Title page for ETD etd-12062008-194138

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Anderson, Lori Choyce
Author's Email Address loriandersonandassociates@verizon.net
URN etd-12062008-194138
Title The Meaning of Inherently Govermental in OMB Circualr A-76 from 1966 to 2003: A Change in Governing Approaches?
Degree PhD
Department Public Administration and Public Affairs
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hult, Karen M. Committee Chair
Rohr, John A. Committee Member
White, Orion F. Jr. Committee Member
Wolf, James F. Committee Member
  • Inherently Governmental
  • Entrepreneurial Governing Approach
  • Constitutionalist Governing Approach
  • Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
  • Circualr A-76
  • Performance of Commercial Activities
Date of Defense 2008-12-05
Availability unrestricted
The Meaning of Inherently Governmental in

OMB Circular A-76 from 1966 to 2003:

A Change in Governing Approaches?

Lori Choyce Anderson


There is a research deficit in public administration. We do not adequately ask how the essential concepts of governments that are expressed in political thought are operationalized through administrative mechanisms and then implemented into practice. The current study began addressing this deficit by investigating how the notion of governing approaches has been treated in the political thought of Ronald C. Moe and Moe and Robert S. Gilmour and then exploring how the idea of governing approaches and another essential concept of government, that of inherently governmental, have been operationalized in the administrative device, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76. I utilized a longitudinal qualitative content analysis to determine whether there was support for a change in governing approaches from a Constitutionalist Governing Approach to an Entrepreneurial Governing Approach in the evolution of the meaning of inherently governmental as it was used in OMB Circular A-76, Performance of Commercial Activities, from 1966 to 2003. All the Circulars showed evidence of the Constitutionalist Governing Approach. The project repositions the notion of inherently governmental as a thick political concept, a normative, context-specific idea that a polity must address. It also proposes a research typology to guide investigations of these kinds of ideas.

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