If public administration “entrepreneurs” do not profit from their innovations like their private sector counterparts do, then what motivates them to transform their agencies?  Dr. Manuel (“Manny”) Teodoro explores this puzzling question in his award winning book, Bureaucratic Ambition: Careers, Motives, and the Innovative Administrator, which explains what drives these public administration “entrepreneurs,” how they are created, and why these pioneering leaders do not emerge by chance but instead arise out of predictable institutional arrangements.  

Dr. Teodoro explains the systems that promote or hinder entrepreneurship among public executives. Using case studies and quantitative analysis of original data, he demonstrates how psychological motives and career opportunities influence administrators' decisions, and he reveals the consequences these choices have for innovation and democratic governance.  Dr. Teodoro finds that when advancement involves movement across agencies, ambitious bureaucrats have strong incentives for entrepreneurship.  However, when promotions occur vertically within a single organization, ambitious bureaucrats have less incentive for innovation, but perhaps they face greater accountability (Johns Hopkins University Press).  

Bureaucratic Ambition recently won The American Society for Public Administration’s 2013 Best Book Award from the Section for Public Administration Research, which recognizes that this book significantly advances the scholarship on politics and public administration.  The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching, and practice of public and non-profit administration.

Dr. Teodoro received his B.A.in political science from Seattle University and an MPA from Cornell University.  He was a student in the joint Ph.D. program in the Political Science Department and in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.  He completed his degree in 2007. Dr. Teodoro is currently an assistant professor at Colgate University, with current research interests in public policy and public management, with a focus on American local government and environmental policy.