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School of Business and Management

Public Management and Regulation Group


Public management is a well-established field of inter-disciplinary research. It encompasses the study of how central agencies in national governments are managedthe strategic management of international organisations, inter-government relations, the  delivery of public services at national and local levels, and the contentious issues of whether these services are best run directly by public bodies or by private firms under contract, as well as the increasingly pressing issues of how private and public sector services are regulated. Research in this area draws on, and often combines, political science, sociology, economics, and information and project management. 


The public management and regulation group in the School of Business and Management was established in 2011. It brings together researchers with interests at every level of public management from the global through the continental to the national down to the local. Our distinctive signature is our focus on a range of research strategies applied to developing and examining explanatory theories in public management. The group has close links with public policy researchers in the QMUL School of Politics and International Relations 



Professor Perri 6 is an Emeritus Professor in Public Management. His interests are in decision making and political judgment in the core executive. He is currently researching puzzles about how global regulatory institutions can survive and even thrive during periods of deep conflict.
Dr Isadora Cruxen is a Lecturer in Business and Society. Her interests are in the political economy of sustainable development and natural resource governance in the global South, with a regional focus on Latin America. Photo of Isadora Cruxen
Dr Stephan Dickert is a Reader in Marketing. His research focuses on judgment and decision making, risk perception, and behavioural approaches to public management and the non-profit sector.   Stephan Dickert photo
Dr Caterina Gennaioli is a Reader in Environmental Economics. As part of her research, she engages with policy makers on issues of environmental management, climate change and corruption.
Professor Colin Haslam is an Emeritus Professor of Accounting and Finance with interests in financial reporting disclosures, the regulation of financial institutions and public sector outsourcing.

Dr Ting Huang is a Lecturer in Public Management with research interests in strategic leadership, diversity and team dynamics in public sector organisations.
Dr Georgios Kavetsos is a Reader in Behavioural Economics with interests in how public policy interventions shape individuals’ behaviour and preferences. Georgios Kavetsos
Dr Maria Koumenta is a Reader in Human Resource Management (HRM) with interests in public sector Human Resource Management and public service motivation theory.
Professor Stella Ladi is a Professor in Public Policy with interests in public administration reforms in light of the European Union.
Professor Martin Laffin is a Professor of Public Management with interests in local government, intergovernmental relations and UK devolution.
Professor Lutao Ning is a Professor of International Business. His research involves engagement with the State Council of China via the research centre of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC). 
Dr Panos Panagiotopoulos is a Reader in Information Management with interests in digital government research. He is an associate editor for Government Information Quarterly and a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute.
Dr Saqib Shamim is a Senior Lecturer in Social Innovation and Strategy. His research interests are in innovation management, digital transformations, dynamic capabilities and strategic alignment.

Dr Lilian Schofield is a Senior Lecturer in Non-profit Management Practice. Her interests in the role of non-profit organisations in development.


Professor Gary Schwarz is a Professor in Public Management and Strategy and the Director of the Public Management and Regulation group. His research focuses on how public organizations and employees can improve their performance, innovation, and the role of various leadership approaches (e.g., public, servant, ethical, entrepreneurial, transformational, participative, etc.) in the strategy process.

Gary Schwarz

Professor Tessa Wright is a Professor of Employment Relations with interests in public procurement. She is the lead investigator of the Buying Social Justice through Procurement project.

Dr Nadia Zahoor is a Senior Lecturer in Strategy with interests in international strategy and entrepreneurship.

Public Administration Review Symposium

Decision-Making in Public Organizations: The Continued Relevance of “Administrative Behavior”


Symposium Editors

Gary Schwarz, Queen Mary University of London,

Tom Christensen, University of Oslo,

Xufeng Zhu, Tsinghua University,


Symposium Information

In honor of the upcoming 75th anniversary of the publication of Herbert Simon’s seminal book “Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organizations,” first published in 1947, Public Administration Review (PAR) will hold a Symposium titled “Decision-Making in Public Organizations: The Continued Relevance of “Administrative Behavior.”

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awarded Herbert Simon the Nobel Prize in economics in 1978, considered Administrative Behavior as “epoch-making.” Administrative Behavior has a special relationship to PAR, as two of its chapters appeared in PAR prior to the publication of the book (Simon 1944; 1946). The recent resurgence in interest in the behavioral sciences in public administration has reintroduced the book to a new audience (Battaglio and Hall 2019).

One of the reasons why Administrative Behavior has influenced several generations of scholars and practitioners, is that it challenged the prevailing “principles” of administration that were considered to lead to administrative efficiency (Rainey 2001). Pointing out contradictions and incompatibilities between these principles that had been largely ignored, Simon put decision-making at the center of analysis and examined how individuals make decisions within certain organizational frames or contexts. Whereas standard economic theory assumed that individuals are perfectly rational decision-makers, Simon emphasized the limits to rationality that real-life administrators face with regard to memory, attention, or capacity (March and Olsen 1976). He developed a theory of bounded rationality, suggesting that individuals “satisfice” rather than maximize because they cannot evaluate all potential alternatives due to their limited cognitive and information processing abilities and incomplete knowledge. Administrative Behavior was also one of the first books to acknowledge the importance of loyalty and organizational identification for administrative efficiency (Miao et al. 2019), as they align the decisions that individuals make with organizational objectives.

Simon called for empirical research and experimentation into the concepts he developed in Administrative Behavior and this symposium aims to encourage such activity and take stock of the concepts’ continued relevance. We are interested in manuscripts from diverse disciplinary perspectives that contribute to a deeper understanding of decision-making in public organizations. We welcome submissions on theory development and empirical studies based on large-scale surveys, experiments, case studies, and other methodologies. We are particularly interested in research that develops the following topics and questions:

  • New insights on the organizational “principles”, e.g., on types of specialization/coordination, unity of command, and span of control.
  • How do public organizations address bounded rationality?
  • How can the negative consequences of satisficing behavior be avoided?
  • How do public organizations augment authority with other modes of influence?
  • Evidence for a changing zone of acceptance in which employees acquiesce and permit others to decide for them.
  • The trade-offs between centralization and decentralization of decision-making.
  • How do public organizations process, incorporate, and react to external shocks?
  • New insights on the process of composite decision making.
  • How do public organizations deal with value and factual judgments?
  • The interplay of formal and informal communication and decision-making premises.
  • How do public organizations nurture loyalties and organizational identification and what are its effects?


Review Process and Timeline

Apr 15, 2020 – Paper proposal (maximum 1,000 words) should be submitted via e-mail, copying in each of the symposium co-editors.

May 15, 2020 – Decision on paper proposal communicated to authors. 

Sep 30, 2020 – Full paper should be submitted via e-mail, copying in each of the symposium co-editors. All submissions will receive feedback.

Dec 5/6, 2020 – Symposium conference in London, UK. Authors of accepted proposals are strongly encouraged to participate.

Jan 15, 2021 – Complete manuscripts to be submitted via e-mail, copying in each of the symposium co-editors, for screening and feedback.

Jan 31, 2021 – Manuscripts to be submitted to PAR’s online editorial system. Manuscripts undergo PAR’s normal peer review process overseen by PAR Co-Editors-in-Chief, Paul Battaglio and Jeremy Hall.

Early 2022 – Planned publication date in PAR

For more information and references, please see the full call for papers:


Symposium Conference Program 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

1:00pm-2:30pm UK time (GMT)

Panel 1: Chair Gary Schwarz

  1. Effects of Leader Communication on Implementation
    • Presenter: Søren Winter
    • Discussant: Perri 6
  2. Channels of Attention: Exploring the Relationship between Organizational Structure and Decision Premises
    • Presenter: Machiel van der Heijden
    • Discussant: Jesper Asring Hansen
  3. Invention or Rigidity? The Effect of Financial Scarcity on Decision-Makers’ Creativity
    • Presenter: Joris van der Voet
    • Discussant: Thomas Elston

2:45pm-4:15pm UK time (GMT)

Panel 2: Chair Xufeng Zhu

  1. Public Management Reform and Negativity Bias
    • Presenter: Thomas Elston  
    • Discussant: Maria Falk Mikkelsen
  2. How Does Performance Information Influence Management Decision Making? Experimental Evidence on the Behavioral Model of Performance-Based Learning.
    • Presenter: Poul Aaes Nielsen
    • Discussant: Liang Ma
  3. Facilitating Computational Decision-Making for Public Organizations: A Case Study of the City Brain in Hangzhou
    • Presenter: Xiang Gao
    • Discussant: Vishanth Weerakkody

4:30pm UK time (GMT)

Jeremy Hall and Paul Battaglio

PAR Co-Editors-in Chief Paul Battaglio and Jeremy Hall Speak on Process and Timeline 

5:00pm-6:50pm UK time (GMT)

Panel 3: Chair Tom Christensen

  1. The Neo-Durkheimian Institutional Theory’s Contribution to Public Management: Another Development from Simon?
    • Presenter: Perri 6  
    • Discussant: Machiel van der Heijden
  2. Artificial Intelligence and Administrative Behavior
    • Presenter:  Matthew Young
    • Discussant: Joris van der Voet
  3. Does the Configuration of Macro- and Micro-Institutional Contexts Affect Public Organization Adaptation to Extreme Events?
    • Presenter: Fengxiu Zhang
    • Discussant: Matthew Young
  4. The Interconnections of Decisionsmaking Tools in the Era of Smart Governance: A Fine Scale Analysis
    • Presenter: Corey Kewei Xu
    • Discussant: Ali Farazmand


Sunday, December 6, 2020

10am-11:30am UK time (GMT)

Panel 4: Chair Xufeng Zhu

  1. Behavioral Science for Public Policy: Herbert Simon’s Legacy and Future Prospects
    • Presenter: Yoshihisa Kashima
    • Discussant: Keith Dowding
  2. Drawing New Boundaries: Can We Legislate for Administrative Behavior?
    • Presenter: Rodney Scott
    • Discussant: Yoshihisa Kashima
  3. Procedural Irrationality and De-Separation: Policy Making with Short-Termers
    • Presenter: Keith Dowding
    • Discussant: Rodney Scott

11:45am-1:15pm UK time (GMT)

Panel 5: Chair Gary Schwarz

  1. “Satisficing Principle” in Policy Making: Asymmetry of Risk Preferences in Gain and Loss Situations
    • Presenter: Xufeng Zhu
    • Discussant: Ross Gildea
  2. Institutional Logic for Centralizing Local Environmental Responsibilities in China
    • Presenter: Wanxin Li
    • Discussant: Robbie Tilleard
  3. Meet all Changes with Constancy: The Dynamic Adaptation Capacity of County Government in China
    • Presenter: Na Tang
    • Discussant: Yunyi An

1:30pm-3pm UK time (GMT)

Panel 6: Chair Tom Christensen

  1. The Effect of Division of Authority on Organizational Performance
    • Presenter: Stefan Boye 
    • Discussant: Wanxin Li
  2. Satisficing or Maximizing in Public-Private Partnerships? A Laboratory Experiment on Strategic Negotiation 
    • Presenter: Kristina Weißmüller
    • Discussant: Na Tang
  3. Strategic Decision-Making in Public Organizations in the Middle East: The Role of Bounded Rationality
    • Presenter: Khalid Al-Hashimi
    • Discussant: Stefan Boye

3:15pm-4:45pm UK time (GMT)

Panel 7: Chair Gary Schwarz

  1. Mathematically Modeling the Acceptability and Viability of Public Administration Decisions: What H. Simon Didn’t Consider
    • Presenters: Alexander Belenky/Ali Farazmand
    • Discussant: Kristina Weißmüller
  2. Why Change is Hard: Lessons from Nudging Managers in the Public Service
    • Presenter: Robbie Tilleard
    • Discussant: Michael Ohlsen
  3. Heuristics and the Selection Dilemma in Human Rights INGOs – An Experimental Analysis with INGO Officials
    • Presenter: Ross Gildea
    • Discussant: Sean Webeck

    5:00pm-6:30pm UK time (GMT)

    Panel 8: Chair Tom Christensen

    1. Effects of Coordination on Policy Integration: Intra-organizational and Inter-organizational Coordination
      • Presenter: Heewon Lee
      • Discussant: Corey Kewei Xu
    2. Strategic Representations in Public Sector Strategic Planning: A Case of Strategic Planning in the U.S. Department of Defense
      • Presenter: Sean Webeck
      • Discussant: Heewon Lee
    3. Power Struggle: The Messy World of Clean Energy Policy Making
        • Presenter: Michael Ohlsen
        • Discussant: Eric Welch

      Members of the cluster are committed to external engagement with policy makers and public managers. These impact activities involve working with policy makers, collaborations with practitioners and professional services, as well as important outputs intended to shed light on pressing public policy and management issues beyond the academy. Members of the cluster also have considerable experience of delivering executive education courses. 


      Perri 6 has carried out extensive research and consultancy as well as policy studies ranging over styles of political judgement in core executives, joined up government, client confidentiality and privacy, hospital reconfiguration, policy instruments for behaviour change and the structures of public governance. He has provided consultancy advice to many UK departments of state, regulatory authorities such as the Office of the Information Commissioner and the OECD in Paris. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2013. 


      Colin Haslam has served as an adviser to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/World Resources Institute (WRI): Financial Institutions portfolio carbon initiative. He has also advised the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) on their financial disclosures and business model financial reporting projects. He has delivered presentations to the European Parliament on stress testing international financial reporting standards (IFRS) and a new business model governing financial reporting for SMEs. He is a fellow of the European Law Institute (ELI) and member of the ELI Business and Financial Law special interest group. 


      Stella Ladi is currently leading the Greek team of experts of multi-country project for enhancing evidence-informed policy making in the EU. The project is funded by the Technical Support Instrument of DG reform and is implemented from JRC and the OECD.  It is expected to strengthen the use of expertise in policy making in Greece.  Stella has been awarded an SBM impact fellowship for this project.  She is also part of a team of experts from FGV, Fiocruz and QMYL running a similar project on the use of expertise in public policy in Brazil. Stella often appears in national and international news outlets commentating on crisis management in the EU, public policy reforms and Greek politics.


      Martin Laffin has most recently been editing, with European colleagues, a ten country special journal issue study of inter-governmental relations and the coronavirus pandemicHe has advised local governments and their representative associations, the Welsh Government and state government agencies and departments in Australia. He was a member of the Business and Management Research Excellence Framework 2014 Sub-Panel. He has served as the Chair of the Joint University Council Public Administration Committee in the UK and as a co-convenor of the European Group for Public Administration Standing Group on Local and Regional Government. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.  


      Panos Panagiotopoulos research is on the role of information systems in government policy and management. He has collaborated with several central and local government organisations, including the Food Standards Agency, the Better Regulation Executive (BEIS) local authorities and the Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs.  


      Gary Schwarz researches how organizations and individuals can improve their performance, levels of innovation, and the applicability of various leadership approaches (e.g., public, transformational, participative, servant, ethical, entrepreneurial, etc.) in the strategy process. He has been appointed as a member of the Editorial Board of Public Administration Review, world-leading journal for public administration research, theory, and practice. 


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