The Evolution of Organizational Forms for Public Service Education
In The Evolution of Organizational Forms for Public Service Education, James L. Perry and Emily Derringer Mee investigate transformations in public service education over the past 50 years, specifically: How have organizational forms evolved, and what lessons can we draw from that evolution? The organizational form construct originates in population ecology theory. The authors draw from a variety of evidentiary sources in answering the research questions, specifically extant literature, quantitative analysis of longitudinal data about organizational forms, and interviews with public service education opinion leaders.
Among the findings are that formal structures, program activities and delivery, and the norms that underpin public service education have changed significantly over time. Organization environments influence organizational forms in public service education.
The authors conclude that stand-alone university units, typically colleges and schools, offering a comprehensive portfolio of teaching research, and service are increasing and have become a preferred form for public service education. They recommend educational leaders in US universities consider emerging organizational forms as they seek to adapt to changing environments.
James L. Perry is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington. Perry is former editor-in-chief of Journal of Public Affairs Education and Public Administration Review. He recently edited Public Service and Good Governance for the Twenty-first Century (U. of Pennsylvania Press, 2020) and authored Managing Organizations to Sustain Passion for Public Service (Cambridge University Press, 2021).
Emily Derringer Mee is a second-year Ph.D. in Public Affairs student at the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington. Mee is completing her degree with a major in public management and a minor in policy analysis. Her research interests include public administration and management concerns in higher education, especially as they relate to equity and representation.