Profile picture for user borry.erin

Erin L. Borry

Associate Professor of Public Administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Chapter Member: Alabama SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Erin

Borry's research focuses on rules, red tape, and ethics in the public sector. Overarching themes in Borry's writings include how to better understand red tape and rule bending in public organizations, as well as how to teach public administration through the use of popular culture, such as the television show, Parks and Recreation. She also has written on the ethical impact of automation on public sector employees. Borry serves as a research fellow with the Center for Organization Research and Design at Arizona State University and with the Local Government Workplace Initiative at University of North Carolina.

In the News

Quoted by Matt Windsor in "9 Times 'Parks and Recreation' Taught Us How to Get Real about Ethics," Engaging Local Government Leaders, May 8, 2019.
Research discussed by Matt Windsor, in "When the Machines Come for Government Jobs, Will Efficiency Crush Equity?," UAB News, May 8, 2019.
Research discussed by Matt Windsor, in "9 Times 'Parks and Recreation' Taught Us How to Get Real about Ethics," UAB Reporter, April 25, 2019.
Quoted by GeorgeDiepenbrock in "Job Automation Could Hinder Diversity in Public Workforce, Study Finds," The University of Kansas News, October 31, 2018.


"More than Pathological Formalization: Understanding Organizational Structure and Red Tape" (with Wesley Kaufmann and Leisha DeHart-Davis). Public Administration Review 79, no. 2 (2018).

Argues that focusing on a single dimension of organizational structure as a red tape driver is unrealistically narrow. Advances hypotheses as to how organizational centralization and hierarchy affect perceived red tape, in addition to formalization. Implies that red tape is a multifaceted perception of organizational structure rather than perceived pathological formalization.

"Linking Theory to Television: Public Administration in Parks and Recreation" Journal of Public Affairs Education 24, no. 2 (2018): 234-254.

Introduces Parks and Recreation as a tool for teaching public administration. 

"Automation in the Public Sector: Efficiency at the Expense of Equity?" (with Heather Getha-Taylor). Public Integrity 21, no. 9 (2019): 6-21.

Addresses potential implications of automation as they apply to the public-sector workforce and its expressed values. Utilizes scholarly predictions to forecast the ways in which automation may impact the public workforce, including the sector's commitment to equity goals such as equal employment opportunity and the cultivation of a diverse workforce.

"Teaching Public Ethics with TV: Parks and Recreation as a Source of Case Studies" Public Integrity 20, no. 3 (2018): 300-315.

Addresses how Parks and Recreation can be used to teach public ethics to public administration students.

"Ethical Climate and Rule Bending: How Organizational Norms Contribute to Unintended Rule Consequences" Public Administration 95, no. 1 (2017): 78-96.

Introduces organizational norms, in the form of the ethical climate, as a potential influence on individual rule bending.

"A New Measure of Red Tape: Introducing the Three-Item Red Tape (TIRT) Scale" International Public Management Journal 19, no. 4 (2016): 573-593.

Introduces the Three-Item Red Tape (TIRT) scale. Discusses how this scale provides an advantage over previous red tape measures by accounting for perceptions and by removing "red tape" from the scale's items.