Model Building

Model Building

Instructions: Read these instructions carefully, then choose ONE option only from the options shown at the bottom of this instruction sheet. Submit your assignment on blackboard in a word.doc or text file, no other format as it will be unreadable to me in Blackboard. Submit it in the Assignment Section in the Course Homepage. If you have any questions about the assignment, please post the question on the blackboard discussion page.

The purpose of this exercise is to provide an opportunity for students to apply skills in model building. You will describe/build a model to study a public administration problem. To receive full credit, papers must be well organized and well written, clearly demonstrating the awareness and application of the elements of good model building as described in Chapter 1 and expanded upon in subsequent chapters. Students may not use a model published or used elsewhere.

• Building a model begins by making ideas explicit. If the ideas are not explicitly stated from the beginning of the process, the investigator can expect false starts, mistakes, and backtracking. Begin your paper with a clear discussion of the purpose of this model. Clearly define the research question and the purpose of the study before proceeding to model building. Any investigator who does not clearly state the purpose of the study is likely to waste a great deal of time building an inappropriate model. A clear purpose statement is the foundation of any research project. The researcher (and the user) should come to a consensus on the purpose for the model. The purpose must ultimately meet the user’s needs. The process continues by utilizing peer interaction. Without peer interaction, the model will likely be limited to the experience and background of the investigator.

• You must defend the decisions you make regarding what components to include in the model and what components you exclude. At each stage of the model, justify your approach.

• You must include in your paper at least one chart to illustrate the components of your model.

• Be sure to follow closely the steps for good model building laid out in Chapter 1. Models consist of “elements” and “relationships.”

• An effective paper will focus on the elements of model building such as establishing purpose, examining constraints such as time and money, performing a review of the literature to identify factors that are relevant variables, getting feedback from colleagues, and using feedback from colleagues. (Note: You do not actually conduct a review of the literature, but do incorporate this element in your proposed model.) Also , be sure to identify variables to include or exclude from the model and identify possible conceptual and operational definitions.


Option A: The heating system in Central City’s oldest public housing complex leaked gas and caused two fatalities. This prompted outraged cries from the media and local citizen groups because several neighbors of the victims of this tragedy claimed that their maintenance complaints rarely received attention. As the manager of the public housing system, you have been assigned to study the problem of resident complaints not being heard. Develop a model to study this problem.

Option B: As the city manager, you have been assigned to discover ways to reduce the city budget. You suspect that the ideas of the city employees are an excellent untapped resource for information regarding potential cost-saving measures. Design a model to study the problem that will use city employees as the source for budget-cutting ideas.

Option C: Lake County’s Health department plans to create a database containing information on pregnant teenagers in the county. The data will be analyzed to learn the needs of pregnant teenagers and their children. Eventually the county plans to develop and then evaluate the effects of county programs for pregnant teenagers and teenaged parents. Identify the variables for the database and describe a model to study the problem of teenage pregnancy in the county.

*Be sure to identify the Option you choose (A,B or C) in the title of your paper.

Last Updated on February 11, 2019 by Essay Pro