Amanda M. Girth received her doctorate in public administration from the School of Public Affairs at American University. Her research examines implementation issues and accountability challenges in third-party governance, with a focus on front-line management decisions in contract management.

Professor Girth’s research on government contracting and accountability challenges in third-party governance is published in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, International Public Management Journal, and Administration & Society, among other outlets. She was awarded the 2011 Leonard D. White Award for the best dissertation in public administration from the American Political Science Association.

Previously, Professor Girth was a manager in a global management consulting firm overseeing information technology transformation initiatives for the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development. She also served in Michigan state government advancing policy initiatives associated with disability, civil rights, and women’s issues.

Areas of research

  • Accountability and third-party governance
  • Design and implementation of performance incentives
  • Front-line management decisions in contract management
John D. Marvel and Amanda M. Girth. 2016. Citizen Attributions of Blame in Third-Party Governance. Public Administration Review 76(1): 96-108.

Randall S. Davis, Amanda M. Girth and Edmund C. Stazyk. The Social and Technical Determinants of Perceived Contract Performance: Rules, Autonomy, and Ethics. Public Performance and Management Review, forthcoming.

Alicia C. Bunger, Yiwen Cao, Amanda M. Girth, Jill Hoffman, and Hillary A. Robertson. Constraints and Benefits of Child Welfare Contracts with Behavioral Health Providers: Conditions that Shape Service Access. Administration and Policy in Mental Health, DOI 10.1007/s10488-015-0686-1, forthcoming.

Amanda M. Girth. 2014. What Drives the Partnership Decision? Examining Structural Factors Influencing Public-Private Partnerships for Municipal Wireless Broadband. International Public Management Journal 17(3): 344-364.

Amanda M. Girth. 2014. A Closer Look at Contract Accountability: Exploring the Determinants of Sanctions for Unsatisfactory Contract Performance. 2014. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 24(2): 317-348.

Amanda M. Girth, Amir Hefetz, Jocelyn M. Johnston, and Mildred E. Warner. 2012. Outsourcing Public Service Delivery: Competition in Local Service Markets, Management Responses, and Understated Transaction Costs. Public Administration Review 72(6): 887-900.
Professors Amanda Girth and Trevor Brown have been awarded a research grant from the National Center for the Middle Market at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. In this study, Girth and Brown will examine the barriers to competition, purported disparities, and structural policy effects that impede middle market firms’ ability to compete for federal contracts. Small firms benefit from set asides and other programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration and large firms have internal capacity, scale, and extensive past performance history to compete in the public procurement. Yet mid-size firms are essentially left out – they are too big to qualify for set asides and do not have parity with large firms against whom they are competing for procurements. Girth and Brown analyze both the supply-side and demand-side of the federal procurement market to determine the implications of this purported disparity for mid-size firms. Girth and Brown will be named Fellows of the National Center of the Middle Market.

Dr. Amanda Girth has received a $92,180 research grant from the Naval Postgraduate School Acquisition Research Program, awarded by Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center San Diego. Girth will lead this research project to assess whether financial incentives produce better contracting outcomes and examine the factors contributing to (or hindering) contract performance. The study tests theories of incentive design, forges new ground in contract implementation, and contributes to the body of knowledge on the research and practice of procurement. Click here to learn more about the Naval Postgraduate School Acquisition Research Program.

A new study by Professor Girth finds process, discretion, and dependency help government contractors avoid sanctions for poor performance. Most local government agencies rely on outside contractors to provide goods and services to citizens. But, what do the managers of agencies do when the contractor fails to meet the terms of their contract? Dr. Girth looks beyond the terms and conditions of the contract to the front lines of contract management by assessing whether and how severely managers sanction contractors for poor performance. »Click here to learn more

Dr. Girth won the Leonard White Award for best dissertation.The prestigious prize is given annually for the best dissertation successfully defended during the previous two years in the field of public administration by the American Political Science Association. »Read the dissertation

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