Introduction to Public Administration

Lecture Guide—Professor Frank Bryan

POLS 126 (91214)




     Midterm:                 Tuesday, Oct. 19                      30%

     Essay:                      Tuesday, Dec. 2                       30%

     Final Exam:              Tuesday, Dec. 14, 4 p.m.         40%


TEXT:                     David H. Rosenbloom, Public Administration:  Understanding Management, Politics, and Law in the Public Sector, 3rd ed. (1993).


READINGS:           Howard R. Balanoff (ed) Public Administration 6th edition



                                                                          Part I

                                                             Setting the Boundaries


A.        "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors"

The Context of Public Administration:  The Political System


B.         Public Administration in an Ecological Framework:  The Socio-Economic System


C.        Studying Public Administration:  "Brother, Can You Paradigm?"


D.        "Close Enough for Government Work:  Public vs. Private, What Does it Matter?"


E.         Bureaucratic Power in the Administrative State:  Why Bureaucracies are So Powerful


F.         The Federal Bureaucracy:  Making Sense of Chaos


Text:                Rosenbloom, Chapters 1, 2, 3





Readings:      Robert D. Behn, “The Big Questions of Public Management” (No. 1)

                           Gerald E. Caiden, “The Difference Between Neutral and Mindless” (No. 2)

                           Blake Harris, “The New Federalism—More Sticks and Carrots for Welfare Reform” (No. 36)

                           Charles Wise and Rosemary O’Leary, “Intergovernmental Relations and Federalism in Environmental Management and Policy: The Role of the Courts” (No. 37)




                                                                         Part II

                                             Bureaucracies:  Organizational Management


A.        Conceptualizing Bureaucracies:  Max Weber and the "Ideal Type"


B.         Basis for Organizational Structure:  The Architecture of Organization


C.        Centralism or Decentralism:  Balancing the Authority of Structure with the Power of Implementation


D.        The Line and Staff Model:  Who Does What, Where, and Why?


E.         Motivation for Managers:  Tom Sawyer Writ Larger or Understanding the End of the Alphabet--X, Y, and Z


F.         Leadership in Organizations:  Does Leadership Really Exist?


G.        Management by Objectives:  One Way of Doing It


Text:                Rosenbloom, Chapter 4


Readings:      Clifton Williams and Ward Melhuish, “The ABC’s of Government Reinvention:  Can Activity-Based Costing Reinstill Public Trust in Government?” (No. 12)

                           Ronnie LaCourse Korosec and Timothy D. Mead, “Lessons from Privatization Task Forces:  Comparative Case Studies” (No. 13)

                           Patrick E. Connor, “Total Quality Management:  A Selective Commentary on Its Human Dimension with Special Reference to its Downside” (No. 14)


                                                                         Part III

                                                         People:  What Agencies Are


A.        A Short History of the "Merit" Systems


B.         Is "Merit System" an Oxymoron?


C.        Equal Opportunity:  What It Means in the Public Sector


D.        Women in the Public Service, How Are We Doing?


E.         An Elite for the Bureaucracy:  The SES


Text:                Rosenbloom, Chapter 5


Readings:      Bureau of National Affairs, “Preventing Sexual Harassment:  A Fact Sheet for Employees” (No. 4)

                           Reginald Shareef, “A Midterm Case Study Assessment of Skill-Based Pay in the Virginia Department of Transportation” (No. 7)

                           Tom Brown, “Turning Mission Statements into Action” (No. 11)




                                                                         Part IV

                                                       Functions:  What Agencies Do


A.        Decision Making:  Nodes of Power in the Chaos of Everyday Organizational Life


B.         Information Systems:  Who Gets to Know What, Where and How?


C.        Planning:  Can We Manage the Future?


D.        Budgeting:  The Golden Rule:  Those Who Have the Gold Make the Rules


E.         Policy Analysis:  How Do We Know What Works?


Text:                Rosenbloom, Chapters 6, 7, 8


Readings:      Marilyn J. Cohodas, “Government and the Web Frontier” (No. 17)

                           Dennis Marstall, “Local Government Internet Policies:  Kent County’s Experience” (No. 18)

                           Joseph White, “Making ‘Common Sense’ of Federal Budgeting” (No. 19)



                                                                         Part V

                                                   Prospects:  Dilemmas for the Future


A.        Accountability:  Where Did the Buck Go, Anyway?


B.         Administrative Ethics:  Oxymoron or a Framework for Decisions?


C.        Public Participation:  Keeping Democracy in the Administrative State


D.        Towards a New Public Administration:  Are We Continually Reinventing the Wheel?


Text:                Rosenbloom, Chapters 9, 10, 11, 12, 13


Readings:      Montgomery Van Wart, “The Sources of Ethical Decision Making for Individuals in the Public Sector” (No. 9)

                           Michael Josephson, “The Six Pillars of Character” (No. 10)

                           John Tibbetts, “Everybody’s Taking the Fifth” (No. 33)


                                                CLASSROOM PROTOCOL


1.               Students are expected to attend and be prepared for ALL regularly scheduled classes.


2.               Students are expected to arrive on time and stay in class until the class period ends.  If a student knows in advance that s/he will need to leave early, s/he should notify the instructor before the class period begins.


3.               Students are expected to treat faculty and fellow students with respect.  For example, students must not disrupt class by leaving and reentering during class, must not distract class by making noise, and must be attentive to comments being made by the instructors and by peers.


4.               Instructors will inform students of any special additions.