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The Public Manager Case Book

The Public Manager Case Book
Making Decisions in a Complex World

Edited by:

July 2002 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

As academic disciplines, public administration and public policy programs have struggled to link theoretical and conceptual grounding with practical application. Students often have discrete courses in human resources, finance, organizational behavior, policy analysis, and planning, but rarely are they offered an opportunity to pursue these through actual cases and problems facing public managers.

The Public Manager Case Book is a collection of eight public administration cases that allows students to practice the decision-making skills they will need in their jobs as public managers. Each case focuses on the local administrative issues managers most often face in their day-to-day responsibilities, and each encourages students to collaborate with others in order to gain the necessary cooperation and information. The cases are multi-dimensional and challenge students and professors to draw from a variety of knowledge areas to develop alternative recommendations, decisions, or actions.

An instructor's manual is available for useful background material, references, theoretical and conceptual framework, and teaching tips.

About the Editor

Terrel L. Rhodes is Professor of Public Administration and Vice Provost for Curriculum and Undergraduate Studies at Portland State University.

David F. Thompson and Gary R. Rassel
1 Balancing the Budget in Gaston County, North Carolina
Maureen Brown
2 Emergency Management at the Millennium
Sherril B. Gelmon and Robert Gassner
3 The Quest to Continue: Healthy Communities Inc.
Gary R. Rassel
4 Ending Welfare as We Know It
Patricia M. Alt
5 Evolving Objectives: The Statewide Evaluation and Planning
Carole L. Jurkiewicz
6 Teaching What They Practice
Terrel L. Rhodes and Linda E. Swayne
7 The Edifice Complex: A New Coliseum for Charlotte?
Cheryl L. Brown
8 Smart Cards for Paperless Transactions: Facilitation of e-Government or Threat to Security?
About the Authors

I am teaching a module for postgraduate MBA students on Business Planning. Most come from working backgrounds in health and education hence many more profit orientated cases are not applicable to them so I am hoping that this publication can give them some good insights into the decisioni process for the public sector and thus to avoid the standard criticism that the Module is really built for those working in the 'for profit' sector.

Mr Timothy Dee
The Business School, Canterbury Christ Church University
October 31, 2012
Key features
  • Helps connect theory to practice: Includes real-world case studies that focus on local administrative issues. Most public administration casebooks do not include local government cases. Since the majority of students seeking undergraduate or Masters of Public Administration degrees are (or will be) engaged in local government agencies, the cases provide a more a clearer connection between the theory of administration and day-to-day experience.
  • Emphasizes the need to integrate and synthesize information: Many cases found in existing collections deal with only one aspect of a public administrator's position. In reality, the situations administrators encounter are multi-faceted and multi-dimensional. The cases in this book integrate several components in each case situation. Students are challenged to draw upon their learning in more than one area of administration and to bring that knowledge to bear in constructing a course of action or a recommendation to resolve the issue.
  • Illustrates the importance of collaboration and cooperation: Most of the decisions an administrator makes rests upon a collaborative process involving many people. The cases encourage students to interact with, or obtain from others, necessary information, cooperation, or action in order to achieve a desired outcome.
  • Instructor's Manual provides useful background materials, references, theoretical and conceptual frameworks, and teaching tips.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

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