Preparing Municipalities for the Twenty-First Century
About at the turn of this century, then- ProfessorWoodrow Wilson made the argument that the public service must become:
the instrument of humanity, of social betterment. Its business is to establish and maintain every condition which will assist the people to a sound and wholesome and successful life. ( 1984)
Wilson was speaking during a time of great challenge to the American public service. Events and trends of his day necessitated fundamental changes in the definition and performance of the bureaucratic function. One set of ramifications for public administration education and training, arising out of the new challenges, was a re-exploration of both paradigm and purpose.
As we approach the turn of the twenty-first century, the public service is entering another era of great challenge. The challenges at this point, however, are multiple and much more complex than those of Wilson's time. They involve dealing effectively, legally, and compassionately with a host of issues pertaining to the demand for increased organizational responsibilities, the need for greater workplace performance, and the reality of growing workforce diversity.