Journal of Public Administration - Volume 42, Issue 6, 2007
Volumes & issues
Volume 42, Issue 6, 2007
Source: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 437 –440 (2007)More Less
This is the second issue of the Journal of Public Administration that has been coordinated by three academics and co-authors. They are respectively of the University of Johannesburg (Prof. Christelle Auriacombe and Prof. Jesse Lutabingwa) and the University of Stellenbosch (Prof. Johan Mouton). This issue is specifically devoted to articles in the field of research design and research methodology. The purpose is again manifold: to increase awareness of methodological issues and challenges, to inform the reader of the wide range of methodological approaches and to provide a set of resources for researchers, practitioners, students and other knowledge workers in this field.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 441 –457 (2007)More Less
This article explains what is involved in qualitative field research and why it is an appropriate method for the study of certain events and activities. The article lists the social settings which are relevant to field research and discusses their strengths and weaknesses. It also examines six of the most common forms of qualitative field research designs or approaches and summarises the sampling methods involved in this type of research. The features of theoretical sampling are also discussed. The article concludes with a comprehensive explanation of the stages involved in qualitative field research.
Author C.J. AuriacombeSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 458 –471 (2007)More Less
This article presents issues relating to unobtrusive research methods in content analysis, the analysis of existing statistics and historical / comparative analysis linking the process of studying social behaviour without affecting it. The article focuses on specific dimensions of content analysis within the context of unobtrusive methods namely, the topics appropriate for content analysis, sampling in content analysis, enumeration in content analysis, as well as an approach to content analysis. Attention is paid to the analysis of existing statistics by focusing on the methodological issues relating to the analysis of existing statistics and sources of existing statistics and data. This is followed by a discussion of historical / comparative analysis which focuses on the sources of historical / comparative data, as well as the collection and analysis of data. Furthermore, the strengths and weaknesses of unobtrusive methods are also highlighted.
Research innovation in public and development management : locating Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) in the participatory development debateSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 472 –489 (2007)More Less
The article calls for an appreciation of alternative social research methods. In so doing the argument moves away from the dangers of an over-emphasis on quantitative strategies towards action research methodology. Disciplines like Public and Development Management/Public Administration do not have a tradition of alternative research methodology. Participatory Learning and Action is part of a growing family of action research methodology and exposes the researcher to the meaning-giving social context of the beneficiaries of development. In the article the important issue of participatory development management is located in the development theory and strategy debate. Through participatory learning and action strategies the researcher becomes a partner with the research respondents. Public and Development Management/Public Administration researchers and lecturers can only improve their holistic understanding of the multidimensional context in which development research and intervention takes place if they expose themselves to action research methodology.
Author J. MoutonSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 490 –511 (2007)More Less
This article provides a broad review of the main approaches to evaluation research as they developed over the past six decades. These approaches are the experimental or quasi-experimental approaches of the 1960s and 1970s as epitomised in the work of Donald Campbell and later Thomas Cook; the naturalist and qualitative tradition that challenged the experimental approach in the 1970s and 1980s and illustrated in the works of Guba, Lincoln, Patton and Williams; the critical evaluation approach which found expression in empowerment evaluation as advocated by David Fetterman and responsive evaluation as defended by Robert Stake; Michael Patton's very influential utilisation-focused evaluation of the 1980s and since and the more recent approach of realist evaluation as discussed by Pawson and Tilley. In each case the main tenets of each approach will be discussed.
Author F. CloeteSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 512 –527 (2007)More Less
This article addresses a number of issues related to qualitative data processing and analysis in Public Administration and Management research. The article conceptualises data processing and analysis in this field and then deals with the key variables affecting these procedures, including the preparation and organising of field notes and transcripts (memoing), methods of theme and pattern identification, coding and concept mapping. The impact of research interventions (the so-called researcher effects), qualitative data organising and reporting options and the role of technology in qualitative data analysis are also highlighted.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 528 –548 (2007)More Less
This article considers the analysis of data in quantitative research. Firstly, the question... What is data processing and data entry in quantitative research is discussed. Secondly, the article discusses elementary data analysis and data presentation. The article then discusses searching for relationships, an important aspect as, whilst the methods that have been discussed in this article are useful in summarising and providing descriptive information about the variables, policy- and public analysts are more interested in the relationships between the variables. The article also examines causation and multivariate analysis and several manifestations of causes are presented and multivariate analysis conceptualised, as most of social science analysis falls within this general rubric. Finally, the role of computers in quantitative data analysis is briefly explained.
Foundational considerations in selecting a research topic and writing a thesis or dissertation proposalSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 549 –564 (2007)More Less
The aim of this article is to acquaint the reader with the process of selecting a research topic and developing a research proposal. Careful planning is important prior to embarking on a research project such as a dissertation or thesis. The first step of this planning process is to select a well-focused research topic. The second step involves the development of a research proposal. This article focuses on how a researcher should approach the topic selection process, as well as the steps in writing the research proposal.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 565 –576 (2007)More Less
The aim of this article is to provide the reader with practical guidelines and useful insights on the mechanics and human element of writing theses and dissertations. The article focuses on only two elements of a thesis and dissertation: data analysis and findings and discussion; and discussion, conclusion, and recommendations. These are generally considered to be the last two chapters of any thesis and dissertation. Writing theses and dissertations involve specific technical issues such as the title, document length, format, as well as writing, editing, and rewriting. The article gives a special treatment to these issues that are important in writing theses and dissertations. Included in this article is also a discussion on the human element of writing theses and dissertations. The article provides useful information to the reader on how to handle feedback, manage time, and interact with the supervisor to complete the task of writing a dissertation in a timely manner.
Author L. PosthumusSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 577 –592 (2007)More Less
This article deals with the factors and skills involved in writing an article for publication in an accredited journal. It discusses the journal writer's participation in the publishing culture; tips for better writing; the components of an excellent manuscript and the information that should be sent to the publisher. The manuscript's review process by the journal editor and the criteria involved in adjudicating manuscripts, as well as the importance of revising and resubmitting the manuscript and how to deal with criticism and rejection are also discussed. This article explains the vital elements of the research article. These involve the title; the abstract; the introduction; the statement of hypothesis; the review of literature; the research methodology; the presentation of the findings; the analysis and conclusions and the referencing. This article acts as an important aid and comprehensively covers the aspects of writing an article for publication in an accredited journal.