Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Michelle Wade, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark Davis, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristen Crossney, Ph.D.


This study examined organizational models/structures within two municipalities within the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in order to determine if one organizational model/structure yielded better results of efficiency, effectiveness, accountability, and responsiveness of public services. For the purpose of this study, the researcher focused on a third-class city that is commission formed and a second-class township that is council-manager formed. The researcher conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with ten public professionals in order to understand the processes that take place within each municipality. The researcher sought to understand the internal processes of the organization, as well as the external processes. The internal processes included those aspects related to personnel and the operations of the organization. The external processes included those aspects related to the council-constituent relationship through interaction, engagement, and communication. It was found that while the council-manager form of government is most ideal within the literature, there were no real differences found between the two organizational models in these two cases. The city and the township were very similar in the way in which they operate, despite their given models. While the city and the township are similar in several ways, the city faces more complex issues due to its size, budget, and financially distressed status. This study showed several implications for future research, including, but not limited to: the use of a new research design that will expound upon the current findings of this study; and the need for the continuous evaluation of municipal leadership, management, and governance.