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Sisyphusian predicament

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Date Issued:
2008
Summary:
Public administration addresses issues that competing and aligning groups determine to be meaningful enough to address. However, there seems to be no shared universally objective ways of remedying anything. Everything is up for argument. Additionally, attempting to solve one set of problems often creates other connected problems and/or unintended consequences. So, public work ever [sic] never ends. This dissertation's purpose was to contribute a new theoretical understanding of the experience and practice of public administration. Its research addressed if and how a grounded existential theoretical framework could emerge that would help practitioners and scholars understand and describe public administrative efforts and experiences. Currently, there is no existential theory of public administration. This dissertation sought to initiate work in that direction. This dissertation employed a grounded theory methodology to collect information from Senior Executive Service (SES) members, to analyze the information for emerging concepts and theoretical relevance through constant comparison, and to discover/construct a theoretical framework for understanding public administrative efforts and experiences. "The grounded theory approach is a general methodology of analysis linked with data collection that uses a systematically applied set of methods to generate an inductive theory about a substantive area" (Glaser, 1992, p. 16).
Title: The Sisyphusian predicament: existentialism and a grounded theory analysis of the experience and practice of public administration.
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Name(s): Hollar, T. Lucas.
College for Design and Social Inquiry
School of Public Administration
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2008
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: xiii, 265 p. : ill.
Language(s): English
Summary: Public administration addresses issues that competing and aligning groups determine to be meaningful enough to address. However, there seems to be no shared universally objective ways of remedying anything. Everything is up for argument. Additionally, attempting to solve one set of problems often creates other connected problems and/or unintended consequences. So, public work ever [sic] never ends. This dissertation's purpose was to contribute a new theoretical understanding of the experience and practice of public administration. Its research addressed if and how a grounded existential theoretical framework could emerge that would help practitioners and scholars understand and describe public administrative efforts and experiences. Currently, there is no existential theory of public administration. This dissertation sought to initiate work in that direction. This dissertation employed a grounded theory methodology to collect information from Senior Executive Service (SES) members, to analyze the information for emerging concepts and theoretical relevance through constant comparison, and to discover/construct a theoretical framework for understanding public administrative efforts and experiences. "The grounded theory approach is a general methodology of analysis linked with data collection that uses a systematically applied set of methods to generate an inductive theory about a substantive area" (Glaser, 1992, p. 16).
Summary: This dissertation identified the emergence of three categories/themes that organized what the SES members were saying, doing, and perceiving. These categories include "the environment," "the work," and "the individual." The core category/theme, "the Sisyphusian predicament," theoretically unifies these categories/themes through a metaphorical application of existential concepts. It describes the issues administrators experience (never-endingness, boundedness, and finitude in the face of infinitude (managing the scope and scale of one's intentions; generating and authoring relevance, significance, and meaning; and the choice for metaphysical revolt/ microemancipation). There are scholarly and practicable applications of this framework. This dissertation contributes exploratory work towards developing a new theoretical alternative within public administration. It provides an alternative approach for viewing and understanding organizational processes within public organizations. Additionally, an existential approach facilitates a plurality of competing schools of thought wherein administrators can select approaches to decision making and acting on the basis of context and utility.
Identifier: 315733649 (oclc), 165673 (digitool), FADT165673 (IID), fau:2818 (fedora)
Note(s): by T. Lucas Hollar.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2008.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2008. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Public administration -- United States -- Philosophy
Public administration -- Moral and ethical aspects
Administrative agencies -- United States -- Management
Policy sciences
Public administration -- Research -- Methodology
Held by: FBoU FAUER
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/165673
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU