Debating Public Administration: Management Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities

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Features

  • Provides an uncommon exchange of thinking on key management topics by leading scholars and practitioners
  • Offers condensed versions of peer-reviewed research appearing in PAR by leading scholars in public administration
  • Includes overviews of the state of research in various management areas
  • Introduces readers to ongoing debates in various subfields of public administration from the perspective of leading scholars and practitioners
  • Demonstrates how theory can inform practice and vice versa as well as the challenge of doing so
  • Shows how exciting a career in public service can be by relating management to key policy areas
  • Presents lessons for public administrators that also serve as propositions suitable for elaboration, refinement, and hypothesis testing in future research

Summary

Dialog between practitioners and academics has increasingly become the exception rather than the rule in contemporary public administration circles. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, Debating Public Administration: Management Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities tackles some of the major management challenges, choices, and opportunities of the twenty-first century facing public managers across various subfields of public administration.

Informed by contemporary pressures on public managers to reconceptualize purpose, redefine administrative rationality, recapitalize human assets, reengage resources, and revitalize democratic constitutionalism, the book offers students, practitioners, and researchers an opportunity to take stock and ponder the future of practice and research in public administration. Organized by three sets of major management challenges facing the field—Rethinking Administrative Rationality in a Democratic Republic, Recapitalizing Organizational Capacity, and Reconceptualizing Institutions for New Policy Challenges—the book takes an uncommon approach to the study of these topics. In it, leading practitioners and academics comment on condensed versions of articles appearing in the Theory to Practice feature of Public Administration Review (PAR) from 2006 through 2011.

The authors and commentators focus on some of the best current research, draw lessons from that literature for practice, and identify gaps in research that need to be addressed. They expertly draw out themes, issues, problems, and prospects, providing bulleted lessons and practical takeaways. This makes the book a unique one-stop resource for cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral, and cross-professional exchanges on contemporary challenges.

Table of Contents

PART I: Rethinking Administrative Rationality in a Democratic Republic
Chapter 1: Managing Successful Organizational Change in the Public Sector
Authors: Sergio Fernandez, Indiana University, and Hal G. Rainey, University of Georgia
Commentators: Patrick E. Connor and Fred Thompson, Willamette University
J. Christopher Mihm, Government Accountability Office
Mary Tschirhart, University of North Carolina-Charlotte

Chapter 2: Back to the Future? Performance-Related Pay, Empirical Research, and the Perils of Persistence
Authors: James L. Perry, Trent A. Engbers, and So Yun Jun, Indiana University
Commentators: David J. Houston, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Sanjay K. Pandey, Rutgers University
Howard Risher, Risher Enterprises, Ltd.

Chapter 3: From "Need to Know" to "Need to Share": Tangled Problems, Information Boundaries, and the Building of Public Sector Knowledge Networks
Authors: Sharon S. Dawes, Anthony M. Cresswell, and Theresa A. Pardo, SUNY-Albany
Commentators: Lisa Blomgren Bingham, Indiana University
Sharon L. Caudle, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University

Chapter 4: Toward "Strong Democracy" in Global Cities? Social Capital Building, Theory-Driven Reform, and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Experience
Authors: Juliet Musso, University of Southern California; Christopher Weare, University of Southern California; Thomas Bryer, University of Central Florida; and Terry L. Cooper, University of Southern California
Commentators: Brian J. Cook, Virginia Tech
Tina Nabatchi, Syracuse University
John Clayton Thomas, Georgia State University

Chapter 5: Reinventing Administrative Prescriptions: The Case for Democratic-Constitutional Impact Statements and Scorecards
Author: David H. Rosenbloom, American University
Commentator: John M. Kamensky, IBM Center for the Business of Government

PART II: Recapitalizing Organizational Capacity
Chapter 6: Betting on the Future with a Cloudy Crystal Ball? How Financial Theory Can Improve Revenue Forecasting and Budgets in the States
Authors: Fred Thompson and Bruce L. Gates, Willamette University
Commentators: Roy T. Meyers, University of Maryland-Baltimore County
Katherine G. Willoughby, Georgia State University

Chapter 7: Managing Public Service Contracts: Aligning Values, Institutions, and Markets
Authors: Trevor L. Brown, Ohio State University; Matthew Potoski, University of California-Santa Barbara; and David M. Van Slyke, Syracuse University
Commentators: Ruth H. DeHoog, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
Suzanne J. Piotrowski, Rutgers University-Newark
Thomas F. Reilly, Clark County, Nevada
Andrew B. Whitford, University of Georgia

Chapter 8: A Return to Spoils? Revisiting Radical Civil Service Reform in the United States
Authors: Stephen E. Condrey, Condrey and Associates, Inc., and R. Paul Battaglio, Jr., University of Texas-Dallas
Commentators: Frank D. Ferris, Executive Vice President, National Treasury Employees Union
Norma M. Riccucci, Rutgers University-Newark
Frank J. Thompson, Rutgers University-Newark

Chapter 9: A Solution in Search of a Problem? Discrimination, Affirmative Action, and the New Governance
Author: Sally Coleman Selden, Lynchburg College
Commentators: Domonic A. Bearfield, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University
Lael R. Keiser, University of Missouri-Columbia
Sharon H. Mastracci, University of Illinois-Chicago

PART III: Reconceptualizing Institutions for New Policy Challenges
Chapter 10: Is the World "Flat" or "Spiky? Rethinking the Governance Implications of Globalization for Economic Development
Authors: Richard C. Feiock, Florida State University; M. Jae Moon, Yonsei University; and Hyung Jun Park, Sungkyunkwan University
Commentators: William Lyons, City of Knoxville, Tennessee and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Laura A. Reese, Michigan State University
John C. Morris, Old Dominion University, and Douglas J. Watson, University of Texas-Dallas

Chapter 11: Spanning "Bleeding" Boundaries: Humanitarianism, NGOs, and the Civilian-Military Nexus in the Post-Cold War Era
Author: Nancy C. Roberts, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School
Commentator: Robert "Robin" H. Dorff, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Chapter 12: Left High and Dry? Climate Change, Common-Pool Resource Theory, and the Adaptability of Western Water Compacts
Authors: Edella Schlager, University of Arizona, and Tanya Heikkila, University of Colorado-Denver
Commentators: Elizabeth A. Graffy, U.S. Geological Survey and University of Wisconsin-Madison

Editorial Reviews

"In the following chapters, thanks to the immense talent and hard work of the editors, authors, and commentators, readers can catch a rare, insightful glimpse of innovative minds at work within modern public administration—even by whom, why, what, where, and how creative innovation is accomplished throughout the field. And maybe, just maybe, they will draw the conclusion that right now American public administration lives in an incredible golden age."
—From the Foreword by Richard Stillman, Editor in Chief and Jos C. N. Raadschelders, Managing Editor, Public Administration Review, 2006-2011