This collection of essays seeks to improve decision making among public administrators who operate organizations in an increasingly complex and interdependent world. Contributors with different expertise examine the theories and experience of public management in an effort to find ways to deal more effectively with the complex programs, policies, and problems confronting academecians and professionals in all the social and behavioral sciences.
This entirely new analysis builds upon the thinking of two Minnowbrook conferences that have studied basic theory and decision making in public administration. An introduction looks back toward these conferences, and an epilogue looks ahead. The first part of the work finds a new multiversalist paradigm by studying the implications of interconnectedness for public managers. The second part of the book analyzes the reality and other challenges to the emergence of new public administration practice. Interconnectness, democracy, and epistemology is the subject of the third part of this study of major new directions in the field. A lengthy bibliography completes the overview that the book offers.
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 492 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
?In the epilogue to this collection, Dwight Waldo asserts that the first Minnowbrook Conference (1968) was characterized by revolt and reconstruction and the second (1988), from which these eight essays emerged, by ambition and exploration. The volume is ambitious in its search for a new paradigm of public administration, but it is questionable whether a "multiversalist" paradigm can be realized by virtue of the new approaches presented, mainly feminism and deconstructionism. The field of public administration has consistently accommodated different approaches. And it is uncertain whether the theme of "interconnectedness," an apparent euphemism for complexity, reveals anything new; it has long been recognized that the intricacy of public management presents rich and diverse paths to explore. Finally, the conclusion that public management problems cannot be solved, only ameliorated, may be debated. Indeed, every argument in the volume is questionable, uncertain, and debatable, but it is a cleverly devised invitation to encourage participation in a fresh dialogue on the future of the discipline. Academics and practitioners should accept the invitation, as should upper-division undergraduates and graduate students.?-Choice
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