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Conducting best practices research in public affairs


  • Stephanie M. Myers
  • Hayden P. Smith
  • Lawrence L. Martin


Over the past decade a broad cross section of research has been carried out under the rubric of best practices (Bendixson and de Guchteneire, 2003). This article takes a closer look at best practices research and its application to the field of public affairs. First, two questions are addressed: what is best practice? And what is best practice research? Next, some of the major methodical criticisms of best practice research are addressed. The two major approaches (e.g. quantitative/microeconomic and qualitative/case study) to conducting best practices research are then identified and discussed. A recent qualitative/case study best practices research effort conducted by the Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Central Florida is then detailed. As part of this recitation, a tripartite schema to classify qualitative/case study approaches to best practices research is presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephanie M. Myers & Hayden P. Smith & Lawrence L. Martin, 2006. "Conducting best practices research in public affairs," International Journal of Public Policy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(4), pages 367-378.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijpubp:v:1:y:2006:i:4:p:367-378

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