This study examines the extent and impact of mediocrity in management. Mediocrity among public managers is defined as having only a modest commitment to contemporary values and practices of public administration. Based on a national survey of senior managers in city governments with populations over 50,000, this study finds that in about 41% of jurisdictions most managers have only a mediocre commitment to contemporary values and practices. Managerial mediocrity is shown to have strong, negative impacts on workplace productivity and on citizen trust in government. This first of two articles concludes with practical tips for assessing mediocrity in the workplace. The second article, which also is in this issue of PPMR, focuses on strategies for addressing managerial mediocrity.
Public Performance & Management Review, Vol.27, No.2, pp. 9-29