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.

section I|130 pages

Rethinking Administrative Rationality in a Democratic Republic

chapter Chapter 1|20 pages

Managing Successful Organizational Change in the Public Sector*

BySergio Fernandez, Hal G. Rainey

chapter Chapter 2|39 pages

Back to the Future? Performance-Related Pay, Empirical Research, and the Perils of Persistence*

ByJames L. Perry, Trent A. Engbers, So Yun Jun

chapter Chapter 4|21 pages

Toward “Strong Democracy” in Global Cities? Social Capital Building, Theory-Driven Reform, and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Experience*

ByJuliet Musso, Christopher Weare, Thomas Bryer, Terry L. Cooper

section II|89 pages

Recapitalizing Organizational Capacity

chapter Chapter 7|21 pages

Managing Public Service Contracts: Aligning Values, Institutions, and Markets*

ByTrevor L. Brown, Matthew Potoski, David M. Van Slyke

chapter Chapter 8|23 pages

A Return to Spoils? Revisiting Radical Civil Service Reform in the United States*

ByStephen E. Condrey, R. Paul Battaglio

section III|62 pages

Reconceptualizing Institutions for New Policy Challenges