Title page for ETD etd-07122010-144253

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Offenbacker, Beth S
Author's Email Address boffen@vt.edu
URN etd-07122010-144253
Title Inclusive Management in Action: An International Study of Public Engagement
Degree PhD
Department Public Administration and Public Affairs
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Khademian, Anne Meredith Committee Chair
Dudley, Larkin S. Committee Member
Sanchez, Thomas W. Committee Member
Wolf, James F. Committee Member
  • Inclusive Management
  • Public Participation
  • Engagement
Date of Defense 2010-06-29
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study is to define and apply an engagement framework built upon

Inclusive Management theory to examine the practice of participation as understood by

administrators, elected officials, NGO leaders and public participation practitioners

across multiple countries and to illustrate the framework through three case studies.

Specifically, it asks how does Inclusive Management guide us in understanding

participation as practiced by managers/leaders with responsibility for this work? It

also considers the potential connections between management and participation as

demonstrated in the data, and further, it seeks to identify how IM as a theory may be

enriched or empirically elaborated as a result of this examination. This research

examines the observation of phenomena identified by study participants ordinarily not

considered a consequence of efforts that engage the public. Using inclusive management

theory, the resulting engagement framework includes clusters of outcomes, continuous

events and capacity-building as its core elements. The framework shows inclusive

management in action and offers a different way of knowing (Feldman, Khademian,

Ingram, & Schneider, 2006; Gomez, Bouty, & Drucker-Godard, 2003; Nicolini,

Gherardi, & Yanow, 2003) participation in government decision making than generally is

depicted in the public participation literature or characterized anecdotally. The

engagement framework also corresponds in several ways to the techniques of dialogue,

deliberation and appreciative inquiry. As the data will demonstrate in this dissertation,

the engagement framework may draw upon these techniques, and moreover, that the

relational, informational and stewardship dimensions of engagement reinforce one

another. This dissertation also addresses a longstanding gap in the participation

literature, in that it provides strategies that connect management theory and practice with

participatory principles.

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