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Understanding and Managing Public Organizations, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-7879-6561-7
512 pages
September 2003, Jossey-Bass
Understanding and Managing Public Organizations, 3rd Edition (0787965618) cover image
In the third edition of his award-winning book, Hal G. Rainey provides a comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of research on public organizations and management. Drawing on a review of the most current research about government organizations and managers— and about effective and ineffective practices in government— this important resource offers specific suggestions for managing these challenges in today's public organizations. Using illustrative, real-life vignettes and examples, the book provides expert analysis of organizational design, goals, power, effectiveness, leadership, motivation and work attitudes, decisionmaking, and more.
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Tables, Figures, and Exhibits.

Preface.

The Author.

PART ONE: THE DYNAMIC CONTEXT OF PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS.

1. The Challenge of Effective Public Organization and Management.

2. Understanding the Study of Organizations: A Historical Review.

3. What Makes Public Organizations Distinctive.

4. Analyzing the Environment of Public Organizations.

5. The Impact of Political Power and Public Policy.

PART TWO: KEY DIMENSIONS OF ORGANIZING AND MANAGING.

6. Organizational Goals and Effectiveness.

7. Formulating and Achieving Purpose: Power, Strategy, and Decision Making.

8. Organizational Structure, Design, Technology, and Information Technology.

9. Understanding People in Public Organizations: Values and Motives.

10. Understanding People in Public Organizations: Theories of Work Motivation and Work-Related Attitudes.

11. Leadership, Managerial Roles, and Organizational Culture.

12. Teamwork: Understanding Communication and Conflict in and Among Groups.

PART THREE: STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING AND IMPROVING PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS.

13. Managing Organizational Change and Development.

14. Advancing Effective Management in the Public Sector.

References.

Name Index.

Subject Index.

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Updated literature and research reviews for the topics covered in the second edition, including very recent references and research that have appeared since the second edition.
  • Leadership, including new research specifically about leadership in the public sector, including new coverage of the O'Toole-Meier model of public management.
  • Motivation and work attitudes, including the recent stream of research on public service motivation, and very recent surveys of the work attitudes of government managers and employees, such as the U.S.O.P.M "Human Capital Survey" of 2002 and the recent Brookings Institution survey.
  • Recent analyses of the characteristics of "high performance" and highly effective public organizations, the conclusions from which can be taken as guidelines for enhancing performance.
  • The studies evaluating the impacts of the Reinventing Government movement and the National Performance Review during the 1990s and up to the present.
  • Organizational effectiveness and performance assessment of public organizations, with newly-included coverage of the Government Performance Project, the Balanced Scorecard, and the evaluative efforts under the President's Management Agenda  of the current administration.
  • A recent stream of research on "governance" that attempts to take into account multiples levels and networks of institutions, authorities and actors.
  • New coverage of numerous recent studies comparing public and private organizations, managers, and/or employees on most of the factors mentioned above, based on a thorough review of the numerous comparative studies of this sort that have appeared since the second edition.

 New and updated examples, such as:

  • The major organization redesign in the Internal Revenue Service (1998-present) and organizational restructuring of the Brookhaven National Lab.
  • Examples of goal, mission, and value statements from the 2002 strategic plans of selected federal agencies.
  • The Department of Homeland Security as an example of the importance of managing and organizing in the public sector.

 Newly-included description and examples of recent developments in the practice and field of public management:

  • Description of the National Public Management Research Conferences and the newly formed National Public Management Research Association.
  • The Human Capital movement in the federal government and other levels of government.
  • The President's Management Agenda.

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The must-have resource provides a comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of research on public organizations and management.
  • Contains numerous real-life vignettes and examples and the book summarizes expert analysis on goals, power, effectiveness, motivation and work attitudes, decision making, and more.
  • Thoroughly revised, the book contains new material with an emphasis on creating a strategic plan, motivation, dealing with change, new theories of leadership, and reform efforts.
  • The first edition of this book won the Best Book Award of the Public and Nonprofit Sectors Division of the Academy of Management in 1992.
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The third edition of the classic text provides a comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of research on public organizations and management. Drawing on a review of the most current research about government organizations and managers, this important source offers specific suggestions for managing these challenges in today's public organizations. (Abstracts of Public Administration, 05/2008)

Best Book Award, Public and Nonprofit Sectors Division of the Academy of Management

"A masterful textbook, as well as an important and original contribution to the public organization theory literature. Rainey's book is the only one available that is both comprehensive in its treatment of organization theory and decidedly 'public' in its perspective . . . the book is not simply appropriate for courses on public management and organization theory, it is the best book available."
— Public Administration Review

"Comprehensive, coherent, and exceptionally thorough . . . a masterful work."
— Public Productivity and Management Review

"This book is outstanding and the best single source book available for the topics it addresses. I assign it to my Human Resources Management and Organization Theory seminars and I ensure that all my doctoral students read it for comprehensive exams."
— Patricia W. Ingraham, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

"Over the past decade, there have been only a few books that can be used in graduate courses on public organizations. Rainey's book is far and away the best of these books. I know of no other book that manages to provide really serious coverage of the scholarly literature, and at the same time provide practical lessons for public managers. It is the best out there."
— Barton Wechsler, professor and director, Truman School of Public Affairs, The University of Missouri

"A tremendous contribution to the field. Rainey's ability to synthesize huge research streams from a variety of fields such as political science, public administration, public management, public policy, business administration, management, psychology, sociology, and others is outstanding."
— Jeffrey L. Brudney, professor of public administration and codirector of the Institute for Nonprofit Organizations, The University of Georgia

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