P24 Smart management of public organizations: lessons from Asia

Panel Chairs:
Assistant Professor Soojin Kim, Associate Professor Chung-An Chen and Assistant Professor Sangyub Ryu

Corresponding Chair:
Chung-An Chen, cchongan@gmail.com

Knowledge transfer has had a long history in public management. Many Asian students and scholars have been to Western countries, particularly the US and UK, to learn from their theories and practices. They indeed helped Asian countries grow at the initial stage, specifically by adopting advanced public policies and management strategies, which resulted in dramatic economic growth. However, in recent years, more and more Asian scholars have found that theories developed in the Western society may not always be readily applicable to the Asian context. For example, according to Chen, Chen, Liao, and Kuo (2019), in Western countries, public service motivation (PSM) increases people’s likelihood in obtaining a public service position. However, the same proposition does not hold in East Asia, where obtaining a public service position requires one to pass an extremely competitive public service exam. Competition along with social expectation may crowd out exam participants’ PSM.

As generic management scholars argue, Asian context is special enough to call for more Asian management studies (Hofstede, 2007). Similarly, we believe that scholars should have more confidence in developing an agenda for Asian public management research. In the short-term, they can examine the applicability of theories developed in the Western society. On the other side of the coin, in the long-term, they are encouraged to move toward their own theory development.

Therefore, this panel welcomes high-quality research that emphasizes lessons public management from Asia. We are particularly interested in the following research:

  • Context-based public management research
  • Comparative public management research
  • Large-sample, cross-country public management research

In line with the main theme of the 2020 IRSPM Conference, this panel will focus on the topics related to smart public services ranging from smart governance (structural aspects) to smart people (behavioral aspects) and smart tools (technological aspects).


Chen, C.-A., Chen, D.-Y., Liao, Z.-P., & Kuo, M.-F. (2019). Winnowing Out High-PSM Candidates: The Adverse Selection Effect of Competitive Public Service Exams. International Public Management Journal, Conditionally accept.
Hofstede, G. (2007). Asian management in the 21st century. Asia Pacific journal of management, 24(4), 411-420.