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ERIC Number: ED519965
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 344
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-9181-9
Examining Community-Engaged Scholarship in Public Administration Programs
Norvell, Katrina Herndon
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Portland State University
This study sought to broaden the understanding of the role that academic professions play in shaping the values and attitudes of faculty toward CES. This study explored faculty perceptions regarding the factors that encourage or dissuade them in the pursuit of CES within public administration programs. As a framework for research, a conceptual model developed by Colbeck & Wharton-Michael (2006) was adapted and tested using the methodology of structural equation modeling. The conceptual model aimed to demonstrate the predictive effect of three latent factors--(a) academic goals related to scholarship; (b) individual capacity beliefs; and (c) perceptions about the organizational environment--on faculty motivation to pursue a fourth latent factor--community engaged scholarship. In developing the latent factors this study documented the perceptions of CES by public administration faculty and described the various forms of CES undertaken. It also examined differences in perceptions across and within faculty subgroups. One-thousand sixty-two public administration faculty from programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) were invited to participate in a web-based survey. Three hundred responded for a response rate of 29 percent. The study found that intentions or goals of individual public administration faculty members toward their scholarly work is the key motivator for participation in CES regardless of whether there is a supportive environment to foster such goals. It also found that faculty members who practice CES not only have academic goals that include CES, but believe they possess the necessary skills to be successful at it. This finding is an important contribution to the body of knowledge about CES because previous studies of faculty involvement in engaged scholarship activities have focused on particular indicators or strategies that account for participation but have not determined how they might function in relation to one another. This study suggests that the influence of the three motivational factors on CES is not equally weighted; the relationship is dynamic. The study also found that there were some significant differences among the perceptions of faculty sub-populations for specific items related to CES within seven grouping variables: "ethnicity/race; rank; previous nonprofit or public sector work experience; prior academic experiences; gender; length of time in one's current unit; and participation in civic, social and religious associations". These differences largely supported the findings of previous studies of CES. Implications of the research could affect priorities that bring CES into the mainstream of scholarly activity at the unit level, as well as institutionally. Suggested priorities for public administration programs include the development and implementation of socialization processes aimed at preparing doctoral students and new faculty for careers that advance the public purposes of higher education; faculty development programs that take into consideration the needs of mid-career and senior faculty; and program specialization strategies that identify the unique cultural aspects of specific programs of public administration and could enhance current efforts towards CES and seed new conceptualizations that align well with the missions of individual programs. Questions for future research on this topic in public administration and in other disciplines are also raised. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A