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

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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.

Critique one Peer-Reviewed Article

Search any database listed above, but use limiters to Peer Reviewed or Scholarly. Feel free to email me if you want to make sure the item you are looking at is scholarly/peer-reviewed. From your syllabus:

  1. 1)  Brief synopsis of the article (no more than four sentences).
  2. 2)  Significant argument(s) of the author(s)
  3. 3)  Critical analysis of findings and the argument(s).
  4. 4)  Important questions and implications raised by the argument.
  5. 5)  Reflection on the article in terms of the arguments significance for the field and you.