PAR 75 Most Influential Articles


When we reflect on public administration since 1940, we see that many important contributions to the intellectual history of the field have appeared in the pages of PAR. The PAR Editorial Board and editorial team decided to spotlight this intellectual history by selecting the 75 most influential articles in the journal’s history.

The authors of the 75 articles represent an extraordinary group of scholars. They include recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, Herbert Simon and Elinor Ostrom. Presidents of four major professional associations—the American Political Science Association (APSA), American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), Academy of Management, and American Sociological Association—are among the authors. More than a dozen APSA and ASPA presidents are among the authors. Not surprisingly, the list also includes 17 recipients of the Dwight Waldo Award for career contributions to public administration.

The practitioner credentials of the authors are also exceptional. The authors include members of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Committee on Administrative Management (Luther Gulick), the Hoover Commission (Stephen K. Bailey), the Volcker Commission (Charles H. Levine), and the National Performance Review (Patricia Ingraham). More than three dozen of the authors are fellows of the National Academy of Public Administration. Their practical experience is also quite varied, ranging from founding executive secretary of the Public Administration Clearing House, to budget division chief for the Atomic Energy Commission, to executive assistant to the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.

Read more from Editor-in-Chief, Dr. James L. Perry, here.

In honor of our 75th Anniversary our Editorial Board reviewed the over 3000 articles PAR has published since its inception in 1940.  Choosing the top 2% of those articles was a tall order.  Accordingly, we broke the past seventy-five years into five year increments and evaluated articles published during that time based on the following criterion as indicators of influence: JSTOR Downloads, Wiley 2012 Downloads, PAR Awards, Average Per-Year Web of Science Citations, Total Web of Science Citations, Reprints, Google Scholar Citations, and SCOPUS Citations.

On the Articles page, we have links to all seventy-five chosen articles that are hosted both on JSTOR and Wiley-Blackwell. We hope you enjoy this look back on how we as a discipline have developed over the years, and at the people and ideas that have influenced the work we do today.


Herman Finer. 1941. Administrative Responsibility in Democratic Government. Public Administration Review 1(4): 335-350. Comments


Harold J. Laski. 1944. The Parliamentary and Presidential Systems. Public Administration Review 4(4): 347-359. Comments


Herbert A. Simon. 1946. The Proverbs of Administration. Public Administration Review 6(1): 53-67. Comments


Robert A. Dahl. 1947. The Science of Public Administration: Three Problems. Public Administration Review 7(1): 1-11. Comments


Norton E. Long. 1949. Power and Administration. Public Administration Review 9(4): 257-264. Comments


John M. Gaus. 1950. Trends in the Theory of Public Administration. Public Administration Review 10(3): 161-168. Comments

Charles S. Ascher. 1950. Trends of a Decade in Administrative Practices. Public Administration Review 10(4): 229-235. Comments


Verne B. Lewis. 1952. Toward a Theory of Budgeting. Public Administration Review 12(1): 42-54. Comments


Herbert A. Simon. 1953. Birth of an Organization: The Economic Cooperation Administration. Public Administration Review 13(4): 227-236. Comments


Wallace S. Sayre. 1954. The General Manager Idea for Large Cities. Public Administration Review 14(4): 253-258. Comments


Luther Gulick. 1955. Next Steps in Public Administration. Public Administration Review 15(2): 73-76. Comments


Wallace S. Sayre. 1958. Premises of Public Administration: Past and Emerging. Public Administration Review 18(2): 102-105. Comments


Charles E. Lindblom. 1959. The Science of “Muddling Through.” Public Administration Review 19(2): 79-88. Comments


Aaron Wildavsky. 1961. Political Implications of Budgetary Reform. Public Administration Review 21(4): 183-190. Comments


Robert T. Golembiewski. 1962. Organization as a Moral Problem. Public Administration Review 22(2): 51-58. Comments


Herman Goldstein. 1963. Police Discretion: The Ideal Versus the Real. Public Administration Review 23(3): 140-148. Comments


Stephen K. Bailey. 1964. Ethics and the Public Service. Public Administration Review 24(4): 234-243. Comments


Alan Altshuler. 1965. Rationality and Influence in Public Service. Public Administration Review 25(3): 226-233. Comments


Allen Schick. 1966. The Road to PPB: The Stages of Budget Reform. Public Administration Review 26(4): 243-258. Comments

Aaron Wildavsky. 1966. The Political Economy of Efficiency: Cost-Benefit Analysis, Systems Analysis, and Program Budgeting. Public Administration Review 26(4): 292-310. Comments


Yehezkel Dror. 1967. Policy Analysts: A New Professional Role in Government Service. Public Administration Review 27(3): 197-203. Comments

Amitai Etzioni. 1967. Mixed-Scanning: A “Third” Approach to Decision-Making. Public Administration Review 27(5): 385-392. Comments


Herbert Kaufman. 1969. Administrative Decentralization and Political Power. Public Administration Review 29(1): 3-15. Comments

Martin Landau. 1969. Redundancy, Rationality, and the Problem of Duplication and Overlap. Public Administration Revew 29(4): 346-358. Comments


Vincent Ostrom and Elinor Ostrom. 1971. Public Choice: A Different Approach to the Study of Public Administration. Public Administration Review 31(2): 203-216. Comments


Theodore J. Lowi. 1972. Four Systems of Policy, Politics, and Choice. Public Administration Review 32(4): 298.310. Comments


Gary L. Wamsley, and Mayer N. Zald. 1973. The Political Economy of Public Organizations. Public Administration Review 33(1): 62-73. Comments

Herbert A. Simon. 1973. Applying Information Technology to Organization Design. Public Administration Review 33(3): 268-278. Comments


Nicholas Henry. 1975. Paradigms of Public Administration. Public Administration Review 35(4): 378-386. Comments


Hal G. Rainey, Robert W. Backoff, and Charles H. Levine. 1976. Comparing Public and Private Organizations. Public Administration Review 36(2): 233-244. Comments

Barry D. Karl. 1976. Public Administration and American History: A Century of Professionalism. Public Administration Review 36(5): 489-503. Comments


D. Stephen Cupps. 1977. Emerging Problems of Citizen Participation. Public Administration Review 37(5): 478-487. Comments


Charles H. Levine. 1978. Organizational Decline and Cutback Management. Public Administration Review 38(4): 316-325. Comments

Aaron Wildavsky. 1978. A Budget for All Seasons? Why the Traditional Budget Lasts. Public Administration Review 38(6): 501-509. Comments


Carol H. Weiss. 1979. The Many Meanings of Research Utilization. Public Administration Review 39(5): 426-431. Comments

Charles E. Lindblom 1979. Still Muddling, Not Yet Through. Public Administration Review 39(6): 517-526. Comments


Karin Brown, and Philip B. Coulter. 1983. Subjective and Objective Measures of Police Service Delivery. Public Administration Review 43(1): 50-58. Comments

Jeffrey L. Brudney, and Robert E. England. 1983. Toward a Definition of the Coproduction Concept. Public Administration Review 43(1): 59-65. Comments

David H. Rosenbloom. 1983. Public Administration Theory and the Separation of Powers. Public Administration Review 43(3): 219-227. Comments

Jone L. Pearce, and James L. Perry. 1983. Federal Merit Pay: A Longitudinal Analysis. Public Administration Review 43(4): 315-325. Comments


Howard E. McCurdy, and Robert E. Cleary. 1984. Why Can’t We Resolve the Research Issue in Public Administration? Public Administration Review 43(1): 49-55. Comments

Laurence J. O’Toole Jr., and Robert S. Montjoy. 1984. Interorganizational Policy Implementation: A Theoretical Perspective. Public Administration Review 44(6): 491-503. Comments


Barbara S. Romzek, and Melvin J. Dubnick. 1987. Accountability in the Public Sector: Lessons from the Challenger Tragedy. Public Administration Review 47(3): 227-238. Comments


Joel D. Aberbach, and Bert A. Rockman. 1988. Mandates or Mandarins? Control and Discretion in the Modern Administrative State. Public Administration Review 48(2): 606-612. Comments

David R. Morgan, and Robert E. England. 1988. The Two Faces of Privatization. Public Administration Review 48(6): 979-987. Comments

John M. Bryson, and William D. Roering. 1988. Initiation of Strategic Planning by Governments. Public Administration Review 48(6): 995-1004. Comments


James L. Perry, and Lois Recascino Wise. 1990. The Motivational Bases of Public Service. Public Administration Review 50(3): 367-373. Comments


Ralph P. Hummel. 1991. Stories Managers Tell: Why They Are as Valid as Science. Public Administration Review 51(1): 31-41. Comments


Joseph S. Wholey, and Harry P. Hatry. 1992. The Case for Performance Monitoring. Public Administration Review 52(6): 604-610. Comments


Patricia W. Ingraham. 1993. Of Pigs in Pokes and Policy Diffusion: Another Look at Pay-for-Performance. Public Administration Review 53(4): 348-356. Comments


Ronald C. Moe. 1994. The ‘Reinventing Government’ Exercise: Misinterpreting the Problem, Misjudging the Consequences. Public Administration Review 54(2): 111-122. Comments


Robert D. Behn. 1995. The Big Questions of Public Management. Public Administration Review 55(4): 313-324. Comments


Laurence J. O’Toole Jr. 1997. Treating Networks Seriously: Practical and Research-Based Agendas in Public Administration. Public Administration Review 57(1): 45-52. Comments


Linda Kaboolian. 1998. The New Public Management: Challenging the Boundaries of the Management vs. Administration Debate. Public Administration Review 58(3): 189-193. Comments

Larry D. Terry. 1998. Administrative Leadership, Neo-Managerialism, and the Public Management Movement. Public Administration Review 58(3): 194-200. Comments

Cheryl Simrell King, Kathryn M. Feltey, and Bridget O’Neill Susel. 1998. The Question of Participation: Toward Authentic Public Participation in Public Administration. Public Administration Review 58(4): 317-326. Comments


Donald F. Kettl. 2000. The Transformation of Governance: Globalization, Devolution, and the Role of Government. Public Administration Review 60(6): 488-497. Comments

Robert B. Denhardt, and Janet Vinzant Denhardt. 2000. The New Public Service: Serving Rather than Steering. Public Administration Review 60(6): 549-559. Comments


Keith G. Provan, and H. Brinton Milward. 2001. Do Networks Really Work? A Framework for Evaluating Public-Sector Organizational Networks. Public Administration Review 61(4): 414-423. Comments

Patria de Lancer Julnes, and Marc Holzer. 2001. Promoting the Utilization of Performance Measures in Public Organizations: An Empirical Study of Factors Affecting Adoption and Implementation. Public Administration Review 61(6): 693-708. Comments


M. Jae Moon. 2002. The Evolution of E-Government among Municipalities: Rhetoric or Reality? Public Administration Review 62(4): 424-433. Comments


Robert D. Behn. 2003. Why Measure Performance? Different Purposes Require Different Measures. Public Administration Review 63(5): 586-606. Comments

Kenneth J. Meier, and Laurence J. O’Toole, Jr. 2003. Public Management and Educational Performance: The Impact of Managerial Networking. Public Administration Review 63(6): 689-699. Comments


Darrell M. West. 2004. E-Government and the Transformation of Service Delivery and Citizen Attitudes. Public Administration Review 64(1): 15-27. Comments

Renée A. Irvin, and John Stansbury. 2004. Citizen Participation in Decision Making: Is It Worth the Effort? Public Administration Review 64(1): 55-65. Comments


Lisa Blomgren Bingham, Tina Nabatchi, and Rosemary O’Leary. 2005. The New Governance: Practices and Processes for Stakeholder and Citizen Participation in the Work of Government. Public Administration Review 65(5): 547-558. Comments


Sergio Fernandez, and Hal G. Rainey. 2006. Managing Successful Organizational Change in the Public Sector. Public Administration Review 66(2): 168-176. Comments

Caroline J. Tolbert, and Karen Mossberger. 2006. The Effects of E-Government on Trust and Confidence in Government. Public Administration Review 66(3): 354-369. Comments

Ann Marie Thomson, and James L. Perry. 2006. Collaboration Processes: Inside the Black Box. Public Administration Review 66(S1): 20-32. Comments

John M. Bryson, Barbara C. Crosby, and Melissa Middleton Stone. 2006. The Design and Implementation of Cross-Sector Collaborations: Propositions from the Literature. Public Administration Review 66(S1): 44-55. Comments

Archon Fung. 2006. Varieties of Participation in Complex Governance. Public Administration Review 66(S1): 66-75. Comments


Donald P. Moynihan, and Sanjay K. Pandey. 2007. The Role of Organizations in Fostering Public Service Motivation. Public Administration Review 67(1): 40-53. Comments


Young-joo Lee, and Vicky M. Wilkins. 2011. More Similarities or More Differences? Comparing Public and Nonprofit Managers’ Job Motivations. Public Administration Review 71(1): 45-56. Comments


Daniel P. Carpenter, and George A. Krause. 2012. Reputation and Public Administration. Public Administration Review 72(1): 26-32. Comments

Bradley E. Wright, Donald P. Moynihan, and Sanjay K. Pandey. 2012. Pulling the Levers: Transformational Leadership, Public Service Motivation, and Mission Valence. Public Administration Review 72(2): 206-215. Comments