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School of Business and Management

Public Management and Regulation


Public management is a rapidly growing and increasingly important field of inter-disciplinary research. It includes management in core executives in national governments, but ranges as widely as strategic management in international organisations, the management of public services down to local level whether run directly by public bodies or by private firms under contract, as well as regulatory activity. Research in this area has close links with public policy studies, political science, economics, information and project management and political history.

The cluster of researchers working on public management and regulation at Queen Mary was established in 2011. It brings together researchers with interests in 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 empirical work to examine explanatory theories in public management. The group works with the public policy researchers in the School of Politics and International Relations and has experience delivering executive education cources.

For further information, please contact Professor Martin Laffin.


Professor Perri 6 is Professor in Public Management and the School’s Director of Academic Strategy. 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.

Professor Colin Haslam is a Professor in Accounting/Finance with interests in financial reporting disclosures, the regulation of financial institutions and public sector outsourcing.

Dr Maria Koumenta is a Lecturer in Human Resource Management (HRM) with interests in public sector HRM and public service motivation theory.

Dr Stella Ladi is a Senior Lecturer in Public Management with interests in public policy and public administration reforms in light of the European Union. She is a Programme co-Director for the Masters in Public Administration (MPA).

Professor Martin Laffin is a Professor of Public Management with interests in local government, intergovernmental relations and UK devolution. He is a Programme co-Director for the Masters in Public Administration (MPA).

Professor Pedro Martins is a Professor of Applied Economics and the School’s Lead on Research Impact. His interests are in public policy on labour market issues. He is currently researching different policy options that may reduce employment volatility over the business cycle.

Dr Lutao Ning is a Reader in 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 Senior Lecturer 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 Caterina Gennaioli is a Lecturer in Economics. As part of her research, she engages with policy makers on issues of environmental management, climate change and corruption.

Dr Min Yan is a Lecturer in Business Law with interests in the role of the regulation in changing corporate behaviour and managerial accountability.





Professor Gary Schwarz is a Professor in Public Management and Strategy. 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.

Members of the cluster are committed to external engagement with academic and policy communities. These impact activities involve work with policy makers, collaborations with practitioners and professional services, as well as important outputs that help reach wider audiences.

Indicative activities by members of the cluster include the following:

  • Perri 6 was was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2013. He has carried out extensive research and consultancy as well as policy studies on fields as diverse as styles of political judgement is core executives, “joined up government”, client confidentiality and privacy, hospital reconfiguration, policy instruments for behaviour change and 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.
  • Colin Haslam has been 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 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.
  • Maria Koumenta has been involved in various projects funded by the UK government and the European Commission on occupational regulation, pay and payment systems, skills and public sector labour market policy. She is currently working on the design of an EU-wide survey of occupational regulation.
  • Stella Ladi has made numerous media appearances on issues of public administration reforms across Europe, the Eurozone cricis and Greece as well as the Brexit. She recently co-authored the final report [PDF 1,796KB] on managing change for the public sector for the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services (CEEP), commissioned by the European Commission.
  • Martin Laffin was a member of the Business and Management Research Excellence Framework 2014 Sub-Panel. He has also 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.
  • Pedro Martins was State Secretary for Employment in Portugal (2011-13) and advisor to the Greek government and the European Commission (2016). His research and policy work is focused on labour market topics, including (public) employment services and collective bargaining (website).  
  • Panos Panagiotopoulos is a member of the network of experts at the Better Regulation Executive (BEIS) and has collaborated with several central and local government organisations, including the Food Standards Agency, local authorities and DEFRA.
  • Gary Schwarz has been appointed as a member of the Editorial Board of Public Administration Review, the world-leading journal for public administration research, theory, and practice.

Public Administration Review Symposium - Call for Papers

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. Towards a Cognitive Explanation for “Pendulum Swings” and other Pathologies in Administrative Re-Design
    • Presenter: Thomas Elston  
    • Discussant: Søren Winter
  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: Xufeng Zhu

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

Panel 6: Chair Tom Christensen

  1. Breaking Down the Wall: The Effect of Division of Authority on Organizational Performance
    • Presenter: Stefan Boyne 
    • 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 Boyne

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 Interorganizational 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