P14 Behavioural and Experimental Public Management

Corresponding Chair

Kristina S. Weißmüller (VU Amsterdam), k.s.weissmueller@vu.nl

Review Group Chair

Oliver James (University of Exeter), O.James@exeter.ac.uk


This IRSPM 2023 panel invites papers that employ a behavioural or experimental approach to investigating various topics in public management. The focus is on theoretical or empirical contributions that integrate psychological and behavioural science insights into public management research (Grimmelikhuijsen et al. 2017). The papers may employ various methodologies including experimentation, observational studies, computational text analysis, qualitative methods, or mixed methods. However, a core theme of the panel is studies that employ experimental methods, including lab, field, or survey experiments (James, Jilke and Van Ryzin 2017). For example, papers may include applications of behavioural science that address questions of importance to progressing theory, informing practice, or replicating prior experimental work. For IRSPM 2023, papers contributing to the conference theme – “United or divided? Public value(s), management and governance in turbulent times” – are particularly encouraged. Besides this theme, papers that address other topics within public management and closely related research fields will be considered. We also encourage submissions to follow open science practices for instance by pre-registering experiments prior to raising data.

We also invite papers that report on the theory, methods, and findings of research that has already been conducted but we request that they clearly set out their research questions, methods, results and that they draw out implications of findings. In addition, papers that are fully developed experimental designs will also be included. These design papers should include a description of details of the experiment(s), a plan for implementation and the assessment of minimal sample size needed for detecting meaningful effects. The inclusion of design papers encourages pre-review and critical feedback on experimental designs before data collection. For guidance, it may be useful to look at information about pre-registration of experimental designs (see proposed resources on preregistration and reporting practices below).

Not all elements discussed in these sources are required for an experimental design paper, but any elements important to the proposed study should be included. The experimental design paper should be of similar length to a conventional IRSPM conference paper. As a reminder, conventional conference papers are also warmly invited and we anticipate a balance between both kinds of paper rather than a preponderance of only one kind.

We encourage paper submissions from all regions of the world and from researchers at various career stages, including doctoral students and postdocs. We encourage a diversity of presenters in terms of region, gender, career stage, methodological approach, and substantive research interests. Each session of the panel will include up to four papers and 1.5 hours overall. Each presentation will be followed by comments to be provided by co-discussants, the participants, and the session chairs. Presenters will be allocated to panels based on both the topic of their paper. This call builds on the success over the last few years at IRSPM conferences of similar panels of this kind.

Resources on preregistration and reporting practices:


Grimmelikhuijsen, S., Jilke, S., Olsen, A. L., & Tummers, L. (2017). Behavioral public administration: Combining insights from public administration and psychology. Public Administration Review, 77(1), 45-56.

James, O., Jilke, S. R., & Van Ryzin, G. G. (Eds.). (2017). Experiments in public management research: Challenges and contributions. Cambridge University Press.

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