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Public administration sustainability and its organizational basis

Abstract

Benefiting from a novel data set spanning nearly half a century, this study probes the sustainability of public governance. Theoretically, it examines how sustainable public governance rests on its organizational fabric. The study illuminates how organizational factors systematically influence decision-making behaviour and thus public governance sustainability. Moreover, the study argues that since organizational structure is amendable to deliberate manipulative change, it may thus be an important design instrument of the context of choice in public governance. Accordingly, the article offers an avenue to build bridges between the academic and practitioner worlds of public administration. Empirically and methodologically, the study offers: a novel large-N (13,173) and longitudinal data set that spans five observation points in 1976, 1986, 1996, 2006 and 2016; nine surveys at ministry and agency levels; and several generations of government officials. Taken together, the data set demonstrates that both administrative sustainability in public administration and sustainable public governance rest on its organizational fabric.