The Leonard D. White prize is awarded annually for the best dissertation successfully defended during the previous two years in the field of public administration.
The Leonard D. White prize is awarded annually for the best dissertation successfully defended during the previous two years in the field of public administration. The award is supported by the University of Chicago. It carries a prize of $750. The members of the 2016 Leonard D. White dissertation award committee were Sergio Fernandez (Indiana University), Susan Miller (University of South Carolina), and Rosemary O’Leary (Chair, University of Kansas). Eighteen dissertations were evaluated by the committee using the following criteria: importance of research question, creativity and innovation of the study, significance of the contribution to theory and literature, quality of literature review and theoretical framework, methodological approach and analysis, and writing. The committee unanimously chose the dissertation titled, “An FMRI Study of the Reward Preferences of Government and Business Leaders.” This research furthers public service motivation theory through a creative study that used neuroimaging of the brains of government and business leaders to answer two research questions. 1) Do the reward preferences between government and business leaders reveal themselves at the neural level in the brain? 2) Do these responses to monetary rewards differ significantly between government and business leaders? Both questions were answered in the affirmative. The behavioral and neural data of this study provide preliminary evidence that there may be a biological basis to the divergent reward preferences of business and government leaders published in previous literature.
Special thanks to our committee Rosemary O’Leary (Chair), University of Kansas; Susan Miller, University of South Carolina; Sergio Fernandez, Indiana University