A Science of Public Administration?
Many realms of social inquiry, particularly public administration, are in the midst of an era of unprecedented epistemological introspection, driven primarily by frustration with the prevailing positivism of applied research. Thus far, this process has yet to render coherent alternative paradigms. However, an increased emphasis on some type of systems theory is implicit in many reconceptualizations and even explicit in a few. Rebuilding the systems paradigm requires recognition of its alternative view of scientific enterprise, its ability to embrace emerging conceptual advances from other domains (such as chaos theory and applied quantum logic), and its usefulness as a basis for purposeful action.