William G. Resh

William G. Resh

Assistant Professor

Sol Price School of Public Policy
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall, 201D
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Curriculum Vitae


Public Management, US presidency and executive politics, policy implementation, organization theory, personnel policy, organizational behavior


Resh earned his doctoral degree at the American University’s School of Public Affairs in 2011. From 2011 to 2014, he was a tenure-track assistant professor in public management at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Since 2014, he is a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. Resh also co-directs the USC Price On the Rhine study abroad program.

While his research covers a wide array of governance topics (e.g., executive politics, organization theory, street-level bureaucracy, goal conflict, and contracting), a common theme is how administrative structure, political environments (and institutional conflict), and inter- and intra-organizational relationships affect the decision calculus of the individuals within organizations tasked with public policy implementation.

His work has been published in peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, Presidential Studies Quarterly, American Review of Public Administration, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Review of Policy Research, and the International Public Management Journal and academic presses such as Oxford University Press. Bill also has a forthcoming book entitled Rethinking the Administrative Presidency. Recent work on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey has garnered much professional and media attention.

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2014-2015 Bedrosian Center Faculty Award

In the Face of Failure: The Persistence of Pro-Social Motivations under Conditions of Negative Feedback

Public management research has identified Public Service Motivation (PSM) as a common characteristic of individuals who choose to enter careers in public or nonprofit service (versus the private sector). Dr. Resh’s research tests the notion that individuals who are more PSM-oriented and who identify more strongly with the mission of their organization are more likely to persist in their work efforts even when their policy outcomes are viewed as “failures.” Dr. Resh also examines whether negative feedback creates conditions in which self-interest is more likely to crowd out altruistic motivation or PSM. The findings from this research will shape recommendations for how to better create public and nonprofit sector recruitment, retention, and personnel policies. Dr. Resh also aims to use this research to develop a theory of how context and feedback affect the motivation of people who implement policy.

Selected Publications:

Resh, W. G. (2015). Rethinking the Administrative Presidency: Trust, Intellectual Capital, and Appointee-Careerist Relations in the George W. Bush Administration. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Marvel, J. D., & Resh, W. G. (2015). Bureaucratic Discretion, Client Demographics, and Representative Bureaucracy. The American Review of Public Administration, 45(3), 281-310.

Fernandez, S., Resh, W. G., Moldogaziev, T., & Oberfield, Z. W. (2015). Assessing the Past and Promise of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey for Public Management Research: A Research Synthesis. Public Administration Review, 75(3), 382-394.

Resh, W. G. (2014). Appointee-Careerist Relations in the Presidential Transition of 2008‐2009. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 44(4), 697-723.

Resh, W. G., Siddiki, S., & McConnell, W. R. (2014). Does the Network Centrality of Government Actors Matter? Examining the Role of Government Organizations in Aquaculture Partnerships. Review of Policy Research, 31(6), 584-609.

Resh, W. G., & Pitts, D. W. (2013). No Solutions, only Trade‐Offs? Evidence about Goal Conflict in Street‐Level Bureaucracies. Public Administration Review, 73(1), 132-142.

Ross, J. M., Hall, J. C., & Resh, W. G. (2013). Frictions in Polycentric Administration with Non-congruent Borders: Evidence from Ohio School District Class Sizes. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 24(3), 623.

Resh, W. G., & Marvel, J. D. (2012). Loopholes to Load-Shed: Contract Management Capacity, Representative Bureaucracy, and Goal Displacement in Federal Procurement Decisions. International Public Management Journal, 15(4), 525-547.

Resh, W. G. (2012). Who Participates Now… and Why?: A Case Study of Modern Interest Participation and Bureaucratic Decision-Making in the Age of e-Government. In A. Manoharan, & M. Holzer (Eds.), E-Governance and Civic Engagement: Factors and Determinants of E-Democracy (pp. 315). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.