John Nalbandian

John Nalbandian
University of Kansas | KU · School of Public Affairs and Administration

Doctor of Philosophy

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62
Publications
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1,041
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Publications

Publications (62)
Article
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Editor's Note: The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding in 2014. This article is the first of several that will appear during the next year about the council-manager plan to commemorate ICMA's 100th anniversary. Three contemporary leadership challenges face local governments today....
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The legitimacy of an individual councilmember’s power comes directly from the electorate, but respect and influence cannot be presumed; they have to be earned through action. The manager’s position, however, comes from professional qualifications to manage and provide policy guidance. In contrast with members of the council, the local government ma...
Article
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For years, we who are involved in local government have treated citizen engagement as an option to enhance policymaking and community building in local government. I would argue that now engagement no longer is an option; it is imperative. It is made mandatory by the challenging and often confusing context of contemporary local governance, increasi...
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Every so often, members of a profession look inward, asking themselves such questions as these: • What are the enduring qualities that anchor our profession? • How are we changing and what is driving the change? • How do the enduring elements and contemporary changes affect our understanding,first, of who we are as professionals and, second, of wha...
Chapter
As governments worldwide give more responsibility to local authorities, it makes sense to examine emerging roles of the local government professional. These roles are developing in a contemporary context that features the conflicting forces of administrative modernization and civic engagement (Nalbandian and Nalbandian 2002, 2003; Naschold and Dale...
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The study of city management is the study of how politics and administration intersect. While it was conventional in council-manager government at one time to view the governing body in terms of policy making and the administrative staff in terms of implementation, that convention does not pass the empirical test. The city manager sits at the nexus...
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Local government professionals find themselves in the middle of two dynamic forces: administrative modernization and citizen engagement. Attention to one without recognition of the other renders governance ineffective. The key to effective professionalism in local governance is bridging the gaps in governance that these two trends create.
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The Local Government Management Fellows (LGMF) Program was begun in response to demographic trends predicting significant retirements of experienced local government executives. This will occur at the same time as political, economic, and social trends worldwide are thrusting into prominence the role of the local and regional governance. ICMA, in p...
Article
This study examines the different attitudes of newly elected officials and senior incumbents on variables that are considered to be the building blocks of the relationship between local elected officials and professional civil service staff. council respect for the city's professional staff; a clear understanding of the roles of council and the sta...
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The Bertelsmann Foundation, the largest in Germany, sponsors the Carl Bertelsmann Prize for innovative solutions to public problems. In 1993, the award was given for exemplary practice of “democracy and efficiency in local government.” After extensive research, 10 cities – including Phoenix, Arizona, and Christchurch, New Zealand – received the pri...
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Abstract The effectiveness of council-manager government in large measure is built upon a partnership between the governing body and the city’s professional staff. This study examines the differences in attitudes of newly elected and senior incumbents on variables that can be considered the building blocks of that relationship: council respect for...
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In a previous article, we outlined two contemporary trends – community building and modernizing of the organization – that affect the work of local government professionals. In that article, we also identified some approaches to dealing effectively with the problems of these trends. In this follow-up article, we propose some competencies that conte...
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Politics can be viewed as the search for consensus on underlying values to foster a sense of community. This search challenges contemporary political and administrative leadership because the policy process increasingly involves interactions among amorphous and unstable issue-oriented coalitions rather than a smaller number of actors with more stab...
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It has been acknowledges for a long time that city and county managers play a prominent role in policy making. It can be no other way. Managers set the council’s agenda, for example, by calling the governing body’s attention infrastructure issues of which it would not otherwise be aware. They develop alternatives for the council, and they make poli...
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City management professional have identified four changes that have occurred over the past 10 years in their roles, responsibilities, and values. First, community building has become part of the city management professional's role and responsibility. Second, managers ave increasingly expected to facilitate participation and representation, and to d...
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The phrase “community building” captures those initiatives in local governments today that seek to connect the places where people live with the lives they lead. The goal of community building is to create attachment to the community, identity, and pride. Most people realize that the selfish pursuit of individual interest, the increase of diversity...
Article
What is different about politics and administration? The answer is found in the ways public officials experience and think about their work rather than in their behavior, according to John Nalbandian. Here, he differentiates ''constellations of logic'' that separate politics from administration and suggests that successful council-staff relations i...
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The practice of local government professionals continuously adapts to changing political environments. Successful managers today are deeply involved in public policy making as they negotiate and broker diverse community interests. Yet an outdated orthodoxy still would have one believe that a dichotomy exists between politics and administration. Thi...
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A growing body of recent literature documents the city manager's politically active role in today's communities. This role challenges the normative assumption upon which the council-manager plan of government is based; namely that the city manager is a politically neutral, administrative expert subordinate to a governing body. On the basis of in-de...
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Eighteen years have passed since the U. S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Griggs v. Duke Power Company. Since that time the Court has reviewed numerous cases, and it is now possible to describe the "consensus" that the Court has reached in the way it approaches affirmative action cases. Following a review of the Court's two-part analytical ap...
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Increasingly, I hear local government managers talk disparagingly and with frustration about the councilmembers they work for. I also observe elected officials thrusting managers into the policy lime-light – either in response to council ineptness or through a conscious choice. These trends challenge the viability of democracy in a professionally a...
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This article asserts that organizational transitions may be eased if change is viewed from the perspective of psychological loss rather than opportunity. Regardless of the benefits of changing, if an anticipated transition challenges that part of one's identity preserved in an organization's history, changes which disregard or discount that past wi...
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This pilot study compares the professional values of public administration students and alumni with a similar group of social workers, business administrators, and lawyers. It reflects the belief that professional values and value patterns strongly influence the way that professionals define and resolve problems. The authors hypothesized that value...
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The espoused values of 681 students and alumni from four graduate programs at the University of Kansas were surveyed with the Rokeach Terminal Values Scale and the newly developed Galloway-Edwards Professional Values Scale. Program affiliation-public administration, social welfare, law, and business administration-consistently accountedfor differen...
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While performance appraisal systems which emphasize work objectives and behavioral rating scales hold considerable promise for improving the evaluation process, an incomplete understanding of the human dynamics underlying the appraisal process blunts their attraction. For a technically sound appraisal system to work, four behavioral elements are ne...
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The public personnel administrator's role is undergoing rapid change as agency managers demand more organizational knowledge of human resources. The traditional role of the personnelist focuses on knowledge of rules, regulations and techniques; emphasizes the values of neutrality and efficiency; finds its source of power in rewards and punishments...
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The authors have drawn from the literature in organization theory and behavior to develop a theoretical framework for understanding the dynamics of public personnel administration. They recast the traditional discussion of public personnel administra tion in order to identify when "merit" would be reflected in "routine" decision-making strategies a...
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Graduate students and younger faculty in public administration have doubts regarding their professional abilities. The anxiety causes them to avoid experiences which will test their competencies. However, in order for students to evaluate their career choices they must be allowed opportunities to test themselves. (KC)

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