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15 March 2022
Integrating Asia Pacific Influences and Public Management Research
Hofstede (2007) argues that the Asia context is special enough to merit more Asia management research. We concur. We believe that public management lessons from the Asia Pacific region may open new windows that allow scholars to improve public management theory and practice.
One example is the response of Asia Pacific countries to the COVID-19 pandemic. When many Western countries are still experiencing the lockdown of cities, many people in the Asia Pacific region are pursuing relatively normal lives. China’s government attributes a low infection rate to its “institutional advantage”—a top-down authoritarian regime and bottom-up mobilization of people. But not all Asia Pacific regimes that have successfully mitigated COVID-19 are authoritarian. Australia and New Zealand are good examples. In East Asia, South Korea and Taiwan have fared well in combating COVID-19. These examples suggest that people’s high trust in government, which is embedded in Confucian culture’s submission to authority, contributes to better government—people synergy in controlling the virus.
The views above about Asia Pacific public management are intellectually illuminating, but little evidence supports them. More precisely, systematic research is still lacking. As Hofstede (2007) claims, Asian scholars should have more confidence in developing their own research agenda. Therefore, we are looking for papers that address, but not limited to, the following topics:
- Asia Pacific-based research that examines the applicability of propositions developed in the West:
In Western countries, most scholars would agree that those who are high in public service motivation (PSM) tend to prefer a public-sector than a private-sector career. Some scholars in Asia Pacific countries, however, have failed to reach the same conclusion (Lee and Choi, 2016). In a series of studies, Chen and colleagues find that public employees in East Asia are not more prosocial than their private sector peers (Chen, Bozeman, & Berman, 2019). In addition, facing competitive public service exams, high-PSM individuals in the East Asian countries are more likely to be “winnowed out” from public service (Chen, Chen, Liao, and Kuo, 2020).
- Research that proposes new concepts tailored to the Asia Pacific context:
We are interested in studies that propose concepts emerging from Asia Pacific cultures or institutions that influence administrative behavior and public management. For example, Ma, Tang, and Tan (2015) propose the concept of “guanxi,” a behavioral pattern grounded in the Confucian culture, and test whether promotion in the Chinese public sector is guanxi-based or merit-based.
- Research that compares public management between the East and the West, or large-sample, cross-country public management research:
We are also interested in comparative public management research. Many existing studies have used cross-country datasets, such as the International Social Survey Program or World Value Survey, for comparisons. A typical example is the motivation study by Bullock, Strich, and Rainey (2015). The authors compare public-private differences on prosocial and material motivations across 28 countries.
- Systematic reviews that explore variations associated with geographic region or country.
Existing research deserves to be mined for what it can tell us about context and culture. We welcome systematic reviews or meta-analyses that use previous research to identify cross-region or country variations in important public management behaviors (e.g., leadership style) or practices.
We welcome diverse methodological approaches. Submissions should conform to the style of research articles (5,000-9,000 words) of Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration. The special issue editors are happy to comment on ideas that scholars are considering.
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- November 1, 2021: Submission of abstracts for the special issue:
*Paper proposal (maximum 1,000 words) should be submitted to the special issue editors via email. Submissions are welcome before the deadlines.
- December 15, 2021: Decision on the abstract communicated to authors
- March 15, 2022: Paper submission via APJPA’s online manuscript submission system
*Submissions are welcome before the deadlines. Manuscripts will undergo the journal’s normal peer review.
- September 2022 or March 2023: Publication of the special issue. All articles accepted for publication will appear online in advance of the print issue.
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