Job satisfaction of public managers in special districts

Jonathan P. West, Evan M. Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Little is known about special districts and their personnel. This study examines the job satisfaction and professional backgrounds of senior managers in large special districts. Senior managers in these districts report very high levels of job satisfaction, possibly among the highest of all such managers in public administration. Senior managers are satisfied or very satisfied with four of the most important determinants of job satisfaction: pay, the opportunity to use one's talents at work, job security, and the ability to make a meaningful impact on one's region or community. About one fourth of administrators on management teams in large special districts have their highest degree in public affairs, and among those with an MPA degree, three fourths have experience in business. This study concludes that it is time to take special districts more seriously both in research and as a locus of activity and career development for public managers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-353
Number of pages27
JournalReview of Public Personnel Administration
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Job satisfaction
  • Local government
  • Public managers
  • Special districts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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