Public administration scholars continue to grapple with how and why public organizations differ from private organizations. The judiciary deals with similar questions in ruling on constitutional claims that apply exclusively to state actors. The authors consider similarities and differences between scholarly and judicial approaches, adding to the body of research attempting to capture the complexities of the public-private distinction. The application in this article includes the coding of seminal court decisions and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to find combinations of causal conditions that lead to state action rulings. The specifics revealed through QCA provide valuable lessons for extending public norms and preserving constitutional protections when outsourcing public services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration