John Bryson and Barbara Crosby Honored for Contributions to the Field of Leadership and Management Research

May 3, 2019
Head shots of John Bryson and Barbara Crosby
Professor John Bryson and Associate Professor Emerita Barbara Crosby recently received two
awards in recognition of their scholarship in the area of public leadership and management.
(Photos: Bruce Silcox)

Two of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ most highly regarded scholars in the field of public leadership and management are being recognized with two prestigious awards.

John Bryson, McKnight Presidential Professor of Planning and Public Affairs, and Barbara Crosby, associate professor emerita, are the joint winners of the 2019 Keith G. Provan Award for Outstanding Contributions to Empirical Theory, from the Public and Nonprofit Division of the Academy of Management.

They also received the 2019 Jan Kooiman Best Article Award from the International Research Society for Public Management, for the best article in Volume 20 of Public Management Review.

Keith G. Provan Award

This award is given in honor of the late Keith Provan, who was a major force in public management research for more than 30 years. He was McClelland Professor of Management at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management at the time of his death in February 2014 at age 66. Provan helped pioneer the study of inter-organizational networks within service systems like mental health and healthcare.  

Award recipients are chosen based on the following criteria:

  • Be interdisciplinary in integrating literature from across perspectives
  • Contribute substantially to both theory and empirical approaches
  • Make a unique and identifiable contribution to knowledge in public administration research

“Not only are you both great scholars on your own, and each could easily win this recognition by yourself, but your scholarship together has been enormously influential,” Professor Kimberly Isett at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who chaired the selection committee, wrote to Bryson and Crosby. “Honoring you both as individuals and as a partnership reflects so much of Keith's legacy.”

“We are deeply honored to be recognized individually and jointly by our academy colleagues for our contributions to the study and practice of public and nonprofit management,” Bryson says. “Keith Provan was an inspiration. He set a very high bar and challenged all of us to do better.”

Humphrey School Dean Laura Bloomberg congratulated Bryson and Crosby for the prestigious honor.

“Having worked with Dr. Bryson and Dr. Crosby on advancing theories of public value creation in public administration, I've developed a tremendous appreciation for their depth of knowledge, and huge respect for their research acumen in this vitally important field,” says Humphrey School Dean Laura Bloomberg. “They are most certainly deserving recipients of the Keith Provan Award.”

This is the first time the Provan Award has been given to two people to honor both their work as individuals and their joint work – in this case in the areas of leadership, strategy, and collaboration. The award will be presented in August at the Academy of Management’s annual conference in Boston.  

Jan Kooiman Best Article Award

This award is from the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM), for the best article in Volume 20 (2018) of Public Management Review, which is one of the top scholarly journals in the field. The article is: “Why Leadership of Public Leadership Research Matters: And What to Do About It.”

“We are humbled by this recognition from IRSPM's global community of scholars, especially because this award is named for one of the giants of public management scholarship,” Crosby says. “We also want to acknowledge Amineh Safi, our research assistant at the Humphrey School, who made important contributions to the award-winning article.”

The society's mission is to develop and support research about public management and public policy implementation among the international research community, and to facilitate the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and understanding across this community.  

Bryson and Crosby received this award last month at the IRSPM annual conference in Wellington, New Zealand (pictured above).

“It has been a privilege to be part of the leadership and management faculty at Humphrey over many years, and we are grateful to our colleagues and students for engaging with us in our work,” says Bryson.

Bryson and Crosby are distinguished experts in the fields of strategic planning, leadership, and collaboration. They have taught and written extensively on these topics and are among the most cited of all scholars in public and nonprofit management in the world.

Bryson is the recipient of the 2018 H. George Frederickson Award from the Public Management Research Association, which honors a senior scholar for career contributions to the field of public management.  

Crosby received the 2017 Leslie A. Whittington Excellence in Teaching Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), recognizing her outstanding contributions to public service education through excellence in teaching. She retired from the Humphrey School in 2017.