Research Field Public Management Research

Public management can be understood as a combination of the normative orientation of traditional public management and the instrumental orientation of general management (Perry & Kraemer 1983). Public management therefore goes far beyond the narrow neo-liberal orientation of the New Public Management of the 1990s. It encompasses the actions of the state aimed at the common good, that is, at the general well-being of all members of a society. Last but not least, this orientation places high demands on all employees who, as public managers, play an important role in shaping society. Particular challenges for management in the 21st century include demographic change, the economic and financial crisis, public sector debt and environmental changes such as global warming. As aspects of global change, these phenomena are closely linked. Measures, processes and structures that seek to address these problems are therefore hardly possible without the cooperation and networking of state, civil society and economic actors, without the control and organization of organizational interdependence (Metcalfe & Richards 1987) and without international exchange.

Public Management Research is the study of these measures, processes and structures (Pollitt 1996). This research also includes the normative orientation of measures and the consideration of its interweaving with politics. The research is concerned with intended and unintended effects, and it examines the specific objects and frameworks that make up the public in public management compared to the private sector. The professional and social discourse about the state and management are also explored from a critical perspective.

Research Focus Organization, Knowledge and Technology(ies): Change in Work Practice

Knowledge and technology management is gaining in importance for public management, especially in times of new challenges, demographic change and budget constraints. On the one hand, it is about having the right knowledge (and the right competences) at the right time and the right place. On the other hand, organizational memory, innovative capability and employer attractiveness must also be secured in the long term.

  • Knowledge in management practices
  • Change through digitization
  • Knowledge in/and organization
  • Learning Organization, Communities of Practice, Knowledge Management Systems

Research Focus Inclusion - Exclusion: Democratic Political Challenges for Society and Management

Modern societies are characterized by growing diversity but also by exclusion and segregation processes. The promotion of diversity on the one hand and social cohesion on the other is a field of tension in which public managers work.

  • Exclusion and isolation tendencies
  • Social and political movements for participation and social interaction
  • Analysis and further development of instruments of inclusion

Research Focus Competences, Training and Further Education

Due to the increasing demands on the management, the definition of the “right” competences of the employees becomes more difficult and more controversial. The required skills include tolerance for the increasing ambiguity and complexity, dealing with complex, complicated problems (so-called “wicked problems”), diversity of perspectives and interests as well as unpredictable developments and system dynamics. For this reason, so-called meta-skills are central to the administrative staff. These include cross-cutting areas such as democratization and political education, well-being and ethics, as well as scientific skills, systemic thinking and the ability for self-education.

  • Fundamentally oriented research, e.g. on the transferability of competences
  • Problem-oriented, applied research, e.g. for competence measurement
  • Didactic research, e.g. curriculum development

Further Research Focuses in Development

  • Leadership - Followership
  • Public value, common good


> Mag. Dr. Alfred Hödl

Head of Master's Degree Program Public Management, Competence Center of Administrative Sciences

Degree programs

Public Management

Bachelor, part-time


Public Management

Master, part-time