Journal Article

Crossing the Divide: Building Bridges between Public Administration Practitioners and Scholars

Brenda K. Bushouse, Willow S. Jacobson, Kristina T. Lambright, Jared J. Llorens, Ricardo S. Morse and Ora-orn Poocharoen

in Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory

Published on behalf of Public Management Research Association

Volume 21, issue suppl_1, pages i99-i112
Published in print January 2011 | ISSN: 1053-1858
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1477-9803 | DOI:

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This article discusses the challenges of better connecting public administration (PA) scholarship to practice and recommends solutions to address those challenges in three areas—engaged scholarship, engaged teaching, and engaged faculty. To strengthen the connection between research and practice, strategies are proposed such as publishing summaries of research, creating open access online journals, establishing learning communities, and developing a new journal for cutting-edge PA research that is written in a practitioner accessible format. Strategies for linking our teaching to practice include emphasizing problem-based learning techniques, utilizing executive education programs to test the relevancy of our scholarship and incorporating additional pedagogical training into our doctoral programs. As a strategy for promoting more engaged faculty, we encourage greater participation in academic-practitioner exchange programs. In order for PA faculty to be more engaged, changes to tenure and promotion expectations are also needed, as well as an expansion of institutional incentives for engaged scholarship.

Journal Article.  6686 words. 

Subjects: Public Administration