Knowledge Construction in Public Administration: A Discourse Analysis of Public Value

Franziska Wallmeier, Bernd Helmig, Mary Feeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Public administration is a relatively young field with a growing academic community. Against the background of enduring discussions about theory and increasing research output and diversification within the field, the authors apply the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse that combines discourse theories and a social constructionist tradition to the exemplary case of “public value” research. The authors scrutinize 50 articles from 12 journals over 18 years to trace the development of public value as a concept in public administration research. Drawing from this exemplary case, they develop propositions and propose a framework for knowledge construction that is uniquely characterized as public administration. From the anchor points of manageability, economization, and democratic accountability, the authors develop a framework for analyzing and investigating knowledge development in other concepts such as network governance, representative bureaucracy, and coproduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-499
Number of pages12
JournalPublic administration review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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