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Foundations of Public Service
Foundations of Public Service

Designed to serve as a basic text for an introductory course in Public Administration, this innovative work provides students with an understanding of the basic management functions that are covered in all standard textbooks with two important differences.

First, it is written to address the needs of both the experienced practitioner and the entry-level public servant. Case examples bridge the content-rich environment of practitioners with the basic principles of public administration sought by pre-service students.

Second, the discussion of basic management practices is grounded in the political and ethical tensions inherent in the American constitutional form of governance. This reflects the author's belief that public administration operates as an integral part of the country's political traditions, and thereby helps define the political culture. The book provides a framework for understanding American political traditions and how they inform public administration as a political practice.

The book includes tables and charts to summarize and distill the main features of each chapter. Each section includes a master case that is integrated into the discussion of topics and principles covered in subsequent chapters. The book provides students with a chronological development of four governing legacies that have remained at the center of public administration since the nation's founding. Each chapter includes practical study questions, and the book includes a comprehensive bibliography.

Selected Contents:

Preface and Acknowledgments

Part I. Public Organizations and Democratic Governance 

Case: The Case of the Angry Librarian

1. The Challenges and Opportunities of Public Service
2. Administrative Discretion: Issues and Conflicts
3. Democracy and Administration
4. The Troubled History of American Public Administration
5. Administrative Ethics and Responsibility

Part II. Designing and Managing Organizational Systems 

Case: Tumult in Prairie County

6. Organization Structure and Behavior
7. A Political History of Public Personnel Administration
8. Contemporary Human Resources Management

Part III. Financing and Budgeting for the Public's Business 

Case: Medler School System

9. Public Revenue and Financial Management
10. Budget Formation and Allocation

Part IV. Strategic Management of Public Organizations 

Case: Peregrine Falcon Case

11. Public Service Leadership in a Shared-Power World
12. The Role of Public Administration in Public Policy and Analysis
13. Policy Implementation and Administrative Law
14. The Future of American Public Administration


About the Authors


The uniqueness of this book is captured in the authors' observation that public administration is grounded in constitutional values and historically evolved practices. Writing to better prepare present and future administrators for participation in responsible democratic governance, the authors have done an outstanding job in showing how current and future challenges in organization, personnel, budgeting, policy, leadership, and civic engagement have evolved.
-- Jos C.N. Raadschelders, University of Oklahoma
This is a lively, interesting, and easily accessible text. The case examples sprinkled throughout make the topics of public service, governance, administrative discretion, and ethics come alive.
-- Rosemary O'Leary, Syracuse University
This book will help prepare students (working in the business and nonprofit sectors as well as government) to be leaders in pursuit of the public good. Informed by the constitutional expertise of the authors, Foundations of Public Service is chock full of case studies that illustrate democratic abstractions with actual situations.
-- Hugh T. Miller, Florida Atlantic University
Foundations of Public Service is the textbook the field very badly needs right now. It provides not only a superb overview of contemporary governance in the U.S., with attention to the myriad combinations (public, non-profit, private partnerships and networks) used to provide public service today, and at the same time, it has a laser-like focus on democratic constitutionalism as the touchstone for all those involved in public service to develop and ground their legal, political and ethical competencies.
-- Guy B. Adams, University of Missouri-Columbia