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James, O., Jilke, S. R., & Van Ryzin, G. G. (2017 ) Behavioural and experimental public administration: Emerging contributions and new directions Public Administration. 95(4), 865-873


This article introduces the symposium on the emerging subfield of behavioural public administration. The nine articles of the symposium each combine a focus on behavioural theory with the use of experiments as the method for testing theoretical expectations. The contribution of this work to public administration theory is revealed in the expanding set of insights into core topic areas, and there are associated contributions to public administration as a design science informing policy and practice. We analyse the variety of experimental methods employed by investigators in the subfield and the current relative popularity of survey experiments. We note maturation of the subfield embodied in emerging programmes of multiple experiments on particular topic areas. In conclusion, we propose directions for future research in which behavioural public administration develops as complementary to more established approaches to theory and method.

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