With our research projects, our chair seeks to contribute new insights to the scientific field and to solve practically relevant problems. As our society faces critical challenges such as serious public debt and demographic changes, a key question of Public Management & Public Policy is how public services can be fulfilled in an effective and efficient way under the condition of scarcity.
In our research, we focus on Public Corporate Governance, integrated management, political control of core administration and outsourced organisational entities of public authorities, administrative modernisation and outcome-oriented management of policy fields. Public Corporate Governance encapsulates both the legal and factual framework and its design in order to control, monitor, and manage legally and/or economically independent entities of public authorities as well as the day-to-day managing and supervising of independent organizations by politico-administrative bodies. (i.e. rules for good organisation leadership). From an institutional point of view, we focus on a comparative analysis of policy fields in order to generate further scientific insights as well as derive concrete recommendations for the particular national reform perspectives. A special emphasis is given to an international comparative perspective. Our projects are based on theoretical and empirical research, using quantitative and qualitative methods alike. Due to the complexity of these fields, we increasingly pursue inter- and multidisciplinary and problem-oriented research. In our teaching research projects, we particularly consider schools.
Here you find a brief overview of our research projects:
Reforms in the provision of public services with new institutional arrangements have made State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) increasingly relevant in many countries. SOEs are defined as enterprises where the state has significant control through full majority, or significant minority ownership. In this context the definition also includes enterprises with significant control of municipalities and other government levels/public authorities. SOEs are often prevalent in public services of general interest and services of general economic interest whose performance is of great importance to broad segments of the population. A substantial percentage of public expenditure goes towards SOEs, which demonstrates their importance for providing and managing public services and finances effectively, efficiently and sustainable.
"In Germany there are more than 16.000 SOEs. Worldwide SOEs represent approximately 10% of global gross domestic product."
Federal Statistical Office 2013 | Bruton et al., 2015
In Germany there are more than 16.000 SOEs. Worldwide SOEs represent approximately 10% of global gross domestic product. The proportion of SOEs among the Fortune Global 500 has grown from 9% in 2005 to 23% in 2014. Studies for different countries demonstrate the significant role of SOEs. For instance, empirical studies at the local level in Germany reveal that the number of public employees in corporations and other independent organizational forms is as high as in the core administration or often even higher. Over 43% of public investments are not conducted by the core administration (municipal level about 55%). Debts located in SOEs, corporations and other independent organizational units often exceed the debts of the core administration. According to some categorizations, SOEs are classified as type 2 (i.e. Non-Departmental Public Bodies) or type 3 agencies (i.e. Public Corporations) in contrast to type 1 agencies (i.e. Next Steps Agencies).
Control deficits and a lack of accountability have led to discussions about what actions are appropriate in order to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and transparency of SOEs. In view of these challenges, corporate governance of SOEs has become a major challenge in many countries.
There is a substantial body of research on the corporate governance of private - especially listed - enterprises. Corporate governance has meanwhile come to be regarded as a research discipline in its own right and is one of the most discussed management issues.
In contrast, the corporate governance of SOEs and agencies has been empirically examined only to a very limited extent - despite the socio-political and economic relevance of SOEs. The literature about the corporate governance of SOEs, which is comparatively scarce, is in constant demand for empirical studies. Existing studies for agencies often do neither focus on the very important local governance level nor on agencies, which have legal and economic independence.
The International Research Group Governance and Management of State-Owned Enterprises and Independent Public Entities at Local, National and Regional Level has been formed in February 2015 during the EURAM Public and Non Profit Management Strategic Interest Group Mini-Conference in Leipzig.
It is the aim of the research group to provide an interdisciplinary forum for scholars of different disciplines and working groups, to advance the knowledge on a world-wide phenomenon and to offer scientific insights in order to support policy makers in the prevailing debate.
In the framework of the annual Conference of the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) the research group had an annual panel from 2015-2018. Together with a another panel the group institutionalised a Special Interest Group “Hybrid Governance with State-Owned Enterprises and Non-Profit Organizations” in august 2018. In this format there are meetings and sessions with a special focus on the governance of SOEs.
Reforms in the provision of public services with new institutional arrangements have made State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) increasingly relevant in many countries. SOEs are defined as enterprises where the state has significant control through full, majority, or significant minority ownership (OECD 2005). In this context the definition should also include enterprises with significant control of municipalities and other government levels/public authorities. SOEs are often prevalent in public services of general interest and services of general economic interest whose performance is of great importance to broad segments of the population. A substantial percentage of public expenditure goes towards SOEs, which demonstrates their importance for providing and managing public services and finances effectively, efficiently and sustainably. However, comparatively few empirical studies focus on SOEs/on the sphere between core administration and the private sector, although empirical data show the relevance. Moreover, it can be observed in the international research arena, that the scarce research long time was additionally fragmented in different disciplines and groups.
The group is open for scholars and practitioners interested in this specific research field. For exchanging information on publications, projects, events etc. there is an email list.
If you would like to join the group or mailing list, please contact Prof Dr Ulf Papenfuß.