Public values in special districts: A survey of managerial commitment

Evan M. Berman, Jonathan P. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Special districts are increasingly important in the landscape of public organizations and now constitute about 40 percent of all U.S. jurisdictions. Yet little is known about the public value commitments of managers in special districts. This systematic study of senior managers in large special districts finds that support for public values is strong and similar to that of senior managers in cities. This study explores the effect of concomitant commitments to "businesslike" values on public values and the impact of concomitant commitments on perceived organizational outcomes. Though a positive relationship exists between commitments to public and businesslike values among senior managers, the authors find evidence that both too much and too little commitment to businesslike values has a negative impact on perceived organizational outcomes, which are furthered by strong commitment to public values. This article demonstrates that special districts are a relevant but underresearched area of public administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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