Connecting people to meaningful work and how it drives our economy forward.

Research Paper Project Guidelines

This project is an exercise in the social scientific study of public administration,

Students are expected to perform the following tasks:

(a) Choose a substantive, empirical issue pertaining to the topic of the class. The

topic may certainly have normative implications, but it should be

fundamentally an empirical issue. The paper should not be an advocacy


(b) Examine a substantial portion of the social scientific or scholarly literature

analyzing that issue.

(c) Select one or more explanations or perspectives from that literature (or derive

a new approach) for the chosen phenomenon.

(d) Meet with the prof (or communicate by phone or e-mail) to discuss the

project. This may be done at the start of the student’s research, if desired.

At some point students who are examining an empirical issue should be able

to state, in hypothesis form, what observable implications can be drawn from

their explanation(s). Students should also be able to state the assumptions

from which their hypothesis is derived. Students dealing primarily with a

normative issue need to be able to state a particular thesis and also the

premises from which that thesis may be derived. The prof will ask each

student what literature he/she has read in researching his/her topic. Each

student is required to submit a written version of a paper proposal. The

written proposal should contain a stated hypothesis or thesis, the premises

upon which the argument(s) is/are based, and a preliminary bibliography.

(e) Submit a brief, written progress report on the research project. The progress

report should contain an outline of the paper, an introductory section and

literature review, as well as an expanded bibliography.



(f) Write a paper, roughly seven to eight pages long, evaluating the

explanation(s) or thesis as applied to the substantive topic. Students should

cite references using the format used by the American Psychological

Association. Use Times New Roman, 12 point font. At least ten of the

sources cited in the bibliography and used in the paper should be from

peer-reviewed, scholarly journals. Students should submit an electronic

copy of their papers. The electronic copy should be submitted to the

Assignment function within Canvas. Late papers will be penalized. The

instructor will be happy to read and make comments upon rough drafts of

student papers up to one week before the deadline.

The methodological approach used in the paper is pretty much up to the student.

In-depth case studies of single events, comparative case studies of two or more events,

bibliographic essays comparing several explanations or perspectives in general terms,

qualitative examinations of trends over time or across different agencies or states, cities,

etc., or statistical analyses of large numbers of cases are all permissible.

Students may find newspapers, magazines, government documents, and a variety

of Internet sources helpful in doing the paper. If so, they are encouraged to use them.

Yet these sources are not generally adequate to provide an understanding of social

science explanations. For that reason students must rely upon some scholarly journals

and/or books as sources. Journals dealing generally with public administration,

management, public policy, political economy, and law may be helpful. These include

Public Administration Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Administration and

Society, Journal of Human Resources, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of

Public Administration Research and Theory, Policy Studies Journal, the Journal of

Policy Analysis and Management, the Journal of Political Economy, and others.

General social science journals such as the American Political Science Review, the

American Journal of Political Science, the American Sociological Review, and the

American Economic Review may be helpful. Magazines and web pages may be useful,

but they should not be relied upon exclusively


Paper Proposal for Spring 2022


I would like to do my paper on the topic of connecting people to meaningful work and how it drives our economy forward.


I hypothesize that when employees are passionate and satisfied with their jobs, they are more detailed with their work, are likely to grow within the organization, and report having a better quality of life.


Preliminary Bibliography: More sources are to come.


Primary Sources:


Secondary Sources: