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Knowing and Skilling in Contemporary Public Administration


Hess, M and Adams, DW, Knowing and Skilling in Contemporary Public Administration, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 61, (4) pp. 68-79. ISSN 0313-6647 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/1467-8500.00303


Knowledge is the latest buzzword in public administration, yet contemporary debater demonstrate a poor understanding of how knowledge is constructed and valued and of how public administration knowledge frames are changing in response to major structural shifts in political imperatives. In particular the retreat from economic rationalism and the embracing of social and human capital ideas with the search for 'third ways' and 'triple bottom lines' are bringing more constructivist knowledge frames back into play. In this way centralised 'rational/expert' knowledge is being challenged by knowledge arising from cooperative, local inquiry and multiple knowledge frames are now being brought to bear in public administration. Yet public administration, as a profession, seems unsure of whether this is an elegant finesse implying little real change or an exposure of the naked pretension of previously dominant unitary frameworks. This article uses a historical comparison to show how changes in the ontology and epistemology of public administration are demanding new skills of contemporary public administrators.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Public administration
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Management and productivity not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hess, M (Professor Michael Hess)
UTAS Author:Adams, DW (Professor David Adams)
ID Code:35377
Year Published:2002
Web of Science® Times Cited:35
Deposited By:Management
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2007-10-19

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