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Leisha DeHart-Davis

Professor of Public Administration and Government; Director, Local Government Workplaces Initiative

Leisha DeHart-Davis is a professor of public administration and government at the School of Government. Her applied research focuses on workplace climate in local government organizations. DeHart-Davis's academic research addresses public sector organizational behavior, most recently, employee voice, organizational structure, and citizen and workplace incivility. 

She is a faculty member in the School's Master of Public Administration program and directs the Local Government Workplaces Initiative, a research program that conducts workplace climate and employee engagement research to help local governments create great workplaces.

DeHart-Davis is the recipient of the 2024 Herbert Simon Award for the Scientific Study of Bureaucracy, given by the Public Administration Caucus of the Midwest Political Science Association. She is also a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow and recipient of the 2019 Gary Cornia Distinguished Lecturer given by the Romney Institute of Brigham Young University. She has published two books, the award-winning Creating Effective Rules in Public Sector Organizations and Understanding Gender Imbalance in Public Sector Leadership. Her research has also been published in academic journals including the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, International Public Management Journal, Administration and Society, and Review of Public Personnel Administration.

DeHart-Davis is past-president of the Public Management Research Association and a UNC Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholar. She holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Select Publications

Davis, Jill A; Z. Jiang, S. Hassan, L. DeHart-Davis. (2024). Gender Differences in Workplace Incivility Experiences and Their Impacts on The Well-Being and Retention of Women in Law Enforcement Organizations. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, Volume 18.

DeHart-Davis, L., Dickerson, K., & Jiang, Z. (2023). Does Bureaucracy Diminish Inclusion? Evidence from a County Government. Public Personnel Management, 52(4), 498-520.

DeHart-Davis, L., Whetsell, T. A., & Humphrey, N. (2023). Can We Talk? An Exploratory Study of Gender and Network Ties in a Local Government Setting. Review of Public Personnel Administration

Pandey, S., DeHart-Davis, L., Pandey, S., & Ahlawat, S. (2022). Fight or flight: How gender influences follower responses to unethical leader behaviour. Public Management Review, 1-21.

Jiang, Z., DeHart‐Davis, L., & Borry, E. L. (2022). Managerial Practice and Diversity Climate: The Roles of Workplace Voice, Centralization, and Teamwork. Public Administration Review.

Kaufmann, W., Borry, E. L., & DeHart-Davis, L. (2022). Can effective organizational rules keep employees from leaving? a study of green tape and turnover intention. Public Management Review, 1-22.

Whetsell, Travis. A., Kroll, A., & DeHart-Davis, L. (2021). “Formal Hierarchies and Informal Networks: How Organizational Structure Shapes Information Search in Local Government”. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 

DeHart-Davis, Leisha, D.M. Hatmaker, K. Nelson, S.K. Pandey, S. Pandey, A.E. Smith. (2020). Understanding Gender Imbalance in Public Sector Leadership. Elements Series, Cambridge University Press.

Smith, Amy E., Hassan, S., Hatmaker, D.M., DeHart-Davis, L. and Humphrey, N., (2020). “Gender, Race, and Experiences of Workplace Incivility in Public Organizations”. Review of Public Personnel Administration, p.0734371X20927760.

 Kroll, A., DeHart-Davis, L., & Vogel, D. (2019). “Mechanisms of Social Capital in Organizations: How Team Cognition Influences Employee Commitment and Engagement”. The American Review of Public Administration49(7), 777–791.

Hassan, Shahidul, Leisha DeHart‐Davis, and Zhongnan Jiang (2018) "How Empowering Leadership Reduces Employee Silence in Public Organizations." Public Administration.

DeHart-Davis, Leisha. Creating Effective Rules in Public Sector Organizations (2017) Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Kaufmann, Wesley, Erin L. Borry, and Leisha DeHart‐Davis. "More than Pathological Formalization: Understanding Organizational Structure and Red Tape." Public Administration Review (2018).

Borry, Erin L., Leisha DeHart‐Davis, Wesley Kaufmann, Cullen C. Merritt, Zachary Mohr, and Lars Tummers. "Formalization and consistency heighten organizational rule following: Experimental and survey evidence." Public Administration 96, no. 2 (2018): 368-385.

"Green Tape and Job Satisfaction: Can Organizational Rules Make Employees Happy?,” Leisha DeHart-Davis, Randall S. Davis, and Zachary Mohr, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (2014): muu038.

"Written Versus Unwritten Rules: The Role of Rule Formalization in Green Tape," Leisha DeHart-Davis, Jie Chen, and Todd D. Little. International Public Management Journal 16, no. 3 (2013): 331-356.

"Green Tape: A Theory of Effective Organizational Rules." Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 19 2: 361-384. JPART 2010 Virtual Reader inclusion of Leisha DeHart-Davis, 2009.

"Bureaucracy and Public Employee Behavior: A Case of Local Government," Review of Public Personnel Administration 29 4. 311-326. Mary K. Feeney and Leisha DeHart-Davis, 2009.

"Can Bureaucracy Benefit Organizational Women? An Exploratory Study," Administration and Society 41 3.:340-363. Leisha DeHart-Davis, 2009.

"Gender and Organizational Rule Abidance," Public Administration Review 692.:339-347. Shannon Portillo and Leisha DeHart-Davis, 2009.

Additional Publications

Nesbit, Rebecca, Stephanie Moulton, Scott Robinson, Craig Smith, Leisha DeHart-Davis, Mary K. Feeney, Beth Gazley, and Yilin Hou. "Wrestling with Intellectual Diversity in Public Administration: Avoiding Disconnectedness and Fragmentation While Seeking Rigor, Depth, and Relevance." Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 21, no. suppl 1 (2011): i13-i28.

Feeney, Mary K., and Leisha DeHart-Davis. 2009. Bureaucracy and Public Employee Behavior: A Case of Local Government.Review of Public Personnel Administration 29 4. 311-326.

DeHart-Davis, Leisha 2009 Green Tape and Public Employee Rule Abidance: Why Organizational Rule Attributes Matter Public Administration Review 69 5.: 901-910.

Shannon Portillo, Leisha DeHart-Davis. 2009. Gender and Organizational Rule Abidance. Public Administration Review 69 2.:339-347.

DeHart-Davis, Leisha. 2007. The Unbureaucratic Personality Public Administration Review Vol. 67, No. 5, pp. 892-903.

DeHart-Davis, Leisha, Marlowe, Justin & Pandey, Sanjay K. 2006. Gender Dimensions of Public Service Motivation Public Administration Review Vol. 66, No. 6, pp. 873-887. (Also in 2012 PAR Virtual Issue: Public Service Motivation).

Zia, A., B. G.Norton, D. S. Noonan, M. O. Rodgers, and L. DeHart-Davis. 2006. A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of High-Emitter Non-Compliance and Its Impact on Vehicular Tailpipe Emissions in Atlanta,1997-2001. Transportation Research Part D 11 1.: 77-96.

DeHart-Davis, Leisha; G. Kingsley 2005. Managerial Perceptions of Privatization: Evidence from a State Department of Transportation State and Local Government Review Vol. 37, No. 3, pp 228-241.

DeHart-Davis, Leisha and R. Guensler 2005. Employers as Mediating Institutions in Public Policy: The Case of Commute Option Programs Policy Studies Journal Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 675-697 .

DeHart-Davis, Leisha and S. Pandey. 2005. Red Tape and Public Employees: Does Perceived Rule Dysfunction Alienate Managers? Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 133-148.

Corley, Elizabeth. L.DeHart-Davis, M. Rodgers 2003. Inspection/Maintenance Program Evaluation: Replication of the Denver Step Method for an Atlanta Fleet Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 37, No. 12, pp. 2801-2806.

DeHart-Davis, Leisha, E.Corley, M. Rodgers. 2002. Evaluating Vehicle Inspection/Maintenance Programs Using Onroad Emissions Data: The Atlanta Reference Method, Evaluation Review, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 111-146.

DeHart-Davis, Leisha and B. Bozeman 2001. Regulatory Compliance and Air Quality Permitting: Why Do Firms ‘Overcomply?’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 471-508.

Bozeman, Barry and L. DeHart-Davis 1999. Red Tape and Clean Air: Title V Air Pollution Permitting Implementation as a Test Bed for Theory Development Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 141-177.



Leisha DeHart Davis CV (docx, 36.48 KB)
Fields of Expertise
Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Employee Engagement Surveys
Employer–Employee Relations
Human Resource Management
Organizational Change and Development
Organizational Policies and Procedures
Public Administration
Public Management
Research Methods for Public Administration
Survey Methodology
Women in Public Service
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