2nd Edition

Technology and Public Management

By Alan R. Shark Copyright 2023
    494 Pages 218 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    494 Pages 218 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Students of public administration, public policy, and nonprofit management require a strong foundation in how government and NGOs are connected with information technology. Whether simplifying internal operations, delivering public-facing services, governing public utilities, or conducting elections, public administrators must understand these technological tools and systems to ensure they remain effective, efficient, and equitable. This innovative textbook is designed for students of public affairs at every level who need to know and understand how technology can be applied in today’s public management workplace. The book explores the latest trends in technology, providing real-life examples about the need for policies and procedures to safeguard technology infrastructure while providing greater openness, participation, and transparency.

    In Technology and Public Management, Second Edition, author Alan Shark informs, engages, and directs students to consider best practices, with new material on emerging technology, data management and analytics, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. This thoroughly updated second edition explores:

    • A broad range of technologies on which government, nonprofit partners, and citizens depend upon to deliver important infrastructure, including security, education, public health and personal healthcare, transit and transportation, culture and commerce.
    • Growing mistrust in government, and the role technology can play in ameliorating it.
    • Emerging and adapted technologies to help government achieve ambitious goals, including drawing carbon out of the atmosphere, empowering students everywhere to learn effectively at home or at school, improving healthcare, providing affordable housing, enabling agriculture to keep pace with population growth, and improving scores of other public services.
    • The critical insights and management skills needed to argue for investments in information technology as necessary priorities for our public organizations to improve public services and resources.

    This reader-friendly and jargon-free textbook is required for students enrolled in public administration and nonprofit management programs, as well as for practicing public administrators looking for a better understanding of how technology may be successfully and responsibly used in public organizations. It is equally valuable as a text for MBA studies, social work, education, public health, and other degree programs that produce graduates who will work with and within those organizations that deliver public services.

    1. Contemporary Trends in Public Administration and Technology

    2. Governance and Leading Innovation—Who decides?

    3. E-government and Digital Government: The Rise of the New Civic Media

    4. Broadband, Mobility, and the Internet—Policies and Technology

    5. The Data Factor—Transparency, Reform, and Improved Data-Driven Decisions

    6. Managing Knowledge and Data Management

    7. Geospatial Systems and Planning—Mapping and Visualizing the Future

    8.Managed Software, Hardware, and Shared Services—Once Upon a Cloud

    9. Assessing and Measuring IT Performance

    10. Cybersecurity—Understanding and Managing Risk

    11. The People Factor—Managing the Human Resource Function in a Technology Environment

    12. Ethics and Digital Equity

    13. Nonprofit Technology Management

    14. Future Challenges—Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Privacy, Public Trust


    Alan R. Shark is an Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University. He also serves as the Vice President of Public Sector and Executive Director of the CompTIA Public Technology Institute. He is well-recognized as an author, lecturer, and speaker on technology developments and applications for most of his distinguished career. Dr. Shark’s experience both balances and embraces the business, government, education, and technology sectors. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), where he is the chair of the Academy’s Standing Panel on Technology Leadership. He is also a Fellow of the Radio Club of America (RCA), and Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). He is the recipient of the prestigious National Technology Champion Award from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. Dr. Shark holds a Doctorate in Public Administration (DPA) from the University of Southern California, USA.

    "Since its first publication in 2015, Alan Shark's Technology and Public Management has been the go-to guide for anyone who wants to understand the role technology plays in government -- and government in technology -- at the local, state, and federal levels. The long-awaited second edition catches up on the intervening seven years of technology's evolution and expands attention to the nonprofit sector, the international contexts of technology usage, and the relationships between technology and broader social trends, such as trust in expertise and institutions. There is something here for everyone, from digital savants to people who prefer paper and pencil to keyboards and pixels. Shark is a knowledgeable, deeply experienced guide who knows that what matters most is not the digitalization of government and social service per se, but the way that leaders deploy technology to advance or imperil the common good; readers who follow his recommendations will be much more likely to wind up in the former camp than the latter."

    David Birdsell, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Kean University. Former Dean, Baruch College’s Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs

    "With this update to a premier text for public administration in the 21st century, Dr. Shark provides a roadmap for leaders at all levels of government and in the nonprofit sector—and teachers of future leaders in this space—regarding how technology drives public sector missions and outcomes. Perhaps more importantly, Dr. Shark highlights how public administrators can leverage technology in their work, enabling greater effectiveness for the people served by government programs and civil society advocacy. The text tracks the evolution of key topics in managing technology that range from mobile devices and broadband access to cybersecurity and privacy. Readers will learn both foundational content and practical applications that they can adapt in their own work. Dr. Shark’s text leaves the field of public administration in a better place."

    Dan Chenok, Executive Director, IBM Center for The Business of Government

    "The business of government and delivering citizen services today is dependent on technology. As technology capabilities have surged forward, new considerations for citizen expectations, privacy, security, and ethical matters have emerged. Regardless of one’s role in government or public administration, achieving effective, equitable outcomes in government requires that one have an appreciation for the critical decision factors and actions to align human achievement and technology capability. Dr. Shark’s text captures the recent learnings from our largest global pivot to remote work and the key elements of emerging technology to create a reference that is understandable by those outside the technology community. It enables mission contributors across disciplines to engage in important dialogues for how technology is used to serve the interests of our nation."

    Suzette Kent, Former United States Federal CIO and CEO, Kent Advisory Services

    "Information technology is deeply embedded in every aspect and every level of public administration. Whether simplifying internal operations, delivering public-facing services, governing power generation and water distribution systems, or conducting elections, public administrators must understand these IT tools and systems and ensure that they remain simple, effective, and secure. Dr. Shark’s invaluable text lays out these issues in a clear and understandable way, even for those without an IT background. This book should be on the desk of every public leader who seeks to deploy public technology to deliver equitable outcomes and build trust."

    Teresa Gerton, President and CEO of the National Academy of Public Administration

    "There is perhaps no greater area of expertise for governments to grasp than information technology. Alan Shark’ ground-breaking book Technology and Public Management is required reading for most government officials and students who want to make a career in government. The second edition brings us all up to date as Shark reviews all the major areas of technology impacting government today as well as the cross-cutting issues of project management, human resources, and privacy and ethics. This is a true IT bible for public sector officials."

    Robert D. Atkinson, President of The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

    "As informative as Technology and Public Management may be for IT wizards, its true value lies in what it contributes to the work of those who do not have "information" or "technology" in their position descriptions. Change. Convergence. Interdependence. Visualizing the Future. Alan Shark, in a most readable and applied way, proves the age-old adage that the only constant is change. It is in the public sector, more than anywhere else, that applying technology effectively, efficiently and equitably has the greatest real world and life altering impacts. Technology and Public Management is a must read for every current and aspiring public manager—regardless of their job title—who works on the front lines to serve the public good."

    Bill Shields, Executive Director, American Society for Public Administration

    "Advanced students of public affairs and government today require a strong foundation in how public policy and administration are intertwined with information technology. Dr. Shark’s insightful text helps us explore all the nuances of technology policy and public management. We at the Schar School are particularly proud of Dr. Shark’s contribution to the field and believe this second edition will continue to be the leading resource for public technology management."

    Mark J. Rozell, Dean, Schar School of Policy and Government and Ruth D. and John T. Hazel Chair in Public Policy, George Mason University