PhD scholarship
The Laboratory for Public Management and Policy (LaMP) is looking to recruit a PhD student commencing in Autumn 2017. LaMP is a dynamic and interdisciplinary group of researchers that operates at the interface of public management and public policy. LaMP provides Hong Kong with a unique laboratory that uses a range of research methods to provide rigorous, robust and systematic empirical evidence on public policy, effective public management practices and performance.
The PhD scholarship is associated with a General Research Fund (GRF) project titled “Organizational design and public management: extending the experimental methods agenda” directed by Professor Richard M. Walker. The abstract is attached below.
To be eligible for a PhD scholarship at City University of Hong Kong candidates must have a good first degree, a research master’s degree and good English language skills. Further details on applications, regulations, fees and monthly stipend are available from SGS (
The candidate will ideally have, or be awarded in the summer of 2017, a master’s degree in public administration/management, public policy, sociology, psychology, economics or management or a related discipline. Knowledge of quantitative research methods, and an understanding of experimental research designs will be a key advantage. The PhD student will be expected to contribute towards the GRF to assist with their training, and the PhD thesis can be related to this project or another topic.
For an informal discussion please contact Dr M. Jin Lee (

Organizational design and public management: extending the experimental methods agenda
Public management research draws on the full methodological repertoire of the social sciences in the search for valid and reliable evidence. In the pursuit of ‘realistic evidence’ there has been a recent turn towards the use of experimental methods (Margetts 2011). This project will build upon this shift to examine the validity of social scientific knowledge by replicating and extending experimental studies on key questions of organizational design.
The growth in public management studies employing experimental methods has not been matched by replication studies: to date none have been published. While challenges exist in publishing replications, there are growing examples in the social sciences (e.g. Nosek and Lakens 2014). Replications are not identical copies, rather they seek to test the theories employed in prior studies. In this project replications will be ‘empirical generalizations’ and ‘generalization and extension’ (Tsang and Kwan 1999):
*          Empirical generalizations draw on the same designs but uses different populations and settings. This leads to the proposition that the different context for the replications—Hong Kong as again Europe/USA—will result in findings in the same direction but with weaker results. It is theorized that this will arise from the more collective culture and Confucianism in Hong Kong.
*          Generalization and extension will see two extensions undertaken. The first addresses concerns in the discipline about practical relevance of findings on studies using students, thus experiments will be extended to include managers. Second, the impact of incentives on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation will be examined.
The majority of experimental studies in public management have examined organizational design. We take this cue to inform the selection of the five replications that will be conducted in this study and examine performance management (Weibel et al. 2010), work motivation (Brewer and Brewer 2011), decision-making (Nutt 2005), and rules and red tape (Kaufman and Feeney 2014; Scott and Pandey 2000). The study, therefore, seeks to contribute towards better organizational designs that produce improved outcomes for public agencies by better understanding the generalizability public management knowledge.

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