Handbook of American Public Administration
Show Less

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.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 29: Theoretical foundations and design principles to improve policy and program implementation

Jodi R. Sandfort


There is a deep paradox within public management scholarship. While there is a fundamental belief about a pragmatist orientation that provides rigorous research to help answer relevant questions for public and nonprofit managers, conventions of social science often pulls scholars away from these commitments. This chapter explores the use of a design-based, intervention approach as an alternative. Applying lessons from complex systems, organizational learning, and public engagement, it moves beyond conventional “translation” exercises and illustrates how a design-based approach leverages contextual knowledge of the setting. It considers a fundamental question: what might be learned from the application of repeated interventions, or ‘probes’ into a complex system to create change? The theoretical foundation for this approach is the strategic action field framework for implementation research which offers an explanation for the variations within implementation systems not explained by predictive social science.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.