Managing Urban America

Managing Urban America

Managing Urban America

Managing Urban America

Synopsis

This is the fifth updated edition of Morgan's study and analysis of urban management in America. First issued in 1980, many of the same problems are found to be facing public officials today - fiscal stress, doing more with less, productivity enhancement, privatization, cutback management, retrenchment, and economic development are still very much part of the vernacular of urban management.

Excerpt

About twenty years have passed since the appearance of the first edition of Managing Urban America. This fifth edition finds many of the problems facing cities at the beginning of the 1980s still facing public officials at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Fiscal stress, doing more with less, productivity enhancement, privatization, and economic development are still very much part of the vernacular of urban management.

The purpose of the fifth edition basically is to update earlier versions. The structure, purpose, and thesis of the book remain the same. No new chapters have been added, nor have any old ones been deleted. Chapter 7 has been retitled given the resurgence of American cities, and the topic of cutback management receives less attention in that chapter. The book is intended to provide a reasonably comprehensive overview of urban management, including the environmental context, political structures, service delivery, management processes, and strategic planning and economic development. To our knowledge no other urban politics/administration text grounds students in the management literature as does the present text. In contrast, a number of excellent urban politics texts are available to students. The thesis of the book remains unchanged: one can be an excellent administrator and still fail in urban management. Without a thorough understanding of the "politics" of city administration, city leaders are destined to be less than completely successful.

The book has been used most frequently by junior- or senior-level undergraduate students and graduate students. One might suggest, however, that the text could be used as the primary text for an introduction to public administration course, with the emphasis and examples shifted from the federal level to that arena where most government takes place --the local level. In fact, the title of the book easily could be changed to Public Administration at the Local Level.

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