Handbook of American Public Administration
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Handbook of American Public Administration

Edited by Edmund C. Stazyk and H. G. Frederickson

The Handbook of American Public Administration draws on the expertise of established and emerging scholars to provide national and international audiences a comprehensive review of the current state and future direction of theory and practice in US public administration. The authors provide a cross-disciplinary, holistic review of the field and pave an agenda for future research.
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Chapter 15: Antecedents to managing publicness: a study of professional and cultural socialization

Cullen C. Merritt and Morgan D. Farnworth


Public administration scholars have long explored the question “what makes an organization public?” Research suggests that organizational publicness is not merely a theoretical instrument for classifying the degree to which an organization is public; it also presents implications for public management, specifically “managing publicness.” Scholars have yet to consider the effect of professional and cultural socialization on the practice of managing publicness. This chapter theorizes on the association between manager tenure, gender, and race and approaches to managing publicness. Professional and cultural socialization resulting from tenure, gender, and race may shape the management tools as well as the organizational structures and activities managers identify, value, and ultimately employ when designing their organizations to achieve public outcomes. This study has implications for public management, human resources management, and leadership development.

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