Professionalism, responsiveness, and representation: What do they mean for city managers?

  • Demir T
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Abstract

The literature in public administration advances three important values for public administra- tors. In their roles as technical experts, public administrators are professionals whose decisions are guided by the norms and principles of the public administration profession. In their roles as appointed officials, public administrators are expected to be responsive to their elected superiors. As representatives of the community, they are expected to voice the concerns and demands of citizens. Professionalism, responsiveness, and representation all are considered fundamental values that must be reflected in administrative decisions and actions. Despite the importance of these three values for public administration, insufficient empirical research has been done to examine what these values mean for public administrators. That is, the critical question that remains unanswered is: “What activities of public administrators are associated with these three values?” Based on a nationwide survey of city managers, this article identi- fies critical activities in which public administrators get involved, then reduces these activities into factors (dimensions), and finally examines the correlation of these factors with attitudes of city managers towards professionalism, responsiveness, and representation. The findings of this research help make these three values more concrete by associating them with major policy and political activities of city managers.

Author-supplied keywords

  • City managers
  • Professionalism
  • Representation
  • Responsiveness

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Authors

  • Tansu Demir

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