ISBN-10:
156720449X
ISBN-13:
9781567204490
Pub. Date:
05/30/2002
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Research Methods for Public Administrators / Edition 1

Research Methods for Public Administrators / Edition 1

by Gail JohnsonGail Johnson

Hardcover

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Overview

Without jargon or mathematical theory to hinder a quick understanding and use, here are the research tools and techniques you can grasp and immediately apply to obtain research services from others or do research yourself. Johnson makes clear that to succeed in any public agency management position, you have to be able to think analytically and know how to assess the quality of research results. By providing the underlying concepts and just enough methodology to operationalize them, she gives you exactly what you need—in a clear, straightforward way that takes the fear out of learning. You will find here an especially wide range of practical guidelines and examples, all from the author's own and others' experiences in a variety of settings within the public sector. Throughout her book she emphasizes the how of research—how to do it, how to make sense of its findings—and covers all the basic statistical tools, concetrating steadily on interpreting research results. An important, reader-friendly text for students of public administration, and for their often perplexed colleagues already on the job.

Johnson explains that public administrators do not do research themselves all that often. But with the rising demand for results measurement, balancing scorecards, benchmarking and assessing customer satisfaction, they do need to understand the basics of what research is and at least have more than just a glimmer of how it is done. Her book offers both—a simple, easily grasped presentation of research concepts and principles, plus all of the essentials of doing program evaluation, policy analysis, and applied social science. It is especially useful as a text in such courses as research methods, program evaluation and introduction to applied statistics, usually found in public administration programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. And for people already in jobs outside the academic community, people who are now asked to do tasks that they seldom did before—and never expected they would be asked to do—it is essential.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781567204490
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/30/2002
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.69(d)
Lexile: 1150L (what's this?)

About the Author

GAIL JOHNSON is a member of the faculty of the Master of Public Affairs program, the Evergreen State College. She was previously Assistant Professor at Old Dominion University. Johnson has also worked for several Federal agencies, including the U.S. General Accounting Office, where she produced a number of highly influential reports, most recently on Motivating the Federal Workforce. She is also the author of Recruiting, Retaining, and Motivating the Federal Workforce (Quorum Books, 1991).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments

1. Introduction: Research Methods for Public Administrators
Overview Goals: Research as a Critical Thinking Tool Research in the Public Sector What Is Research? Types of Research Ethics and Principles of Good Research
Overview of This Book
Exercises
2. Basic Research Concepts
Overview
The Secret Language of Social Science Theory Hypothesis in Its Many Forms Variables Values Levels of Measurement Determining Causality Independent and Dependent Variables Control Variables Direction of Relationships Program Evaluation: Research in the Public Sector
Using Models for a Holistic View of Relationships
The Logic Model
Applying the Logic Model
Conclusion
Exercises
3. What Is the Question?
Overview
Determining the Research Question
Learning from Others
Engaging the Stakeholders
Working Together
Types of Questions Descriptive Questions Normative Questions Relationship Questions Conclusion
Exercises
4. Identifying Measures and Measurement Strategy
Overview
Defining Key Terms Conceptual Definitions Operational Definitions Setting Boundaries
Valid and Reliable Measures Validity Reliability Why Measurement Matters
Conclusion
Exercises
5. Designs for Research: The Xs and Os Framework
Overview
Designing an Experiment
Applying the Design Elements: The Xs and Os Framework Nonexperimental Design Quasi-Experimental Design Classic Experimental Design Design Variations Using Statistical Controls to Create Comparison Groups Longitudinal Studies Internal Validity
Why Validity Matters
External Validity
Conclusion
Exercises

6. Other Research Approaches
Overview
Secondary Analysis of Data
Evaluation Synthesis (Meta-Analysis)
Content Analysis
Survey Research
Case Studies
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Conclusion
Exercises

7. Data Collection I: Available Data and Observation
Overview
Data Collection: The Degree of Structure
Available Data
Data Collection Instruments
Observation
Obtrusive and Unobtrusive Data Collection
The Design Matrix
Conclusion
Exercises

8. Data Collection II: Interviews and Focus Groups
Overview
General Guidelines About Choosing the Appropriate Method
Encouraging Participation
In-Person Interviews
Focus Groups
Other Group Data Collection: Expert Panels, Public Hearings
Conclusion
Exercises

9. Data Collection III: Surveys
Overview
Basic Methods
Response Rates
Telephone Surveys
Mail Surveys
Cyber-Research: E-mail and Web-Based Surveys
Developing Closed-Ended Questions
Using One-Way and Two-Way Intensity Scales
Ranking Questions
Demographic Questions
Conclusion
Exercises
10. Sampling Demystified
Overview
Sampling Jargon
Random and Nonrandom Samples Random Samples Nonrandom Samples Random Samples: The Options Simple Random Sample Systematic Random Sample Stratified Random Sample Proportional Stratified Sample Disproportionate Stratified Sample Cluster Sample Nonrandom Samples: The Options
Determining Sample Size
Nonsampling Errors
Conclusion
Exercises

11. Qualitative Data Analysis
Overview
Analyzing Qualitative Data
Identifying Themes and Quotes
Working with Qualitative Data
Conclusion
Exercises
12. Data Analysis for Description
Overview
Simple Descriptive Statistics in Public Administration
Commonly Used Descriptive Statistics Counts Percents Rates Ratios Rates of Change Distributions Measures of Central Tendency Which Measure to Use? Comparison of Means Measures of Dispersion
Conclusion
Exercises

13. Analyzing Survey Scales
Overview
Handling Exits and the Middle of a Five-Point Scale
Setting Benchmarks and Extreme Analysis
Handling the Middle Category in One-Way Intensity Scales
Should Means Be Used with Nominal and Ordinal Scales?
The Analytical Tool: Cross Tabulations
Conclusion
Exercises

14. Data Analysis: Exploring Relationships
Overview
Using Crosstabs to Examine Relationships
Controlling for a Third Variable
Exploring Relationships: Comparison of Means and Medians
Measures of Association
Frequently Used Measures of Association
Working with Interval or Ratio Data
Conclusion
Exercises
15. Data Analysis: Regression
Overview
Bivariate Regression: Key Elements
Using Bivariate Regression Analysis: Sunshine and Tourism
Multiple Regression Beta Weights: Relative Predictive Strength Regression in the News
Why Did the Violent Crime Rate Drop After 1991?
Conclusion
Exercises
16. Data Analysis Using Inferential Statistics
Overview
Statistical Significance: Basic Concepts
The Logic of Statistical Significance Testing
Errors in Tests for Statistical Significance
Common Tests for Statistical Significance Chi-Square t-Tests: Analyzing Difference in Means Analysis of Variance Tests for Statistical Significance in Regression Analysis
Reporting Results of Statistical Significance
Population Estimates and Confidence Intervals
Conclusion
Exercises

17. Communicating Research Results
Overview
Effectively Reporting Results
Reporting Data
General Guide for Communicating Research Results
Guide for Writing an Executive Summary
Guide for Writing a Formal Report
Guide for Using Charts and Tables
Guide for Oral Presentations
Presenting Unwelcome Information
Making Sense of Research Results
Conclusion
Exercises
18. Conclusion: Research at the Intersection of Politics and Administration
Overview
The Research Process Revisited Planning Doing Reporting Ethics and Social Justice
Managing Research Projects
Assessing Credibility
The Limitations of Science
The Intersection of Research, Politics, and Administration
Closing Observations
Exercises

Appendix A. Mathematical Formulas for Selected Statistics
Appendix B. Statistics as a Second Language
Appendix C. Bibliography
Appendix D. Logic Model Template
Appendix E. The Generic Design Matrix

Index
About the Author

Customer Reviews