinkle, & Polinard, 1999). Diversity research in public administration is now a critical area of scholarship and exploration, particularly given the changing demographics and its impact in public service.

This paper reviews over thirty journal publications published between 2006 and 2011. Over 7000 articles published during this time period covering a variety of public administration issues are reviewed from a diversity lens. Analysis of the data highlights trends in diverse topics; including race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, faith and spirituality, class and equity, ageism, culture and language, and abilities. As Oldfield, Candler and Johnson (2006) point out, journals seldom publish articles of equity and diversity, and when they do, they focus primarily on race and gender. This research expands on their findings to take a comprehensive and critical look at key public administration journals.

LITERATURE REVIEW

White and Rice (2005) note that changing demographics means public sector organizations need "to develop more inclusive work cultures that have a better understanding of the many ways people are different from one another and/or different from the organizations" (p. 3). An organization's ability "to develop strategies as well as programs and policies to manage and accommodate diversity in their workspaces" (Riccucci, 2002, p. 3) has become increasingly vital in ensuring a competitive advantage and increased productivity (Mazur, 2010). Human resource and management systems are used to aid public managers in integrating diversity into organizational goals; however, managers are not provided with conceptual approaches to effectively manage diversity (Maier, 2005).

One approach to identifying conceptual approaches in evolving organizations is to look at research and literature that reflects diverse populations and issues of diversity. Areas of diversity research generally evaluate individual characteristics that fall within one of two categories: primary and secondary characteristics. Primary characteristics refer to factors that cannot be changed i.e. gender, race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc. Secondary traits are "malleable factors" (Riccucci, 2002, p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.