VCU Libraries

Research Guides

PADM 602: Public Administration Theory

Search Term Examples

Sample Topics / Concepts:

  • "[name] theory"
  • [theoretician name]
  • motivation
  • excellence
  • "conflict management"
  • diversity
  • trust
  • performance
  • teamwork
  • "team building"
  • "organizational behavior"
  • "corporate culture"
  • "public sector"
  • "government agencies"

Nia Rodgers

Nia Rodgers's picture
Nia Rodgers
Public Affairs Research Librarian
(804) 828-8565
Cabell Library, Room 121



a. ABI/INFORM and Business Source Complete have articles on a wide assortment of leadership, management, organizational behavior, and similar topics. Among those topics is a fair amount of material on theories of motivation, organization, and job design. The materials found in these two databases will be from a variety of publications including scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines, and newspapers.

b. PsycINFO has scholarly articles on all aspects of human behavior, so it is particularly appropriate for researching human motivation, internal and external. The studies include individual behaviors, group behaviors, and organizational behavior.

3. Multidisciplinary

The following three databases cover many different subjects, but none in great depth. Very good for retrieving materials from other disciplines.

4. Cited References Search

Web of Science provides ways to find out how many times an article has been cited. Caveat: Much stronger in the sciences than in the social sciences.

Basic Search: Enter a topic, e.g., "vocational rehabilitation", sort results by 'Times Cited,' and then use the limits on the left, e.g., 'PUBLIC, ENVIRONMENTAL & OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH.'

Cited Reference Search: Select to find articles citing a noted author and/or article.