Public Management in an Interconnected World: Essays in the Minnowbrook Tradition

Public Management in an Interconnected World: Essays in the Minnowbrook Tradition

Public Management in an Interconnected World: Essays in the Minnowbrook Tradition

Public Management in an Interconnected World: Essays in the Minnowbrook Tradition

Synopsis

Essays by contributors with different expertise examine the theories and experience of public management in an increasingly complex and interdependent world. This overview of major new directions in the field of public administration builds upon the thinking of two conferences that studied basic theory and practice and seeks to develop a new paradigm to make public management more effective. An introductory essay and epilogue look at past and future trends, and a lengthy biblography completes the work.

Excerpt

This volume came out of the experience that the two of us had at the second Minnowbrook Conference in 1988. Though as old in years as some of the participants of the first Minnowbrook Conference, which had been held in 1968, we were both relatively new to the academic world of what Dwight Waldo likes to denote as Public Administration when we attended the second conference. We both had -- in the interim since 1968 -- raised families and gone back to school, we both cut our academic teeth on Frank Marini's (1971) presentation of the first conference's proceedings, and we both had spent years as practitioners.

Minnowbrook II was frustrating for both of us: there seemed to be little recognition in either the written materials or most of the discussion that American public administration -- and the American polity -- is playing in an entirely new game. Despite declarations during the 1980s that entrepreneurial selfishness is the key to American society's future, the rules of this new game are very different from the dominating, masculine-style, short-sighted requirements of competition and efficiency that governed the old game.

The process of Minnowbrook II, however, shaped the work in this volume. Papers prepared for Minnowbrook II had been sent to the participants. Because most participants had read most of these papers before arriving, we agreed to a one-day session in which only critiques of the papers were presented, along with short responses from the authors. After this, for the next two and a half days, we followed an ad hoc agenda.

One morning, we in the 1980s cohort insisted on having our own session separate from the 1960s people. In a brainstorming discussion, we identified those conditions we saw as fundamentally different from those in the 1960s. Most prominent among these were interdependence and interconnectedness of policy issues, private-public organizations, nation-states . . .

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