Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Public Service


Public Administration and Policy

Committee Director

John R. Lombard

Committee Member

Ron Carlee

Committee Member

David Ayers


Much remains to be learned about law’s impact on collaboration. Although law is one of the foundational disciplines of public administration, scholars assert that the field focuses on management principles to the detriment of law. Whether this assertion is correct as a general matter for the field, collaboration scholarship lacks empirical examination of the law’s role in collaboration processes.

This three-case study of federal advisory committees managed by the U.S. Coast Guard examines law’s impact on collaboration through the lens of Thomson and Perry’s (2006) Process Model. A qualitative method is used to capture participants’ perceptions of law and their rich descriptions of law’s impact on their work. The study uses semi-structured interviews and documents to collect data relevant to the research questions.

The findings contribute to public administration by identifying a distinction between the impact of administrative law and the impact of operational law on collaboration processes. Additionally, the study observes that practitioners perceive administrative law to inject normative values into collaboration processes. The findings suggest law and management are intertwined in collaboration processes, with implications for public administration theory and practice and for interdisciplinary scholarship at the intersection of law and public administration.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).