Award Ceremony 2024

IRSPM Stephen Osborne prize for best new researcher paper

The IRSPM Stephen Osborne Prize for the best new researcher paper of 2024 is named after Professor Stephen Osborne—a foundational figure in the creation of IRSPM and the journal PMR. The prize is awarded to outstanding young scholars of the New Researchers Panel.

This year, the prize was awarded to Kiflie Worku Angaw from the Public Governance Institute at KU Leuven, Belgium, for his exceptional paper titled “The Contribution of Public Administration Teaching Programs to Desired Public Governance Competencies in Ethiopia” This insightful work, co-authored with Dr. Bacha Kebede Debela and Prof. Marleen Brans, showcases a rigorous academic analysis intertwined with practical implications for public administration education in developing contexts.

The selection process for the Stephen Osborne prize is meticulously managed by a committee led by the New Researchers Panel chair, Barbara Zyzak, alongside award coordinator Eva Thomann and panel chair Jessica Sowa. Papers nominated for this prize undergo a rigorous review by panel chairs and discussants, ensuring that only the most outstanding research is recognized. This structured evaluation underscores the commitment of IRSPM to foster new talents and innovative research within the public management community.

A short review of Kiflie's paper was written by the reviewer who nominated his paper: "Kiflie’s paper stands out not only for its scholarly rigor but also for its significant practical contributions. The research utilizes resource dependence theory to assess learning resources and student outcomes in Ethiopian public administration programs. Through detailed statistical analysis, the paper identifies key areas where enhanced resources could substantially improve educational outcomes. This contribution is particularly noteworthy for its potential to influence public administration practices and policies in developing countries, providing a model that could be replicated in similar contexts globally."

The Stephen Osborne Prize not only recognizes the exceptional contributions of individual researchers like Kiflie but also highlights the vibrant community of emerging scholars who are shaping the future of public administration. The award ceremony was a focal point of the conference, reflecting the collaborative spirit and intellectual vitality that IRSPM promotes.

As we congratulate Kiflie Worku Angaw on his remarkable achievement, we also extend our gratitude to all the new researchers who submitted their work to the New Researchers Panel. Their innovative ideas and dedication to advancing public management are what make the IRSPM conference a beacon of scholarly excellence. We look forward to seeing how Kiflie and his peers will continue to influence and transform the field in the years to come. We are excited to see the ongoing impact of the Stephen Osborne Prize and its recipients on the global stage of public administration research.

IRSPM Christopher Pollitt prize for best conference paper

IRSPM takes immense pride in recognizing outstanding contributions to public management research through the prestigious Christopher Pollitt Prize. This award, named in honor of the late Professor Christopher Pollitt, celebrates papers that exemplify scholarly excellence across criteria such as relevance, theoretical depth, methodological rigor, and practical implications. This year, we were thrilled to announce not just one, but two winners of this distinguished award.

Dr. Alice Moore, from the University of Birmingham, captured one of the two awards with her insightful paper titled “Do Markets Shape Management? Experimental Evidence for the Effects of Competition on Contract Management” Dr. Moore’s research stands out for its methodological rigor and relevance to key issues in public administration, particularly the effects of market competition on contract management.

Her paper is a comprehensive exploration that combines quantitative analysis with qualitative insights, providing a nuanced understanding of the dynamics at play within public sector contract management. Dr. Moore's findings challenge established norms and provide significant implications for both policy and practice. Her ability to marry empirical evidence with theoretical frameworks underscores the interdisciplinary scholarship that IRSPM values. The jury was particularly impressed by the actionable recommendations offered in her paper, which are poised to inform and improve public management practices globally.

Dr. Marlene Jugl of Boccini University also earned the Christopher Pollitt Prize for her paper titled “Converging Governance Paradigms or Persisting Administrative Traditions? A Quantitative Analysis of Napoleonic Tradition Systems” This research significantly advances our understanding of administrative legacies, particularly within the Napoleonic tradition.

Dr. Jugl’s paper is remarkable for its rigorous conceptualization and empirical testing. She conducted an exhaustive systematic literature review of 505 studies, which she used to refine and operationalize the concept of administrative traditions across 49 countries. Her use of exploratory factor analysis to empirically distinguish features of Napoleonic countries is a testament to her methodological sophistication. The jury was captivated by her identification of underlying dimensions such as citizen orientation and structural concentration, appreciating her move beyond the western-centric focus that dominates much of the existing literature.

The IRSPM conference was enriched by the contributions of these two outstanding scholars, whose works not only reflect academic excellence but also offer profound insights with practical implications. Their papers exemplify the commitment of IRSPM to fostering research that is both intellectually robust and immensely relevant to contemporary challenges in public management.

On behalf of the award committee and the entire IRSPM community, we extend our warmest congratulations to Dr. Alice Moore and Dr. Marlene Jugl. Their contributions continue to inspire and propel the field of public administration and management forward. As we celebrate these achievements, we also look forward to the continued evolution and impact of the Christopher Pollitt Prize in encouraging and recognizing exceptional research within our community.

IRSPM O’Leary prize for best article on women in Public Administration / Public Management

IRSPM is proud to announce the winners of the 2024 Rosemary O’Leary Prize, an accolade recognizing exceptional scholarship on women in public administration and public management. This prestigious award, named after the renowned scholar Professor Rosemary O'Leary, celebrates groundbreaking work that advances our understanding of gender dynamics within public sector contexts.

This year’s accolade goes to Sue Williamson, Helen Taylor, and Vindhya Weeratunga for their insightful paper, “Working from Home during COVID-19: What Does This Mean for the Ideal Worker Norm?” published in the Gender, Work and Organization journal in 2023. A colleague of the winners accepted the prize on their behalf.

The selection was made by an esteemed committee chaired by IRSPM President Ileana Steccolini, alongside board members Elke Loeffler and Annette Quayle. The paper was chosen for its profound impact on the field, offering novel conceptual perspectives that challenge the traditional 'ideal worker' norm, which is often implicitly modelled on male workers. By highlighting the experiences of disabled women and women with caring responsibilities during the shift to hybrid work environments, the authors provide compelling evidence of how flexible work arrangements enhance productivity and well-being.

Williamson, Taylor, and Weeratunga utilized a robust mixed-methods approach, drawing on a significant dataset of 5,000 Australian employees to explore the tangible benefits of hybrid working models. Their findings are pivotal, especially in illustrating how such models can facilitate greater inclusion and efficiency in public sector employment.

Their research not only contributes to HR literature in public services but also supports the digitalization agenda in public management by proposing the concept of a 'multi-dimensional ideal worker.' This concept champions a workplace that recognizes and embraces the diverse needs and strengths of its workforce, promoting a more inclusive and effective organizational culture.

The implications of their study extend beyond academia into practical policy applications, offering a roadmap for organizations aiming to dismantle outdated norms and implement more equitable practices. By providing evidence-based support for the benefits of hybrid work environments, this paper aids in the ongoing efforts to progress gender equality and reshape public sector workplaces for the better.

The IRSPM is honored to award the Rosemary O’Leary Prize to such deserving scholars and anticipates this recognition will inspire further innovative research in public management. Congratulations to Sue Williamson, Helen Taylor, and Vindhya Weeratunga for their outstanding contribution to our field. Their work not only honors the legacy of Rosemary O’Leary but also lights the way forward for future studies aiming to enhance the inclusivity and effectiveness of public administration globally.

2024 IRSPM Routledge Lifetime Achievement Award

IRSPM is thrilled to announce the winner of the 2024 Routledge Lifetime Achievement Award, a prestigious recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of public management research. This year, the honor goes to Board of Governors Distinguished Professor Norma M. Riccucci for her exceptional, inspirational, and enduring scholarly work in public management and policy implementation.

Professor Riccucci, who serves at the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark, has made significant strides in advancing our understanding of social equity, diversity, and representative bureaucracy. Her research has not only enriched academic discourse but has also left a profound mark on our scientific community, pushing the boundaries of how public administration addresses crucial societal issues.

Beyond her scholarly contributions, Norma Riccucci's role in the academic community is marked by her unwavering commitment to leadership and mentorship. Having held key positions in several academic associations, including the American Political Science Association and the Public Management Research Association, she has influenced the field through both thought leadership and actionable governance.

What truly distinguishes Norma is her dedication to fostering an inclusive academic environment. Over the years, she has mentored a multitude of emerging scholars, instilling in them the values of inclusivity and diversity. Her mentorship has been instrumental in nurturing new talents who continue to advance the field of public management.

The decision to award Norma Riccucci the Routledge Lifetime Achievement Award was chaired by IRSPM President Ileana Steccolini and facilitated by IRSPM Awards Coordinator Eva Thomann, with unanimous support from the IRSPM Board members. This decision reflects a collective acknowledgment of her sustained contributions to academia and her influential role in shaping public management research.

As we honor Professor Riccucci, we recognize her not just as a researcher of considerable renown but also as a community builder who has enriched the academic and practical landscapes of public management. Her work serves as an inspiring example of how dedicated scholarship intertwined with committed mentorship can effect substantial, positive changes in both policy and practice.

The IRSPM community is profoundly grateful for Norma Riccucci’s contributions and is proud to celebrate her achievements with the 2024 Routledge Lifetime Achievement Award. Her legacy is a testament to the powerful impact one individual’s dedication can have on a global scale, motivating current and future generations to continue exploring and enhancing the governance and administration of public institutions.

Public Services Accounting and Accountability Special Interest Group Lifetime Achievement Award

It is with a blend of solemn respect and heartfelt celebration that we honor Professor Irvine Lapsley with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from the Public Services Accounting and Accountability Special Interest Group (SIG) at IRSPM. This award recognizes individuals who have profoundly influenced the field of public service accounting and accountability, and there is no doubt that Professor Lapsley's contributions have left an indelible mark.

Professor Lapsley was not only a towering figure in public-sector accounting but also a beloved member of the academic community whose interdisciplinary approach and insightful critiques have significantly shaped our understanding of managerial reforms and public accountability. His work, characterized by its rigorous analysis and deep understanding of the interplay between technical processes and human factors, remains essential reading for anyone delving into public reforms.

Beyond his academic prowess, Irvine was instrumental in fostering the international public sector accounting and accountability community. His efforts in organizing conferences, editing the renowned journal Financial Accountability & Management, and mentoring emerging scholars have helped cultivate a vibrant and supportive academic environment. His passion for public service was not just about advancing knowledge but also about building a community that spans generations and geographies.

Although we recently lost Professor Lapsley, his legacy was celebrated while he was still with us, a recognition that brought him great joy. As we reflect on his contributions, we also remember the man behind the scholarship—an engaging conversationalist, a compassionate mentor, and a true gentleman. His warmth and kindness touched many, from seasoned colleagues to young academics, making him not only a respected scholar but also a cherished friend.

Irvine’s interests went beyond the academic; he was known for his love of football and his culinary conversations, often shared over a cup of coffee. His ability to balance profound intellectual contributions with genuine personal interactions made him a model academic and community member.

While we mourn his passing, we also celebrate the rich legacy Irvine leaves behind. His work and his spirit will continue to inspire those in the field of public service accounting and accountability. His commitment to exploring and understanding the nuances of public management reforms ensures that his influence will endure in the academic community and beyond.

As we award him this well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award, we are reminded of his favorite sign-off, "All things go," a nod to the ever-evolving nature of life and scholarship that he embraced so fully. Irvine Lapsley may have left us, but his impact remains, guiding and inspiring future generations of scholars and practitioners.

In honoring Irvine, we commit to advancing the values he championed and to continuing the work he so passionately pursued. His intellectual legacy is not just a collection of scholarly works but a beacon that continues to illuminate the path for ongoing research and discourse in public service accountability.

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