Healthier Communities – Topic Lit Review

Topic: Healthier Communities

 

Title:  Public Administrators can assist in creation of healthier Communities through Citizen participation in Emergency Management, Conflict Resolution, and Community Giving Circles

 

Concept: When we begin to think of healthier communities, most times this concept is correlated with physical health. In this paper, discussion will be had to build healthier communities with citizen participation, focusing on:

    • Emergency Management for communities
    • Conflict Resolution within the community
    • Community Giving Circles and inclusion of community members

 

 

Thematic Statement:  Research and knowledge are the keys to understanding citizens in a community and society as a whole.  This paper addresses gathered information which will assist in development of an awareness of society.  Public administrators are well served who develop that understanding and awareness of society, so they can begin to cultivate active citizen involvement in a community.

 

Significance of the Study: Public participation has been on the decline in recent years.  Many papers depict citizens as lacking in knowledge and skills for citizen participation.  This paper draws on input from many articles and authors who have different ideas of public administration, community, social skills, and then compiles those ideas into a concise composition which will inform public administrators about the problems associated with public participation, and ways in which those difficulties can be handled. 

 

Introduction:

Sociological Paradigms can be described as theories or perspectives used to guide study and interpretation of human behavior with regard to social phenomena.

           

Burrell & Morgan (1979), in Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis, set out four sociological paradigms, which “offer alternative views of social reality, …to understand the nature of all four is to understand four different views of society. They offer different ways of seeing.” (pp. 25) These four paradigms are: The Functionalist Paradigm (objective-regulation), The Interpretive Paradigm (subjective-regulation), The Radical Humanist Paradigm (subjective-radical change), and The Radical Structuralist Paradigm (objective-radical change).

 

Emergency Management for communities:

There is a lot of research in the realm of Emergency Management in the U.S. The focus for this paper is Emergency Management, with particular attention to research on the aftermath of two of the largest catastrophic events in recent United States history: The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, and the August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina destruction in New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

Three articles researched include:

-From 9/11 to 8/29: Post-Disaster Recovery and Rebuilding in New York and New Orleans (written by Kevin Fox Gotham and Miriam Greenberg, 2008).

            –Disaster Relief as Bad Public Policy. (written by William F. Shughart, II, 2011).

            –The Next Catastrophe: Ready or Not? (written by Christine Wormuth,         –           2008/2009).

 

In Gotham and Greenberg’s Post-Disaster Recovery and Rebuliding in New York and New Orleans, the research began as a qualitative research document following the narrative pattern set out by Creswell, but also Creswell’s case-study pattern, in a direct study of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, and the difficulties with getting help for the survivors. Much of the comparative analysis has pointed to government bureaucracy and FEMA being unprepared in the face of the disasters themselves, as well as inept rebuilding and revitalization for the communities. Facts are gathered in a positivist epistemology manner and in the research, they used “a combination of data sources including government documents, planning reports and newspaper articles…this diverse range of information allowed for the triangulation of data sources to enhance validity and reliability” (Gotham, 2008, pp. 1041). The research later includes quantitative data with regard to restructure of taxation, funding mechanisms and awarding of grants, and economic consequences during the rebuilding phase of the two catastrophes.

 

In Shughart’s Disaster Relief as Bad Public Policy, the focus of the narrative research (as described by Creswell) is on Hurricane Katrina, with fact finding and paying close attention to specific dates prior to, during, and after Hurricane Katrina. I think this article is written from the ontologic critical or objectivism view, because of the research being done within the society, generalizing where society is and aiming to improve society. Shughart carries out in-depth research on the inadequate levees that were in place in New Orleans in 2005, which were built with Federal funds and were known to be inadequate for years prior to the storm. Research on the public sector was performed through government agencies and transcripts from hearings held after Hurricane Katrina. Shughart also does a comparative analysis between the public sector acts and private sector acts, and emphasizes the “fragmentation of bureaucratic responsibility….with unclear lines of authority” (Shughart, 2011, pp. 523), especially regarding FEMA and how FEMA’s response to the disaster was sluggish and inept. This article also has quantitative insertions with regard to the moral hazard of the storm, through audits of FEMA, relief funds, how many Federal employees were deployed to give assistance, numbers of deaths, numbers of displaced individuals, accentuating the billions of dollars in loss of homes, businesses, and in economic losses for New Orleans.

 

Wormuth’s The Next Catastrophe: Ready or Not?, is again a narrative evaluation, which also does case-study comparison and contrast of the U.S. Government preparedness and response to the 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina disasters. Wormuth gathers data in an epistemologic interpretivist view, trying to determine why “there is still considerable confusion over who will be in charge during a disaster” (Wormuth, 2008/2009, pp. 94). She gives the following analogy:

 

Despite these signs of progress, current efforts to provide homeland security, particularly at the federal level, are not unlike the governmental equivalent of a children’s soccer game. There is a tremendous amount of activity and considerable energy on the field, but the movements are often not well coordinated” (pp. 94).

 

The research also has an ontologic objectivism view, seeking to surmise where society is, with regard to preparation for future catastrophes, and aims to point out that the U.S. “will need to rely on a network of relationships between government organizations, private corporations and small businesses, nongovernmental organizations, possibly individuals” (pp. 94) in an effort at improving society as a whole. Wormuth further sets out four policy recommendations, in trying to improve society and government, so the U.S. would be “ready to respond the next time the unthinkable happens” (pp. 105).

 

Conflict Resolution within the community:

            Conflict and dispute are a natural part of life, as people deal with one another in families, school, business associations, church connections, sports functions, in the work place, and in many other aspects of life in society. Conflict arises as parties are interdependent on one another. This paper will describe conflict and dispute, and then discuss and examine the methods and benefits of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADRs) in today’s society, with particularly examination of conflict in family relationships such as divorce, child custody and visitation, and family property and estate division. This paper will also focus particularly on the ADR of mediation and will further discuss the reasons why ADRs are not utilized as much as they could be.

 

            Santeramo states that “anger in divorce cases destroys families” (Santeramo, 2004, p. 321). Divorce is often the result of financial disparity, infidelity, and/or a loss of trust between the parties. He further indicates that the judicial system heightens the problems in families, because when the divorce case goes to court, the parties are forced to view one another as adversaries. In a divorce situation, emotions are so high between the parties that it is difficult to reach any type of settlement agreement, and then a Judge has to make the decisions as to which party will get what assets, and how child custody and visitation will be arranged. This causes a lot of stress and angst between the parties, including the children, and may truly not be in the children(s) best interests, as a Judge simply cannot know the ins and outs of a complicated relationship and only has a limited amount of evidence and testimony with which to make a decision which will affect many lives. ADRs may be able to help in many divorce cases, if individuals are made aware of the existence of alternate dispute resolution and are able to find avenues in their communities with which to obtain relief from the conflict.

 

            Domenici and Littlejohn further state that the benefits of mediation are convenience, durable results, efficient, effective, preventive, preserves relationships or redefines them in a healthy way, and mediation as being private and confidential. They describe that family mediation can deal with divorce, “concerns over property, custody, finances, etc., while attempting to build a relationship that will continue as the couple raises the children” (p. 39).

 

            Mediation should not be focused on solving the problem, but instead should be seen as a means by which the parties can make good decisions about the situation they face together, and reach an outcome that will be a long-lasting, workable solution. The U.S. is in need of trained people who can make a difference, who can help make a social change. It is common knowledge that every year in the U.S. the number of civil lawsuits being filed in the courts is increasing to the point that our courts are overflowing. Since it is adults who are filing the lawsuits, it seems to makes sense that if there were more conflict management and mediation training classes in communities, educating adults on the benefits of conflict management through mediation.

 

            In Topor’s Mediation as an alternative to Conflict Settlement (2012), they point out the benefits of mediation include “economy of stress, time and money” (p. 395). I have made a comparison table of the benefits Topor listed, (2012, p. 395) comparing the court system agenda vs. the mediation agenda:

 

Court System Agenda                                             Mediation Agenda

Deadlines are imposed                               Date/time of mediation session is set by parties

Disregard the parties’ schedule                Mediation may be re-scheduled by parties

Court held in a court room                         Parties decide where mediation will be held

Court open to the public                             Mediation is confidential, presence of others has to be approved by the parties

Formalism prevails in court                                    Focus is on the will and interests of parties

Solution is imposed by Judge/Jury                      The parties decide if an amicable solution is reached

 

            This table shows the rigidity and cost of a dispute being settled through the court system, versus the flexibility and much less cost of a dispute being settled in a mediation setting. Besides the benefits of flexibility and less cost, the benefit of mediation being in a private setting versus being in a public setting presents far less stress on all of the parties involved.

 

            Most often, parties enter into a lawsuit without thought to the damage it will cause (financially, emotionally, self-esteem-wise, relationship-wise, physically, their reputation, etc.) to themselves, their immediate family, and to future generations. In the aforementioned example, Fohlberg concludes that “each of the brothers was able to pursue his own aspirations and the needs he felt most important for his family, the attorneys had the benefit of satisfied clients and the prospect of continuing work for the next generation…it was perceived by all as a good set of outcomes” (p. 2).

           

            CONCLUSION of Conflict Resolution within the community:

            Through good communication techniques and educating people on what ADRs are, including mediation, seeking commonalities between the parties, thinking positively and encouraging collaboration between the parties, mediators and facilitators can help parties reach transformative moments wherein long-term relationship connections can be made. If our society can learn to understand conflict and what makes conflict happen, learn to listen to others, and build effective community mediation programs, we will likely see an ease in our court systems and happier citizens in our communities.

 

Community Giving Circles and Inclusion of community members:

Communities are generally made up of diverse people with diverse perspectives about life. A community could be depicted as a family, or a religious group, or a city/town, or a state, a country, or many other groups of people. Inclusion could specifically address a feeling of belonging in persons with disabilities, the elderly, persons with mental illness, persons who are illiterate, or any other variety of specifications. For the purpose of this paper, community will be considered as a city/town and its surrounding areas, and inclusion will generally be more explanatory of a sense of belonging in a shared society and shared community.

 

It seems that inclusion, or a sense of belonging, many times is referenced when talking about students in schools, and is also relative to a person’s identity. In Building Identities: Living in the Hybrid Society, Nilufer Pembecioglu (2012) states, “Identity may be defined as the distinctive characteristic belonging to any given individual, or shared by all members of a particular social category or group” (Pembecioglu, 2012, p.46). This article talks about how a person’s identity is built and established, and is an ever-changing phenomenon, and is very much influenced by today’s media and today’s social influences.

 

Inclusion is necessary: Sue Roffey, an Australian author, in Inclusive and exclusive belonging- the impact on individual and community well-being states that Klem & Connell (2004) indicate “Research has also demonstrated a strong relationship between school connectedness and educational outcomes, including school attendance, staying in school longer; and higher grades and classroom test scores (Roffey, 2013, p.43).   When a person is positively connected with others (students with other students in schools and with teachers), self-validation, emotional support, achievement of goals, and resilience can be part of a person’s identity.

 

Inclusion appears to be not only important, but actually crucial for the overall health of the community and contentment of the people who reside therein. An ethical public manager can be effective in creating a community of participation and inclusion by enabling participants to become active in working together to address problems. This is essential to a community because as participants become more active and involved, there is a feeling of inclusion, problems are solved, which in turn can create a feeling of safety, satisfaction, and fulfillment in a majority of the community residents.

 

Analysis of the community problems: Dr. Jeffrey Callen stated “When we have our facts straight, it prompts morality and ethics” (Callen, Jan. 17, 2013, ISU Ethics Lecture). The Community Toolbox, contributed by Bill Berkowitz and edited by Phil Rabinowitz, outlines that analyzing community problems “is a way of thinking carefully about a problem or issue before acting on a solution. It first involves identifying reasons a problem exists and then…identifying possible solutions and a plan for improvement” (http://ctb.ku.edu).   Community problems are generally complex and require a lot of analysis, thought process, hard work, and a coalition of public administration leaders and community members to come together to define the problems and then find solutions to the problems.

 

            Creating Communities of Participation: In Feldman and Khademian’s The Role of the Public Manager in Inclusion: Creating Communities of Participation, they indicate that public managers must combine information and perspectives from the political domain, the technical domain, and the local or experiential domain. Feldman and Khademian expand on this theory by stating “The days of command and control are vanishing as the adoption and the implementation of public programs come to require the support of politicians, experts, and people with local knowledge” (Feldman and Khademian, 2007, p.305). The responsibility for this inclusive management falls to the public manager/administrator, where members from these 3 domains can share information and work collaboratively on problems and solutions for the community.

 

Storytelling aligns with building communities: Cheryl Wright, et al, qualitatively researched storytelling in early childhood, with relation to classroom community building. In Storytelling Dramas as a Community Building Activity in an Early Childhood Classroom, Wright, et al, states “Storytelling dramas provided children with the opportunity to learn about their individual abilities, learn about peers in the classroom, appreciate differences and unique ideas of others, and broaden their awareness of belonging to the group of children…Children share in meaningful experiences and show appreciation for each other’s stories through the emotional elements of storytelling” (Wright, et al, 2013, p.205). Over a 6-month period of time in a preschool classroom, children participated who had very diverse developmental levels and diversity in other skills such as speech and language, attention, and social interaction. The teachers were trained in Vivian Paley’s storytelling method, collected the stories from the children, and then helped them dramatize the stories. Other children in the classroom were chosen to act out the dramatizations.   The children enthusiastically adopted their roles, which let the children conquer their fears, and increased opportunities for peer interaction and collaboration.

 

Wright, et al, further state that “The children learned to be accountable to one another and responsible for their actions during the drama activity they were “in charge of.” Valuing other’s ideas, contributing stories, and feeling that one’s own ideas were valued among peers develops a sense of belonging” (p.203).

 

            Community gardens are another way in which communities are coming together to fulfill needs of community members, physically and emotionally. Citizens can come together to take an active role in local food production, which can also “be about creating and supporting people’s efforts to establish a sense of connection and about grounding people in place and creating and supporting efforts to find a sense of purpose and belonging, not just to a community, but to land and to nature as a personal and, sometimes rather intimate response to bigger picture issues over which we as individuals might feel we have little control” (Turner, et al, 2011, p. 490). Bethaney Turner, Joanna Henryks, and David Pearson, in Community gardens: sustainability, health and inclusion in the city, they talk about how much is learned from residents who participate in the community garden. Participants often come from many different walks of life and have diverse ideas of garden structures. Participants come together with their ideas and make decisions as to what their garden will consist of and how it will be structured, which helps people learn to work together. Community gardens tackle a number of challenges in communities, serving to increase social capital between participants, develop friendships, bring a feeling of inclusion and purpose, as well as sustaining local food systems.

 

            In conclusion, community inclusion is grounded in equality, social justice, respect of beliefs and values, building of social capital, and taking advantage of learning from others. Sue Roffey quotes Narayan, et al, (2000), “Although cultures differ, there is strong evidence in multiple studies cited by Wilkinson and Pickett (2010) that societies which strive for greater equality and the ‘common good’ have better levels of mental health, less violence and criminality, and better social and health outcomes” (Roffey, 2013, p.38). The ethical public administrator can take advantage of ideas, programs, and community groups which have already been established, to use as a base for analysis and then ongoing implementation for creation of a feeling of connectedness in schools and communities, individual resilience, social capital, and a sense of belonging for community residents.

 

 

 

 

Resources: (not in order yet, rough draft of resources)

Burrell, Gibson, & Morgan, Gareth. (1979). Elements of the Sociology of Corporate Life. Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing.

Gotham, K.; Greenberg, M. (2008). From 9/11 to 8/20: Post-Disaster

Recovery and Rebuilding in New York and New Orleans.

Social Forces. Dec2008, Vol. 87 Issue 2, p1039-1062. 24p.

 

Shughart, II, William F. (2011). Disaster Relief as Bad Public Policy.

Independent Review. Spring2011, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p519-539. 21p.

 

Wormuth, C. (2008/2009). The Next Catastrophe: Ready or Not?

            Washington Quarterly. Winter2008/2009, Vol. 32 Issue 1, p93-106. 14p.

 

Abraham, Ann; (2009). Good Administration: Why We Need It More Than Ever. The Political Quarterly, Vol. 80, No. 1, January-March 2009.

 

Folberg, Jay; (2009). Mediating Family Property and Estate Conflicts: Keeping the Peace and Preserving Family Wealth. JAMS Dispute Resolution ALERT, Vol., 9, No. 2, 2009.

 

Presst, Sharon; (2013). Lawyers and Mediation: Lessons from Mediator Stories. Cardozo Law Review 34.6 (2013): 2433-2442. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

 

Santeramo, Jordan L.; (2004). Early Neutral Evaluation in Divorce Cases. Family Court Review, Vol. 42, No. 2, April 2004.

 

Taylor, Kim. “When BATNA Equals The Unthinkable: Business Mediations And Provocation.” Ohio State Journal On Dispute Resolution 28.3 (2013): 549-556. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.

 

Topor, Roxana; Dragomir, Cristina Boroiu; (2012). Mediation as an Alternative to Conflict Settlement. Contemporary Readings in Law & Social Justice. 2012, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p392-397. 6p.

 

 

Books:

Abigail, R. & Cahn, D., (2011). Managing Conflict through Communication. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Domenici, K. & Littlejohn, Stephen W., (2001). Mediation: Empowerment in Conflict Management, 2nd edition. Prospect Heights: Waveland Press, Inc.

 

 

Websites

 

Dictionary at:

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com

 

Divorce rates at:

http://www.divorcerate.org/

 

Carlson, J.; Robey, P.; (2011). An Integrative Adlerian Approach to Family Counseling. The

            Journal of Individual Psychology, Vol. 67, No. 3, Fall 2011.

 

Devine, M.; (2013). A Nationwide Look at Inclusion: Gains and Gaps. Journal of Park and

            Recreation Administrative, Summer 2012, Volume 30, Number 2, pp.1-16.

 

Feldman, M.; Khademian, A.; (2007). The Role of the Public Manager in Inclusion:

            Creating Communities of Participation. Governance: An International Journal of

            Policy, Administration, and Institutions, Vol. 20, No. 2, April 2007, pp. 305-324.

 

Fredrickson, G.; (2010). Searching for Virtue in the Public Life. Public Integrity. Summer

            2010, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 239-246.

 

Howe, L.; (2006). Enchantment, Weak Ontologies, and Administrative Ethics.

            Administration & Society, Vol. 38, No. 4, September 2006, pp. 422-446.

 

Kaplan, K.; Salzer, M.; Brusilovskiy, E.; (2012). Community Participation as a Predictor of

            Recovery-Oriented Outcomes Among Emerging and Mature Adults with Mental

            Illnesses. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. 2012, Volume 35, No. 3, pp. 219-229.

 

Leuenberger, D.; Wakin, M.; (2007). Sustainable Development in Public Administration

Planning: An Exploration of Social Justice, Equity, and Citizen Inclusion. Administrative Theory & Praxis, Vol. 29, No. 3, 2007: pp. 394-411.

           

Maidment, J.; Macfarlane, S.; (2011). Crafting Communities: Promoting Inclusion,

            Empowerment, and Learning between Older Women. Australian Social Work. Vol. 64,

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Public Administration – Healthy Communities (Literature Review)

Literature Review: 

Public Administrators can assist in creation of healthier Communities through Citizen participation in Emergency Management, Conflict Resolution, and Community Giving Circles

 

Creswell indicates that triangulation can be a focus of concurrent, sequential, and imbedded methods.  In my research of Emergency Management, many articles have pointed to the government response to Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 as unprepared, disorganized, inept, and of gross policy failure.  I was, therefore, questioning who was in charge of handling disasters of this scale and where the responsibility really did fall.  Todd D. Jick, in Mixing Qualitative and Quantative Methods: Triangulation in Action (1979), indicates that there is no single method of research which is sufficient.  He states that a combination of methods is what “may also contribute to greater confidence in the generalizability of results” (p.604).

 

In C.W. Johnson’s Lessons from the evacuation of the world trade centre, 9/11 2001 for the development of computer-based simulations, (Dec.2005), this article uses another type of triangulation method, described by Denzin (1978:302) as the “between (or across) methods” type.  This is used for cross validation when varying methods are used and yet yield data similar to one another.  The focus of this qualitative article is on lessons learned from evacuation of the world trade centre and is aimed at “the first is to provide an overview of the state of the art in evacuation simulations” (p.235) and the second “extends the use of official investigations to review the insights for evacuation simulations” (p. 236).  They study quantitative reports from the 9/11 commission and also review legislation from Europe and the UK, regarding evacuation of citizens from large public facilities.  In using this method of triangulation, they can study different techniques in reaching a similar conclusion and thereby provide a more certain portrayal of the same phenomenon.  Todd Jick said “Qualitative data and analysis function as the glue that cements the interpretation of multi-method results.  In one respect, qualitative data are used as the critical counterpoint to quantitative methods” (p.609). 

 

In Analysis of Media Agenda Setting During and After Hurricane Katrina: Implications for Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Response, and Disaster Policy, I determined that a non-directional hypotheses was used.  Creswell describes a non-directional hypotheses as “a pre-diction is made, but the exact form of differences (e.g., higher, lower, more, less) is not specified because the researcher does not know what can be predicted from past literature” (Creswell, 2009, p.135).  In this study, quantitative research was done from 4 major newspapers articles, in looking for thematic changes and trends to analyze media agenda setting, by using coding categories.  They used coding categories as well as subjective focus, and then looked at the data from the health perspective, disaster response, and responsibility focus.  It did not appear that any quantitative methods were avoided, but there was an underlying feeling to me that they were focused on proving their hypotheses that agenda setting, with modern technology, plays a large part in a major disaster.

 

In How Do Groups React to Unexpected Threats? Crisis Management in Organizational Teams, I think they used a null hypothesis, which is described by Creswell as “a prediction that in the general population, no relationship or no significant difference exists between groups on a variable…There is no difference (or relationship) between the groups” (p.134).  For the quantitative research, they used a survey questionnaire which explored the nature of the crises, after which the participants reported activities which helped or hindered crisis management, with an open-ended questionnaire.  Again the research team did not seem to avoid quantitative methods, there did not appear to be a bias as to what information would be forthcoming.

 

In Communication, perception and behavior during a natural disaster involving a ‘Do Not Drink’ and a subsequent ‘Boil Water’ notice: a postal questionnaire study, the researchers used a directional hypotheses, which is described by Creswell as “a prediction about the expected outcome, basing this prediction on prior literature and studies on the topic that suggest a potential outcome” (p.134).  The writers made a series of predictions based on their study of participants’ perceptions and behaviors.  Their quantitative analysis was done by a postal questionnaire of 1,000 households who were affected by Hurricane Katrina, with questions aimed at before, during, and after the Hurricane.  They also used coding and open-ended questions which were quantified.

 

The article A multi-agent based framework for the simulation of human and social behaviors during Emergency Evacuations,  Pan Xioshan P., Charles Han, Ken Dauber, and Kincho Law set out to simulate overcrowding and evacuation incidents, realizing that the understanding of human and social behaviors in an emergency situation is vital for public safety.  In this research, a multi-agent simulation framework is methodology which is built in an “artificial environment populated with autonomous agents, which are capable of interacting with each other” (p.114).  This research is based on the complex phenomena of crowd behaviors and are observed on the levels of individual, interactions among individuals, and group interactions.  By building these simulations and exploring variating geometric configurations of a building or city, the researchers can modify congested areas to provide efficient exiting areas and routes, which is extremely helpful in a panic situation, such as a disaster.

 

One way public administrators can obtain public buy-in is by determining ontologies of themselves and others, and then directly relating to those ontologies if possible.  In Louis E. Howe’s Enchantment, Weak Ontologies, and Administrative Ethics, Howe indicates that Stephen White (2000) said, “Ontological commitments…[are] entangled with questions of identity and history, with how we articulate the meaning of our lives, both individually and collectively” (Howe, 2006, p.423).  Weak ontology lends a certain ethical patience/tolerance and respect toward others’ ontology and ethical aspirations, so a person can begin to understand another person’s onto-stories or background, and can then relate to that person on an ethical level. 

 

In Feldman and Khademian’s The Role of the Public Manager in Inclusion: Creating Communities of Participation, they indicate that public managers must combine information and perspectives from the political domain, the technical domain, and the local or experiential domain.  Feldman and Khademian expand on this theory by stating “The days of command and control are vanishing as the adoption and the implementation of public programs come to require the support of politicians, experts, and people with local knowledge” (Feldman and Khademian, 2007, p.305).  The responsibility for this inclusive management falls to the public manager/administrator, where members from these 3 domains can share information and work collaboratively on problems and solutions for the community.

 

The mental health system has also recognized the need for inclusion and community participation by adults with mental illnesses.  Katy Kaplan, Mark S. Salzer, and Eugene Brusilovskiy in Community Participation as a predictor of recovery-oriented outcomes among emerging and mature adults with Mental Illnesses, state that “community participation of individuals with psychiatric disabilities is quickly becoming a priority of mental health service systems” (Kaplan, et al, 2012, p.219).  This study was performed from traditional mental health services of 233 emerging adults (period of late teens through late twenties) and 1,594 mature adults.  “The ten areas of participation examined were:  parenting, employment, volunteering, college student, group membership, civic engagement, peer support, friendships, intimate relationships, and engagement in religious/spiritual activities” (p.219).  The study indicated that significant differences were found on the community participation indicators wherein mature adults reported greater participation and emerging adults were more likely to spend time with friends.  The study also indicated that “Being a volunteer, or a student, was positively associated with recovery and meaning of life scores, while being a member of a group or in an intimate relationship predicated recovery and quality of life” (p.228).  The study concludes that community participation facilitates recovery, quality of life, and meaning of life and that the policies which are currently intended to “promote community participation of individuals with disabilities are well grounded and have promise for facilitating recovery” (p.228). 

 

Working with families who have an array of multi-faceted difficulties, can be in many ways similar to a public administrator working in a community facing problems and difficulties.  H. George Frederickson, in Searching for Virtue in the Public Life, indicates that one must understand public life and the development of organizational rules and procedures.  Frederickson talks about over the past 40 years, alternative forms of schools have been experimented with, to include charter schools, vouchers, and test-based performance measure of school quality, “to essentially reduce the obvious governmentalness, if not the publicness, of school districts” (Frederickson, 2010, p. 240).  This has happened in response to citizens’ lack of trust in government and government-regulated programs.  Frederickson gives a list of public administration ethics for the government reform era, the canon:

  • Prohibitions against conflicts of interest
  • Merit-based appointment and promotion as an alternative to political spoils
  • Public office as a public trust
  • Formal adoption of ethics rules
  • Objective and transparent procurement and contracting procedures
  • Standardized internal accounting and auditing protocols and annual external auditing
  • Institutional and professional codes of ethics
  • Clear lines between day-to-day professional administration and political office holding, and particularly electoral or campaign politics
  • Prohibitions against nepotism
  • Prohibitions against bribery
  • Fair and equal treatment of citizens
  • Ethics training
  • NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation requirement that MPA degrees include ethics education
  • Prohibition against the use of public property or time for personal or political purposes
  • Encouragement of and support for whistleblowers. (p. 242).

 

This canon list encourages government ethics at all levels and Frederickson concludes that these virtues should be “matters of ethics and morality in the collective sense rather than as matters of individual moral choice…the government sector should include all institutions and organizations that are public and have public obligations; employ the full canon of ethics protocols as you build ethics into the modern public sector” (p. 246).


Sources:

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design, qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. (3 ed.). London, England: Sage Publications, Inc.

 

Feldman, M.; Khademian, A.; (2007).  The Role of the Public Manager in Inclusion:

            Creating Communities of Participation.  Governance: An International Journal of

            Policy, Administration, and Institutions, Vol. 20, No. 2, April 2007, pp. 305-324.

 

Fredrickson, G.; (2010).  Searching for Virtue in the Public Life.  Public Integrity.  Summer

            2010, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 239-246.

 

Howe, L.; (2006).  Enchantment, Weak Ontologies, and Administrative Ethics. 

            Administration & Society, Vol. 38, No. 4, September 2006, pp. 422-446.

 

Jick, T. (Dec1979). Mixing Qualitative and Quantitative Methods: Triangulation in action.

            Administrative Science Quarterly. Vol. 24, No. 4, Qualitative Methodology, pp.602-611.

 

Kaplan, K.; Salzer, M.; Brusilovskiy, E.; (2012).  Community Participation as a Predictor of

            Recovery-Oriented Outcomes Among Emerging and Mature Adults with Mental

            Illnesses.  Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal.  2012, Volume 35, No. 3, pp. 219-229.

 

Xioshan P.; Han, C.; Dauber K.; Law, K. (Nov 2007) A multi-agent based framework for the simulation of human and social behaviors during emergency evacuations.  AI & Society. Nov2007, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p113-132. 20p. 3 Illustrations, 5 Diagrams. DOI: 10.1007/s00146-007-0126-1.

 

 

Care of the self (soul) and active listening

In public administration, managers often think they need to have a true and correct grasp on what the truth about their organization is, to manage more effectively.  However, this is somewhat daunting, especially if public administrators have not effectively developed listening skills.  We can see and hear others, but listening is a different matter.  Catlaw, et al, (2014) in The Courage to Listen: Government, Truth-Telling, and Care of the Self, quote Foucault, stating that “Truth-as-knowledge basically morphs into techne, or the way by which the subject accesses truth-as-knowledge”. 

 

Catlaw, et al, begin by stating that contemporary governance is based around discourse, dialogue, and storytelling, but that these practices involve speaking, as well as listening to what is being said.  They also indicate that equally important is “how the listener attends to another’s speech”.  They draw from Michel Foucault’s final 3 lectures, and analyses of ancient Greek practice of care of the self.  First, a person needs to learn how to take stock of themselves, listen to themselves, thereby ascertaining whether they know how to listen, and then learn and practice the art of truly listening to someone else.  Catlaw, et al, state that “The purpose of self-care is to generate a certain kind of truth about ourselves that enables us to govern ourselves.  It is by becoming subject to this particular form of self-truth that we enable ourselves to competently care for and govern others”. 

 

This is important because in the public administration realm, citizens often feel neglected and feel that their voice is not heard.  Public administration used to involve primarily the process of policy implementation, not necessarily the active listening portion of good management.  If the public administrator has not listened to the public, the public does not develop any trust in the public administrator, and a breakdown in the system is eminent.

 

Catlaw, et al, quote Camilla Stivers (1994) “listening [is] embodied ability, a way of knowing, moral capacity, and potential administrative practice…[that] can help us shape a revivified responsiveness, one that avoids passivity and partisanship alike”.  They further state that Stivers says speaking the truth is speaking to immediate others, but also to the world and of re-lighting the public sphere by an antidote, in the form of speaking the truth.

 

What does it mean to care for the self?  What is the self?  Catlaw, et al, talk about Foucault’s assessment of the Platonic mode, which sees the self as the soul.  They further state that “the soul is oriented towards something quite specific in which it participates, namely the eternal and divine”.  They further quote Foucault: “When the soul is in contact with the divine, it enters into a relationship with truth in the form of wisdom and, with this, becomes capable of caring for itself and others”. 

 

Catlaw, et al, further talk about how listening is a key practice, in the following ways:

1.  Attentive body language.

2.  Silencing and restraining our mental chatter.

3.  Check our internal selves to see what we have heard and learned, about ourselves and the other.

 

We live in the world and the world is made of people.  Individuals have a responsibility to listen to themselves and to those with whom they associate.  Public administration requires more responsibility, the responsibility to oneself and those around them, and a responsibility to the public in which an administrator serves.  Public administrators can become adept at administration if they can take care of their inner self (soul) first, and then become good listeners, so they can have the ability and the know-how to take care of others.  Lacking either of these two skills, an administrator cannot do the best job possible for the public, and for themselves.

Knowledge by Storytelling

Since knowledge is a way we order the world to make sense, the language we use and the stories we tell are the way we put into words the knowledge we have, or how the world makes sense to us.

 

Mark Bevir, (2011), in Public Administration as Storytelling, begins to relate public administration as storytelling, by discussing meaning holism.  Bevir gives four stages of meaning holism as:

 

1.         Meaning holism undermines naive empiricism; it leads instead to an anthropological epistemology based on comparing rival accounts.

2.         Meaning holism undermines reified ontologies; it leads instead to constructivism.

3.         Meaning holism undermines formal explanations; it leads instead to historicism.

4.         Meaning holism thus provides a defence of public administration as storytelling.

 

Bevir concludes that he draws on meaning holism to defend constrictivism and historicism, which means that policies do not singularly arise from strategies.  Actors would change their beliefs by drawing on historical traditions in response to a problem and this was a limited view, and not always in the best interest of the masses. 

 

In the study of governance, or the study of public administration within governance, Bevir talks about the public sector reforms and how these reforms “created a differentiated polity characterized by a hollowed-out state, a core executive fumbling to pull rubber levers of control, and most notably, a massive growth of networks.”  He goes on to talk about the changing nature of the state and how these reforms created new networks, which incorporated private and voluntary sectors. 

 

This combination of new networks from the private and voluntary sectors brings about metagovernance, which can be described as combining and managing different governance ideas and styles, into a governance that secures more diplomacy.  This knowledge is a type of empiricism, which Bevir defines as “the belief that knowledge comes from experience.”  Public administration, to be administered in way that is beneficial to the greatest number possible, comes about as people share their ontologies and knowledge through storytelling, so these things make as much sense as possible to others. 

 

Catlaw, et al, (2011), in Narrative Forms and Political Actions, An Essay on Mark Bevir’s Democratic Governance, seem to disagree with Bevir’s singular reference to use of narratives, and indicate that Hayden White  identifies four types of plots that historians assign to narratives they write.  They reference the four narratives as: romantic stories (hero defeats enemy, brings social change), tragic narrative (hero destined to fail, learns life lessons, inspires hope in reader), satiric (hero fails, no hope), and comedies (hero not in control, events shaped by underlying principles).  They classify Bevir’s narrative as comedy, as the figurative language.  They do seem to agree with Bevir, however, in his call for “regular reconciliations between policy makers, local administrators, and citizens to identify principles of governance”.  This would go back to public administration being best understood and knowledge shared, through storytelling.

 

Ralph P. Hummel, (1991), in Stories Managers Tell: Why They Are as Valid as Science, concludes his study of knowledge and public administration, that “People in management everywhere – including public management – could do worse than hone their skills in story-telling and in story-validating”.  Hummel indicates that managers determine what is going on in their world by intuition, judgment, and flying by the seat of your pants.  This is because what is relevant in a manager’s world, is what is relevant in his employee’s world, and the means by which those employees communicate the level of progress of the organization, to the manager.  Hummel deems that the world in which managers operate, is quite different from the world in which analytic science can apply. 

 

Therefore, knowledge, in order to be shared, must be put into a narrative form.  The many types of narrative form are a debate in itself.  However, the narrative form is necessary for knowledge to be shared in action, academia, and in the world.  Knowledge is the way each individual orders his/her own world, for the world to make sense, and storytelling, in whatever narrative form, is necessary for people to communicate with other people, and for public administrators to communicate with employees, superiors, and with the public.

Prospectus – Healthier Communities

Julie Nebeker

Capstone

Prospectus

February 24, 2014

 

 

 

Title:  

Public Administrators can assist in creation of healthier Communities through Citizen participation in Emergency Management, Conflict Resolution, and Community Giving Circles

 

Thematic Statement:  

Research and knowledge are the keys to understanding citizens in a community and society as a whole.  This paper addresses gathered information which will assist in development of an awareness of society.  Public administrators are well served who develop that understanding and awareness of society, so they can begin to cultivate active citizen involvement in a community.

 

Significance of the Study:

Public participation has been on the decline in recent years.  Many papers depict citizens as lacking in knowledge and skills for citizen participation.  This paper draws on input from many articles and authors who have different ideas of public administration, community, social skills, and then compiles those ideas into a concise composition which will inform public administrators about the problems associated with public participation, and ways in which those difficulties can be handled. 

 

Literature Review:

Bolman, L.; Deal, T.; (2008).  Reframing Organizations.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

In Reframing Organizations, Bolman and Deal set out their four-frame theory, which in essence is a lens by which organizations and leadership can be studied.  Because organizations are complex ecosystems in themselves, a manager is more successful if he/she can be flexible by managing within all four frames, according to the organization needs.  If a manager can use the four frames as a scope within which to determine an organization’s framework, he/she can transform an organization by re-framing where necessary and promoting leadership abilities as much as possible.

 

Hall, T.; (2002).  Live Bureaucrats and Dead Public Servants:  How People in Government are

            Discussed on the Floor of the House.  Public Administration Review; March/April 2002,

            Vol. 62, No. 2.

-In Thad Hall’s Live Bureaucrats and Dead Public Servants: How people in government are discussed on the floor of the House, Hall says that many scholars “argue that securing political and policy goals requires the effective manipulation of political symbols” (Hall, 2002, p.242).  This manipulation of political symbols can be understood as the power to make things change.  Power is a very important tool of a leader in any organization.

 

 

Schmidt, M; (1993).  Grout: Alternative Kinds of Knowledge and Why They are Ignored

Public Administration Review; November/December 1993, Vol. 53, No. 6.

-A manager tries to implement an organizational structure that will be appropriate for the organization to function within.  It is important to know the structural frame of an organization in order for a manager to create strategic direction for the team, transmit facts and information, resolve conflict, and keep the organization headed in the right direction.  In Mary Schmidt’s article Grout: Alternative kinds of knowledge and why they are ignored (1993), she indicates that bureaucratic organizations produce general policies, which are sent down to lesser officials, then subdivided and transformed into standard operating procedures in which lowly workers are trained and then held accountable to perform these tasks by rote.  Schmidt says “Communication flows down but little flows up…bureaucracies thus rationally structure and suppress information, and disaggregate knowledge of the whole” (Schmidt, 1993, p.528).  The model she gives, of the Teton dam flood, is a good example that if policy and information/knowledge is only flowing in one direction (down), an organizational disaster is bound to happen. 

 

Burrell & Morgan Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis.  Retrieved from:

http://www.experiment-resources.com/what-is-a-paradigm.html#ixzz26O4gizCZ and http://faculty.babson.edu/krollag/org_site/org_theory/Scott_articles/burrell_morgan.html

-Burrell & Morgan set out four sociological paradigms, which “offer alternative views of social reality, …to understand the nature of all four is to understand four different views of society.  They offer different ways of seeing.” (Pg. 25)  These four paradigms are:  The Functionalist Paradigm (objective-regulation), The Interpretive Paradigm (subjective-regulation), The Radical Humanist Paradigm (subjective-radical change), and The Radical Structuralist Paradigm (objective-radical change).

 

FEMA- Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Retrieved from:

http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/9610

http://www.fema.gov/plan-prepare-mitigate

-In 1979, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) was created as an independent Federal government agency, which reports directly to the U.S. President.  Its mission is “…to reduce loss of life and property and protect our nation’s critical infrastructure from all types of hazards through a comprehensive, risk-based, emergency management program of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery”  (FEMA, 09/09/97).  FEMA’s slogan is Plan, Prepare, and Mitigate.  FEMA works to prevent disasters as much as possible, through mitigation and preparedness, but most of what we hear about FEMA is after a calamity has struck the United States.

 

Wright, C.; Diener, M.; Kemp, J.; (2013).  Storytelling Dramas as a Community Building

            Activity in an Early Childhood Classroom.  Early Childhood Education Journal.

            May2013, Vol. 41 Issue 3, p197-210. 14p. DOI: 10.1007/s10643-012-0544-7.

-Cheryl Wright, et al, qualitatively researched storytelling in early childhood, with relation to

classroom community building.  In Storytelling Dramas as a Community Building Activity in an

Early Childhood Classroom, Wright, et al, states “Storytelling dramas provided children

with the opportunity to learn about their individual abilities, learn about peers in the classroom,

appreciate differences and unique ideas of others, and broaden their awareness of belonging to

the group of children…Children share in meaningful experiences and show appreciation for each

 other’s stories through the emotional elements of storytelling” (Wright, et al, 2013, p.205). 

 

Wright, et al, found that four major themes came from the storytelling data,

which align with community building, including:

1.  Individual roles.

2.  Group membership.

3.  Inclusion.

4.  Relationship building. (Wright, et al, 2013, p. 200).

 

Wright, et al, further state that “The children learned to be accountable to one another and responsible for their actions during the drama activity they were “in charge of.”  Valuing other’s ideas, contributing stories, and feeling that one’s own ideas were valued among peers develops a sense of belonging” (p.203).

 

Adams, Guy B. (1992).  Enthralled with Modernity: The Historical Contest of Knowledge and Theory Development in Public Administration.  Public Administration Review, Vol. 52, No. 4, pp. 363-370.

-Guy B. Adams, (1992), in his article Enthralled with Modernity: The Historical Context of Knowledge and Theory Development in Public Administration, indicates “The most important aspect of the historical context is the culture at large within which American public administration is practiced, researched, and taught” (pp. 363).  Adams gives a well thought out summary of public administration progression from the early years to modern-day research and implementation.  He concludes that greater attention to our history, the founding period, and the progressive emphasis, is called for. 

 

Preliminary Outline:

Introduction

            -What are the possibilities for public administration to help communities be more inclusive?

            -Defining communities and how important inclusion is with regard to a sense of belonging in a shared society and shared community. 

            -Democracy in a community.

 

Body

            -Frame of an organization

            -Political symbols

            -Manipulation of political symbols, make things change

            -Structural frame of organization

            -Sociological paradigms and four paradigms

            -Federal emergency management

            -Storytelling as community building

 

Conclusion

Public Administrators can assist in creation of healthier Communities through Citizen participation in Emergency Management, Conflict Resolution, and Community Giving Circles.

 


Sources:

Adams, Guy B. (1992).  Enthralled with Modernity: The Historical Contest of Knowledge and Theory Development in Public Administration.  Public Administration Review, Vol. 52, No. 4, pp. 363-370.

 

Bolman, L.; Deal, T.; (2008).  Reframing Organizations.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

 

Burrell & Morgan Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis.  Retrieved from:

http://www.experiment-resources.com/what-is-a-paradigm.html#ixzz26O4gizCZ http://faculty.babson.edu/krollag/org_site/org_theory/Scott_articles/burrell_morgan.html

 

FEMA- Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Retrieved from:

http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/9610

http://www.fema.gov/plan-prepare-mitigate

 

Hall, T.; (2002).  Live Bureaucrats and Dead Public Servants:  How People in Government are

            Discussed on the Floor of the House.  Public Administration Review; March/April 2002,

            Vol. 62, No. 2.

 

Pembecioglu, N.; (2012).  Building Identities:  Living in the Hybrid Society.  Scientific Journal

            of Humanistic Studies.  Oct2012.  Vol. 4 Issue 7, pp. 46-59.

 

Schmidt, M; (1993).  Grout: Alternative Kinds of Knowledge and Why They are Ignored

Public Administration Review; November/December 1993, Vol. 53, No. 6.

 

Wright, C.; Diener, M.; Kemp, J.; (2013).  Storytelling Dramas as a Community Building

Activity in an Early Childhood Classroom.  Early Childhood Education Journal.

            May2013, Vol. 41 Issue 3, p197-210. 14p. DOI: 10.1007/s10643-012-0544-7.

 

 

Knowledge, ontology, is the way in which we order the world to make sense to us-

Knowledge is a way we order the world to make sense.  

Describe how that knowledge is related to power. What does this mean democratic governance? 

 

Because knowledge is the way we individually order the world, for it to make sense to us, is directly related to our concept of ontology, or determination of our conception of reality.  Everyone’s ontology is different and their idea of human identity is different.  Therefore, as Margaret Stout, points out “what is deemed proper or legitimate representation is a widely debated question in a democratic society”. 

 

Stout also talks about all rational people agreeing on the basics (of public administration), and if they do not agree, surely they could focus on theoretical questions of philosophy, religion, or physics in order to discern the basis for theory and practice of public administration.  But these studies do not seem to render results which get to the bottom of philosophical commitments in political practices.  Stout quotes the Founders’ Forum panel session at the 2010 American Society for Public Administration conference discussion of “alternative understandings of ontology and human identity that are linked to practices of direct democracy, noting that it actually  helped them make sense of why things such as collaboration, public participation, and international development are successful (or not)”.   Public administrators use their individual ontology within which to frame life, according to what is good (according to them), for themselves, their world, and others, and often base their political theory from their ontology.

 

Robert B. Denhardt, cites Jurgen Habermas’ study of public organizations with examination of “(1) the critique of instrumental reason, (2) the scientization of political life and the reduction of the public sphere, and (3) the relationship between knowledge and human interests”.  Denhardt talks about the Frankfurt School trying to expose roots of social domination, but that they were immediately challenged by the definition of reason, or social rationality.  Denhardt continues that Habermas states that an alternative scenario may be developed, by altering conditions of domination, “offering a different relationship between man and nature”. 

 

Therefore, public service personnel must be held to a higher standard by alteration of conditions of domination (by gaining more education), so that public administrators may serve in a manner which better serves the public needs.  In order for this to happen, those in public service should make all attempts to gain knowledge about the ontology of the clients, those the administrator will be serving.  If a balance in a democratic government, can be reached, a good public administrator must first be aware of his/her ontological influence on his/her decisions, must be aware of the needs and best interest of all of the parties, bureaucrats and citizens, and use that knowledge for the good of the public as a whole.

In contemporary admin of democratic government, what is connection between knowledge and action (theory and practice)?

In the contemporary administration of democratic government, what is the connection between knowledge and action (theory and practice)?

 

How is the connection contingent (i.e. how does race, creed, class, gender, sex, history, economics, etc., privilege this relationship between knowledge and action)?

 

 

In the contemporary administration of democratic government, the connection between knowledge and action is that in order to be an effective administrator today, obtaining a broad base of knowledge is necessary and then exercise and use of that knowledge is the key for effective administration. 

 

In the early years of our U.S. government, the base of knowledge available for administration of a democratic government was scarce.  As researchers and public administration scientists study and discover new information and concepts, qualitatively and quantitatively, data and facts are gathered and accumulated to formulate new ideas and theories, which can then be taught to students.

 

Robert Cunningham and Louis Weschler define theory as “an intellectual construct that enables someone to make sense of a situation or a problem”.  They further break down theory into 2 categories, theories in use, and reconstructed theories.  Theories in use are how each individual frames the information they are going to explain or teach to others.  Reconstructed theories are an individual’s beliefs and understanding about the knowledge or information they have received.

 

Cunningham and Weschler explore the question of whether the theory that is offered in programs is useful to practitioners.  They indicate that teachers and scholars with doctoral degrees teach concepts and theories which are mostly relevant to staff practitioners, and operation of stable systems.  However, there seems to be a disconnect for line managers, those essential people who are directly responsible for achievement of the basic goals of an organization, which manage in unstable environments.  Cunningham and Weschler argue that the line managers “need theory and learning experiences to deal with unstable environments.  Reconstructed theory and organizational behavior and development, effective communication, negotiation, and interpersonal problem solving are relevant”.  They further discuss that the concepts and theories currently offered to MPA students are inadequate in preparing MPA students for the unsettled environment in which they will manage.

 

Cheryl Simrell King, indicates that there are various competing theories in public administration literature, and depending on which theory a person is exploring, they could interpret public issues and problems as so impossible that the only thing to do is to choose a public leader and trust them to serve in the public’s best interest.  Others see public management of policy making and service delivery as transactions only, when in the commonplace, public administrators are those who shape the relationship between citizens and administration.  King further suggests “that an associational public administration requires that we talk beyond the rational to embrace the nonrational to develop “heartfelt minds,” and, potentially a heartfelt public service”. 

 

King further states that “Arendt saw political theory as storytelling, an exercise in thought with the chief task of recovering past experiences to shape a story that can orient the mind in the future”.  She further talks about small children asking for adults to tell them a story, so they can “know and imagine their world”.  King quotes Witherell & Noddings “we live and invent our lives through our texts”. 

 

In conclusion, the connection between knowledge and action begins with a study on the discourse of theory and public administration.  Theories are re-framed and reconstructed by future administrators (students who study the stories in texts, so they can make sense of a situation or problem in the work place, and have some ideas on how to handle these situations.  These future administrators, along with study of the many theories of public administration, must keep in mind the varying race, creed, class, gender, sex, history, and economics of the citizens of communities, and how all of these theories will impact them, too.