The purpose of this study is to examine research trends, and research topics and methods in particular, in Korean Society and Public Administration, the official academic journal of the Seoul Association for Public Administration, from 1990 to 2012. The contention that public administration should be indigenized and Koreanized is reviewed from a critical point of view before research trends are analyzed.
The results of the comprehensive trends analysis are as follows: First, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of published articles in the new millennium compared to the 1990s. Second, a wide range of subjects have been covered since 2000, particularly when contrasted with the narrow range of subjects covered in the 1990s. Third, the most popular research areas in the published articles include public policy, local administration, organizations, public personnel, and public budgeting. When it comes to specific subjects, the most popular are the environment, social welfare, e-government, and public service. Fourth, each research area has tendencies to favor particular research methods. Research focusing on organizations, public personnel, public service, administrative ethics, and culture tends to employ quantitative methods more, while research on public policy, local administration, the environment, e-government, NGOs, and administrative reform tends to utilize qualitative techniques. Finally, a greater variety of statistical techniques can be found in studies published after the year 2000.