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Departments of Public Administration Programs in Colleges of Business Administration: Allies or Aliens?. James Thompson and Lauren Bowman University of Illinois - Chicago. Research Questions.

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slide1

Departments of Public Administration Programs in Colleges of Business Administration: Allies or Aliens?

James Thompson

and Lauren Bowman

University of Illinois - Chicago

research questions
Research Questions
  • What are the areas of compatibility and incompatibility between departments of public administration and colleges of business administration?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages for a department of public administration of being located within a college of business?
  • Are there systemic impediments to a harmonious relationship between departments of public administration and colleges of business administration?
  • Is there a trend away from this configuration?
  • How can adverse aspects of the arrangement be mitigated/How can positive advantage of the arrangement be taken?
population
Population

NASPAA accredited schools where PA is currently affiliated with a college of business

NASPAA accredited schools where PA was formerly affiliated with a college of business

Brigham Young University

Louisiana State University

U of Missouri – Kansas City

CSU – Bakersfield

CSU – San Bernardino

CSU-Dominguez Hills

University of North Dakota

University of La Verne

Old Dominion University

Governors State University

Suffolk University

Kean University

University of Maine

Long Island University-C.W. Post Campus

Long Island University-Brooklyn

Willamette University

Northern Kentucky

University of Arizona

University of New Mexico

Ohio State University

University of Nevada-Las Vegas

University of Louisville

George Washington University

City University of New York-Baruch College

method
Method
  • Qualitative
  • Telephone interviews (19)
  • PA programs currently in Business schools (8)
  • PA programs formerly in Business schools (4)
  • Interviewees
    • PA head/faculty (15)
    • Business head/faculty (2)
    • Deans (2)
  • Results are preliminary
slide5

What are the areas of compatibility and incompatibility between departments of public and colleges of business administration?

Compatibilities:

    • The subject matter is less theoretical, more applied work than in other social science disciplines
    • Both train professionals, not academics
    • Both focus on teaching management skills
    • Similar style of pedagogy (case studies, group projects, service learning)
  • Quote: “I would say there were several things that made having PA in a business school positive. One was the emphasis was on professional programs, like an MBA and MGA or a masters in accounting or whatever. The professional ethic of higher education was shared.”
slide6
What are the areas of compatibility and incompatibility between departments of public and colleges of business administration?

Incompatibilities

  • Government is seen by many business faculty as hostile to business/free market
  • Class sizes (larger classes in Business side)
  • Size and wealth of donor base
  • Securing external funding is generally not accorded importance in business schools
  • Differences in values, culture
    • Competitive, self-interest, profit making vs. Consensual, negotiating, public interest
    • Quote: “life is about making money as opposed to service”
slide7
What are the advantages and disadvantages for a department of public administration of being located within a college of business?

Advantages

  • PA faculty salaries are higher than they would otherwise be
  • Facilities tend to be better because of access to resources/donor base
  • More resources (travel, summer money)
  • Affiliation with a unit that often wields disproportionate power on campus
  • Student access to business courses (marketing, finance, accounting, MIS)
  • Lower teaching loads (in some cases)

Quotes: “because we’re part of a school of management, a business school…we’re pretty well funded. And I don’t know of anybody that’s been turned down for, you know, requests for money to…for example, buy a data set, or something like that, or gather data”

“an assistant professor who would be paid $75-80,000 a year, and they would come in and they would come in almost at 6 figures.”

“in terms of research funding, we’re very well funded. I should say that, you know, we have access to funds. So it’s not like they’re not giving money away, but I don’t know of anybody that’s ever been turned down for a legitimate project. And most of that money comes from the school of management, not the university.”

slide8
What are the advantages and disadvantages for a department of public administration of being located within a college of business?

Disadvantages

  • PA units located in colleges of business are often regarded as “second class citizens” due to:
    • Smaller size
    • Higher prestige accorded MBA
    • Attention/affiliation of dean is often with the business side
  • PA’s identity is sometimes lost due to larger size of MBA program
  • Cultural differences between public and business administration centered on the value accorded the public sector

Quotes: “Nor did they think that [MPAs] were worth having, that everybody should just get an MBA. The whole school was oriented towards the MBA as ‘the’ degree.”

slide9
Are there systemic impediments to a harmonious relationship between departments of public and business administration?
  • Values differences can be an impediment to the extent that business faculty see government as “the enemy”
  • AACSB/accreditation works against collaboration
    • Limits nos. of non-business students in business courses
  • NASPAA/accreditation works against “generic” schools of management
  • MBA ranking considerations may cause “poaching” of resources from PA

Quotes: “We had that sense…when we were in a college of business, people felt we were more of a nuisance to the free market and that we created hurdles there and did not allow business to do what it should to do prosper”

“And then there were some people, like in the finance department, that just wanted to get rid of us altogether because they didn't like anything that had to do with public sector”

“Then we got a new dean who was very -- and that was about the same time when people were becoming much more aware of program rankings in the U.S. News and World Report and those kinds of things. So the new dean made it very clear that his focus was on the MBA program and was quite effective in [pooling] together any other resources that he found that could be spared around the college.”

is there a trend away from this configuration
Is there a trend away from this configuration?
  • Of combined schools, most have been combined for decades
  • Schools where PA has left a college of business within the past 15 years
    • Ohio State
    • U of Arizona
    • U of Louisville
    • U of New Mexico
    • George Washington
  • “Generic” schools of management are largely extinct
    • Schools abandoning this approach
      • Yale
      • Rice
      • UC – Davis
      • UC – Irvine
    • The exception – Willamette

Quote: “There was a movement as you probably know, maybe the late ‘70s, ‘80s about creating generic management schools…If you look at them, they’re basically business schools. That generic model didn’t work”

slide11
How can adverse aspects of the arrangement be mitigated/How can positive advantage of the arrangement be taken?
  • In some schools, PA is seen as bringing value by virtue of the access to/support of key public officials it provides
    • Especially relevant in public universities
  • In schools where the head of PA holds a college-level title (associate dean) PA is better positioned to protect its interests
  • In some colleges of business, PA has been afforded structural autonomy, for example by being made a “school”
  • At some universities, there has been collaboration between the public and business administration faculties in the delivery of programs in:
    • Nonprofit mgmt/social entrepreneurship
    • Healthcare mgmt.
  • At a number of universities, PA faculty hold key positions;
    • A few PA deans
    • Head of college-wide strategic planning committee
  • At some schools, PA faculty teach ethics courses to MBA students
    • PA as the “conscience” of the school
slide12

PA-BA Models

Cohabitation

Harmonious Relationship

  • Little if any course sharing
  • Intermittent formal and informal discussions of secession
  • Indifference/hostility of business faculty
  • Little collaboration on research between faculties
  • Establish sources of support outside school (via donors, alumni, university administrators)
  • Some sharing of courses
  • Secession not at issue
  • Widespread acceptance of PA by business faculty
  • Routine collaboration of on research between faculties
  • Dean supportive of the MPA program