Public Administration in Theory and Practice: 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Public Administration in Theory and Practice

3rd Edition

By Raymond W Cox III


320 pages

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Paperback: 9781138544390
pub: 2019-07-30
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Hailed for its timelessness and timeliness, Public Administration in Theory and Practice examines public administration from a normative perspective, and provides students with an understanding of the practice of public administration. This substantially revised third edition features an all-new ‘Managerial Toolkit’ section on important topics like transboundary interactions, cultural competencies, citizen engagement, and leadership and decision making. Public Administration in Theory and Practice, 3e is an ideal introduction to the art and science of public administration for American MPA students, and serves as essential secondary reading for upper-level undergraduate students seeking a fair and balanced understanding of public management.


This book offers a succinct and clear roadmap to the field of public administration’s holy grail: enlightened praxis for public managers. That is, it presents how social-scientific theory can inform occupational practice in the setting of public organizations. It does this by focusing on the theoretical underpinnings of a set of approaches or tools for solving the common problems faced by public administrators in their day-to-day administrative routines. Among others, these problems include ethical challenges, the difficulties of intra and inter-organizational collaboration, making plans and carrying them out, and determining direction and change.

Bruce J. Perlman, University of New Mexico, USA

The book seamlessly weaves together the normative and practical approaches to understanding public administration. It is a highly informative book that provides an in-depth understanding of the field for graduate and undergraduate students.

Sucheta Pyakuryal, University of North Florida, USA

This edition continues the standard of excellence of prior editions via its analysis of public administration, public management, and public policy and links to modern-day political and economic challenges. A strength of the book is the admirable way in which its chapters easily facilitate classroom learning, debates, critical analysis, and comparative considerations."

– Kim Moloney, Murdoch University, Australia

Table of Contents

Introduction and Overview

Part I: Theoretical Foundations

1. Theoretical Foundations

2. Chapter Two --- Ethical Foundations

Part II: Organizational Competencies

3. Personnel Practices

4. Budgeting Practices

5. Administrative Law

6. Policy Analysis

7. Program Evaluation

Part III: Managerial Toolkit

8. Transboundary Interactions

9. Cultural Competencies

10. Citizen Engagement

11. Organizational Dynamics and Change

12. Leadership and Decision-making

Part IV: Outside Looking In

13. Comparative Perspectives

14. Politics and Administration

15. Concluding Thoughts

About the Author

Raymond W. Cox III is Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies at the University of Akron.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities / Management & Leadership
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration