To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Is there still a need for teaching and research in public administration and management? A personal view from the UK

Joyce Liddle (Aix-Marseille Universite, France)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 14 August 2017



The purpose of this paper is to explain the global, historic context of public administration and the specific British context of teaching and research for public administration. Also, it asks the question, “is twenty-first century public administration still ‘fit for purpose?’”.


The paper is a personal reflection on the changes to public administration and management during the twentieth and early part of the twenty-first century, in particular how the UK Learned Society has responded to a number of global, policy and cultural changes.


The findings demonstrate how the UK Joint University Council (JUC), representing public administration, has responded to changes, in particular to recent forces impacting on HE and training providers. It includes the outcomes of a series of recent UK debates as JUC approaches its 100-year centenary in 2018. It concludes by showing that public administration research, teaching and scholarship are as necessary, if not more so, in 2018. In particular, issues such as accountability, legality, integrity and responsiveness, the overall ethical guidelines are vital for both public and private educational curricula. For either theory building or empirical descriptions, public administration research can still positively contribute to the wider economy

Research limitations/implications

As a personal reflection, the findings are offered to add to a debate on the future of public administration scholarship in the UK, and much wider afield.

Practical implications

The contents should be of benefit to academics, policy and practitioners in the field of public administration and management.

Social implications

This study has wider societal implications, as all states are facing growing social problems and a need to seek novel ways of delivering public services.


Though the paper is a personal reflection, and may therefore be challenged, it is based on wider literature to support the claims being made.



Liddle, J. (2017), "Is there still a need for teaching and research in public administration and management? A personal view from the UK", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 30 No. 6-7, pp. 575-583.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited