Department of Public Administration and Management

Prof WN Webb

College of Economic and Management Sciences
School of Public and Operations Management
Department: Public Administration and Management
Associate Professor
Tel: 012 429 6909


  • D Litt et Phil (UNISA, 2011)
  • MA (UP, 1999)
  • BA (Hons)(UP, 1994)
  • BA (UP, 1993)

Fields of academic interests

Research interests

My research interests include public policymaking, implementation, analysis and evaluation; organisational theory and design of public service institutions; and international trends in the development of public administration.
My research focus also involves public service ethics and corruption, the application of research methodology in investigating administrative corruption, the effect of malfeasance on society, and methods to combat and prevent corruption in public service institutions.  Amongst these methods, I have been focusing on preventative management measures including establishing institutional capacity and promoting an ethical culture and climate in public service institutions.  

Field of Specialisation

  • Public Policy Management
  • Corruption Prevention
  • Integrity Management


Book chapters

  • Webb, W.N. 2016. Ethical Leadership. In Farazmand, A. (ed). 2016. Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance. New Delhi: Springer International Publishing. ISBN: 978-3-319-31816-5 (Online).
  • Webb, W.N. 2016. Challenges of Decision Making for Ethical Leaders in Developmental States. In Giacalone, R. & Jurkiewicz, C.L. (eds.). 2016.  Radical Thoughts on Ethical Leadership. Forthcoming.

Journal articles

  • Webb, W.N. 2000. Organisational Structured Public Policy making: the case at Vista University.  Administratio Publica .  Vol. 10, no. 2, December. pp. 69-87. ISSN: 1015-4833.
  • Webb, W.N. 2005. Applying the Public Service Anti-Corruption Strategy in pursuit of accountable South African Public Administration. Journal of Public Administration. Vol. 40, no.2, June. pp. 151-165. ISSN: 0036-0767 (IBSS).
  • Webb, W.N. & Auriacombe, C.J. 2006. Research Design in Public Administration: Critical Considerations.  Journal of Public Administration. Vol. 41, Special Issue, pp. 588-602. ISSN: 0036-0767 (IBSS).
  • Webb,W.N. 2008. A Caveat on Public Management Reform and Corruption Prevention. Journal of Public Administration. Vol. 43, no.4. pp. 592-606. ISSN: 0036-0767 (IBSS).
  • Webb, W.N. 2008. Book Review: Pollitt, C. and Bouckaert, G. Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis. Politeia. Vol. 27, no. 1. pp. 112-113. ISSN: 0256-8845.
  • Webb, W.N. 2009.  A Case Study in the use of Qualitative and Quantitative approaches in Public Administration Research. Administratio Publica. Vol. 17, issue 4. pp. 116-154. ISSN: 1015-4833.
  • Webb, W.N. 2009. Prevention is better than cure: promoting public service integrity. South African Crime Quarterly. Vol. 27, March edition. pp. 7-14. ISSN: 1991-3877. (Accreditation in 2011)
  • Webb, W.N. 2010. Promoting Ethical Culture in Pursuance of a Virtuous Public Service. Administratio Publica. Vol. 18, no. 4. pp. 281-298. ISSN: 1015-4833.
  • Webb, W.N. 2010. Public Management Reform and the Management of Ethics: Incompatable ideals for the developing state. International Journal of Public Sector Management. Vol. 23, no. 7. pp. 669-684. ISSN: 0951-3558. (Not on South African DOHET approved list)
  • Webb, W.N. 2012. Ethical Culture and the Value-based Approach to Integrity Management: A Case Study of the Department of Correctional Services. Public Administration and Development. Vol. 32, no. 1. ISSN: 0271-2075.
  • Webb, W.N. 2015. State of the Science: A Review of International and South African Scholarship on Public Service Ethics. Administratio Publica. Vol. 23, no. 2. ISSN: 1015-4833. (1 research output point)
  • Sithomola, T.O. & Webb, W.N. 2015. Ethical Challenges for Programme Evaluators: Critical Considerations for Programme Evaluation in South Africa. Administratio Publica. Vol. 23, no. 4. ISSN: 1015-4833. (0,5 research output point)
  • Webb, W.N. 2016. The Implications of Research Integrity for Studies in Public Service Corruption. Administratio Publica. ISSN: 1015-4833. Vol. 24, no. 2. ISSN: 1015-4833. (1 research output point)

Scientific journal editorial work

Peer reviewed articles for the following scholarly journals:
Administratio Publica (2009-2013)
Politikon (2010)
South African Crime Quarterly (2010)
Public Administration and Development (2012)
International Journal for Public Administration (2013)
Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe (2015)
Public Integrity (2015-2017)
Politeia (2016)

Paper presentations

Presentation of papers at international conferences

July 12-16, 2004. Education and Training: Establishing a Culture of Accountability in Developing Countries. IASIA Annual Conference. Seoul, REPUBLIC OF KOREA.

March 18, 2006. Administrative Reform: the remedy for corruption in the South African public administration.  International Atlantic Economic Conference.  Berlin, GERMANY.

September 17-21, 2007.  Public Management Reform and the Management of Ethics: Incompatible Ideals for the Developing State?  European Group of Public Administration Annual Conference. Sub theme: Research Methods in Corruption and Integrity. Madrid, SPAIN.

September 3-6, 2008.  The significance of triangulation in measuring corruption: some general reflections. European Group of Public Administration Annual Conference. Sub theme: Research Methods in Corruption and Integrity. Rotterdam, THE NETHERLANDS.

May 28-30, 2009. Establishing baseline data for measuring the effectiveness of corruption prevention tools. Global Dialogue on Ethics and the Integrity of Governance. Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS.

July 12-17, 2010. Ethical Culture as a Contributing Factor to a Virtuous Public Service. AISIA Annual Conference. Bali, REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA.

September 8-10, 2010. The use of a Qualitative Grounded Theory Approach to
Research on Public Service Corruption. Co-presented with Prof C.J. Auriacombe.
European Group of Public Administration Annual Conference. Sub theme: Research Methods in Corruption and Integrity.Toulouse, FRANCE.

March 14, 2013. Ethical Culture, Political Patronage, and Party Supremacy: Odd bed fellows in pursuit of Corruption Prevention. ASPA Section on Ethics and IIAS Quality of Governance Study Group. Workshop on Ethics and Quality of Governance. New Orleans, USA.

March 9, 2015. Discussant: Ethics, Trust, and Transparency Track: Radical Thoughts on How to Restore Confidence in Public Sector Leadership with presentations from Prof Leo Huberts (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam): Ethical Public Leaders of the Future: What they need to do and why?; Prof James Svara (University of North Carolina): Is Public Service but a Delusion? Making Ethics Real.; Prof Carole Jurkiewics (Hofstra University): Social Contagion and Ethical Behaviour: The Infectious Nature of Leader Ethicality; Prof Patrick Dobel(University of Washington): Self Deception, Prudence, and the Imperative of Effective in Public Sector Leadership. Chicago: USA. 

August 27, 2015. Chair, Session 3: Quality of Governance and Public Values with presentations by Prof Elin Wihlborg, Dr Anne-Marie Reynders, Prof Frank Anechiarico. European Group of Public Administration Annual Conference. Sub theme: Quality and Integrity of Governance. Toulouse, FRANCE.

August 27, 2015.  The implications of Research Integrity for Studies in Public Service Corruption. European Group of Public Administration Annual Conference. Sub theme: Quality and Integrity of Governance. Toulouse, FRANCE.

Presentation of papers at domestic conferences

September 23, 1997. The influence of the transformation process on the administration and management of Vista University. Institute for Social and Economic Research: Seminar Series, Rhodes University. Grahamstown, RSA.

September 20-22, 2000. Public policymaking in the new political dispensation: the case at Vista University. SAPSA & AAPSSA Millennium Qolloquium. Bloemfontein, RSA.

November 25-26, 2004. The Public Service Anti-Corruption Strategy: Evaluating Eastern Cape compliance.  SAAPAM Annual Conference. Port Elizabeth, RSA.

April 6, 2006. Developing our thoughts on corruption: past, present and future. 10th
International Winelands’ Conference.  Stellenbosch, RSA.

September 10-11, 2009. In pursuance of the epistemic imperative in research of Public Administration: the experiences of a novice researcher.  Public Value in a Developmental State: Innovative teaching, training, and practice. ASSADPAM Annual Conference, Stellenbosch, RSA.

June 23-24, 2011. The Role of Leadership in Promoting Integrity in the Public
Sector. Round Table Conference on How Corruption influences Service Delivery.
Office of the Premier, North West Provincial Government & Provincial Anti-
Corruption Forum, North West Province. Rustenburg, RSA.

October 31, 2012. Public Management Reform and Corruption Prevention: What does the data say? Effective Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation for Good Governance. ASSADPAM Annual Conference. University of Kwa Zulu Natal, RSA.

September 22, 2016. Public Policy Management Challenges. Seminar on Language
Awareness and the Practical Implementation of South Africa’s Language Policies by
Entities in the Department of Public Works. Department of Public Works. Pretoria,

Citation metrics

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • Member of the Association of Southern African Schools and Departments of Public Administration and Management (ASSADPAM)
  • Member of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).
  • Associate Managing Editor. Public Integrity. American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) peer reviewed international subject journal.
  • National Research Foundation THUTHUKA Grant (Post Doc): 2016-2018.
  • National Research Foundation THUTHUKA Grant (Researchers in Training): 2006-2010


  • Current Research Project: Managing Integrity: Causes, Consequences, and Remedies for Public Service Corruption (2016-2018)
  • Completed Research Project: An evaluation of the effectiveness of the Public Service Anti-Corruption  Strategy (2004-2010)


Postgraduate supervision

Masters students:
Mr JP Moruti (920309187). Supervisor: WN Webb Co-Supervisor: GS Cloete. Title of dissertation: 'An evaluation of the student ethics management model at the University of Johannesburg'. Date of Completion: 2011.

Mr Oriel Sithomola (200503565) Supervisor: WN Webb Title of dissertation: 'An assessment of the ethical challenges that programme evaluators encounter: Lessons for South Africa'. Date of Completion: 2014.

Mr Dominic Prince Supervisor: WN Webb Title of dissertation: 'A Formative Evaluation of the Teacher Laptop Initiative as a Policy Tool to Improve the Quality of Teaching in Schools'. Date of Completion: 2014.

Ms P Tomotomo (920309187) Supervisor: WN Webb Co-Supervisor: R. Reddy. Title of dissertation: 'The Impact of Organisational Learning on Service Excellence in the Department of Science and Technology. Date of Completion: 2016.