POLS 331-2:  Intro to Public Administration

Fall 2005


Instructor:                  LeAnn Beaty

Class Times:              Tuesday and Thursday: 12:00-1:45 pm, DuSable 246

Office Hours:             Tuesday and Thursday: 2:00-3:00 pm, or by appointment

Office Room No.        Dusable 476

Email:                         lbeaty1@niu.edu

Office Phone:             (815) 753-1818


Course Objectives and Description

This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the major public administration theories influencing the discipline, the role of the public bureaucracy in American society, and the interplay of politics and public administration at the national, state, and local levels.


This course serves as an introduction to public administration. During the semester we will review topics generally associated with its study and practice such as ethics, social equity, organization theory and behavior, public policy formation, public management, administrative reform, performance management, intergovernmental relations, leadership, human resources, and public finance.  Through class discussion, group work, lecture, reading, and current event assignments students will become familiar with the primary issues and challenges facing public administrators today at the local, state, and national levels.


Required Text



On Reserve

Shafritz, Hyde & Parkes, Classics of Public Administration is on reserve in the library for your review or to copy articles.  You may be able to access some of the uncondensed readings from the JSTOR database of the NIU library.  Or, you may want to order an older used version (3rd or 4th ed.) of the Classics book from Amazon.com or Half.com. 


Enrollment on Blackboard

Students are expected to create accounts on the Blackboard system (http://webcourses.niu.edu) as soon as possible. I may be using this site to post grades, notes, and other materials that are relevant to the class.   Students are encouraged to use the discussion board to share articles with classmates, discuss relevant topics, or ask questions.


Graded Assignments

Course grades will be based on one oral presentation and a mini-paper, a book or journal articles review, midterm and final exam, and class participation in assigned case studies: 


Book or Journal Article Review:  Students must write a review of either one book or two journal articles from a reading list, attached to the end of this syllabus.  Each student is responsible for choosing and submitting in writing their book or journal titles to the Instructor on or before Thursday, September 22; failure to submit on time will result in a 5 point overall deduction.  Students wanting to choose other books or journal articles must obtain prior approval by the instructor.  The review(s) should describe the author’s primary message(s) or theme(s), hypotheses and findings, how these themes and findings relate to the class readings and lectures, and your reaction to the book or journal articles. The book review should be no longer than 5 pages and each journal review should be no longer than 3 pages. Papers should be double-spaced with 1-inch margins, written with 12-point font, and include a cover page and citations.  The book review is due no later than Thursday, November 18.  The first journal article is due on or before the Mid-term Exam. The second journal article is due on or before Thursday, November 17.  Late papers will receive a score of zero (0). Grades will be based on how well the student integrates the book or article to theories and concepts studied in class or in the readings, how well the student understands and explains the book and article, and how well the paper is written in terms of sentence structure, grammar, and spelling.  


Oral Presentation and Mini-Paper:  In addition to an emphasis on writing skills, public administrators must demonstrate effective communication skills and the ability to integrate theory with practice.  Before the end of our second class meeting, randomly paired students will select a reading (pull names from a hat) from Classics of Public Administration for the purpose of making an oral presentation to the class.  This assignment, which you can present any way you wish, should take no more than 15 minutes of class time (students exceeding this limit will be stopped and graded accordingly), and must include a one-page, single-spaced, (11 or 12 font, 1” margins) mini-paper of the main concepts.  While the presentation is a joint effort, each student must individually prepare and submit the mini-paper.  Students wishing to make exchanges of readings may do so on their own time, but must inform the instructor in writing at least one week prior to their scheduled presentation The presentation and/or mini-paper should address the following:

§         APA citation of the publication (e.g., Rosenbloom, David H. (1983).  “Public Administrative Theory and the Separation of Powers,” Public Administration Review, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 219-227);

§         basic personal information of the author, and what he or she is credited with contributing to the field of public administration (e.g., dob, education, degree, positions held, etc.);

§         if the person were/is a practitioner rather than an academic, identify the agency or agencies of government for which the person worked, job title, etc.;

§         a brief summary or primary theme(s) of the article;

§         link the article to a concept found within the literature, or a current news event found in acceptable news sources or archives such as the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek or Times.  Describe how the current event or topic relates to the public administration themes, ideas, or concepts from the publication or discussion for that week.

§         Since the objective of these assignments is to introduce you to as many of these contributors as possible, please make copies of your mini-paper for everyone in the class for distribution.

Grades will be divided evenly between the oral presentation (collective effort) and the written mini-paper (individual effort), based on how well you understand and explain the reading, how well you integrate theory with application, and how well the mini-paper is prepared in terms of organization, sentence structure, grammar, and spelling.


Case Study:  During the semester students will be expected to participate in assigned case studies from the Stillman book or as substituted by the Instructor.   Class space and size permitting, the class will be broken into working groups to analyze particular aspects of the cases.  Each working group will be assigned to analyze a particular aspect of the case, and after a timed discussion, each group will present their position.  To insure that each member contributes to a fair share of the workload, students will be required to read the case in advance and prepare handwritten or typed notes (not to exceed 1 page) on the questions which generally accompany the cases.  These notes (addenda) will accompany the group’s overall written position, to be collected at the end of the class period.  Each individual addenda will receive an S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) grade worth 10 pts. More than one memo with a U grade will cost your final course grade 5%.  (Failure to submit a memo earns a U for that class session!).   Your group effort should reflect your ability to meet the time requirement of the exercise, and your ability to make sound conclusions.  


Midterm and Final Examination

There will be a midterm and a final exam, comprised of any combination of essay, identification questions or multiple choice and true/false questions.  The final examination will be cumulative, but heavily weighted toward the material presented after the midterm.  Make-up exams will not be given – no exceptions. 



Letter grades will be based on the standard 100 percent scale (e.g. 90% = A, 80% = B, 70% = C, etc.).  The following components are the criteria for calculating the course grade.


Oral Presentations/Mini-Paper                                     100 points

Book or Journal Reviews                                                          100 points

Group Case Studies                                                                    50 points

Mid-term                                                                                    75 points

Final                                                                                           75 points

Total                                                                                       400 points


Total points: 400     360-400 =A; 320-359=B; 280-319=C; 240-279=D; 0-239=F

Class Schedule:  (**Due Dates for Assignments and/or Exams)


Week 1 (08/23-08/25): Introductions

Tuesday:  Introductions and Review of Syllabus

Thursday:  Library Presentation


Thursday, August 25:  Meet noon to 1:30 in Room 297 of the library, located on the 2nd floor (smart classroom) for Library Presentation.


Week 2 (08/30-09/01):  Discipline of Public Administration

Tuesday:   Stillman, Reading 1.1

§         Leonard White, Introduction to the Study of Public Adm. (1926)

Thursday:  Cont’d discussion of Political-Administration Dichotomy

§         H. George Frederickson, Toward a New Public Adm. (1971)


Week 3 (09/06-09/08): Political Context of Public Administration

Tuesday:  Stillman, Reading 4

§         Frank J. Goodnow, Politics and Administration (1900)

Thursday: Stillman, Case Study 4: The Columbia Accident

§         Paul Appleby, Government is Different (1945)

§         Herbert Kaufman, Adm. Decentralization and Political Power (1969)


Week 4 (09/13-09/15):  Bureaucracy and the Public Interest

Tuesday:   Stillman, Reading 2

§         Robert K. Merton, Bureaucratic Structure and Personality (1940)

Thursday:  Stillman, Reading 15

§         Michael Lipsky, Street-Level Bureaucracy (1980)


Week 5 (09/20-09/22):  Organization Theory

Tuesday: Evolution of Organizational Theory

§         Frederick W. Taylor, Scientific Management (1912)

Thursday:   Stillman, Reading 6 – Hawethorne Studies

§         Luther Gulick, Notes on the Theory of Organization (1937)


**Thursday, September 22:  Book (1) or Journal Article (2) Selection Due


Week 6 (09/27-09/29):  Human Resources Management

Tuesday:  Stillman Case Study 6: Unbuilding the World Trade Center

§         Herbert Simon, The Proverbs of Administration (1946)

Thursday:  Public Personnel Administration and Collective Bargaining


Week 7 (10/04-10/06):  Public Personnel Motivation & Social Equity

Tuesday:  Stillman, Reading 11 

§         A.H. Maslow, A Theory of Human Motivation (1943)

§         Douglas McGregor, The Human Side of Enterprise (1957)

Thursday:  Social Equity: Affirmative Action and diversity in workplace

§         Frederick Mosher, Democracy and the Public Service: The Collective Service (1982)


Week 8 (10/11-10/13):  The Budgetary Process

Tuesday: The Budgetary Process and Theories

§         V. O. Key, Jr., The Lack of a Budgetary Theory (1940)

Thursday: Stillman, Reading 12


Week 9 (10/18-10/20):  Performance Measurements

            Tuesday:  GASB Performance Measurements (see handout)

Thursday:  MIDTERM


**Tuesday, October 18:  1rst Journal Article Due


**Thursday, October 20:  MIDTERM


Week 10  (10/25-10/27):  Reforming Public Management

Tuesday:  National Performance Review & New Public Management

§         Louis Brownlow, Charles E. Merriam, & Luther Gulick, Report of the President’s Committee on Administrative Management (1937)

Thursday:  Public Choice Theory

§         Graham T. Allison, Public and Private Management: Are They Fundamentally Alike in All Unimportant Respects? (1980)

§         Ronald C. Moe, Exploring the Limits of Privatization (1987)


Week 11 (11/01-03):  Public Policy

Tuesday:  Stillman, Reading 8

§         Norton E. Long, Power and Administration (1949)

Thursday:  Public Policies cont’d;  see http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/

§         Charles E. Lindblom, The Science of “Muddling Through” (1959)


Week 12 (11/08-11/10):  Program Evaluation

Tuesday:   Stillman, Case Study 8:  The MOVE Disaster

§         Arnold J. Meltsner, The Seven Deadly Sins of Policy Analysts (1986)


§         Carol H. Weiss, Purpose of Evaluation (1972)


Week 13 (11/15-11/17):  Intergovernmental Relations

Tuesday:   Stillman, Reading 5

§         Deil S. Wright, Understanding Intergovernmental Relations (1988)

Thursday:  Stillman, Case Study 5:  Wichita Confronts Contamination


**Thursday, November 18:  2nd Journal Article or Book Review Due


Week 14 (11/22-11/24):  Public Service Ethics

            Tuesday:  Stillman, Reading 16

§         E. Pendleton Herring, Public Administration and the Public Interest (1936)

§         Frederick C. Mosher & Others, Watergate: Implications for Responsible Government (1974)

Thursday:  Thanksgiving Break:  NO CLASS



Week 15 (11/29-12/01):  Wrapup

Tuesday:  Case Study 16:  The Case of the Butterfly Ballot

Thursday:  NIU MPA Program Overview


**Final Examination:  Tues. December 6, Noon-1:50 p.m.


NOTE:  The instructor reserves the right to make changes to the schedule or syllabus


Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is defined in the Student Judicial Code as the receipt or transmission of unauthorized aid on assignments or examinations, plagiarism, the unauthorized use of examination materials, or other forms of dishonesty. The professor is authorized by NIU to levy a sanction not greater than an F for the course.


Whenever referencing material from the texts, supplemental readings, or lectures, students should include appropriate citations to avoid problems of plagiarism.  Students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, journals, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging those sources or if they paraphrase ideas from such sources without acknowledging them  (NIU Undergraduate Catalog). 


Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities

NIU abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that mandates that reasonable accommodations be provided for qualified students with disabilities. If you have a disability and may require some type of instructional and/or examination accommodation, please contact me early in the semester so that I can provide or facilitate in providing accommodations you may need. If you have not already done so, you will need to register with the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR), the designated office on campus to provide services and administer exams with accommodations for students with disabilities. The CAAR office is located on the 4th floor of the University Health Services building (815-753-1303).


The Writing Center

The Writing Center provides writing assistance for all undergraduate and graduate students. The Center is located in Stevenson Towers South, Lower Level. For more information call 753-6636.


Undergraduate Writing Awards

The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.


Political Science Department Web Site

Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu


Class Attendance and Etiquette

Students are expected to attend class each class period, be on time, pay attention, participate in class, come having read the assignments for the day, and not leave early.  Any students missing more than 3 classes will not receive an A in the course no matter how well that they do on written assignments.  Any student who arrives after attendance has been taken, leaves early without having obtained permission, falls asleep in class, violates any class rules regarding decorum will be considered absent from class that day and not receive credit for attendance. 


Any student absence from class on any day in which a guest speaker is invited will lose 5 points from his or her overall grade.


Do not read a newspaper or other materials in class, or chat with your classmates. If this happens, I will ask offenders to leave class and they will be marked absent for the day.


Class lasts for 75 minutes. I will be the one to end class. I will end promptly so that you can get to other classes. Do not start to pack up to leave before I have ended class. Be sure to take everything with you that you brought to class. Do not leave newspapers and food or beverage containers in class for someone else to pick up.


No cell phones are allowed in class.  I do not want to see a cell phone.  No playing of games on electronic equipment.


Do email me with questions, to set up a meeting or to provide me with information.


Do not email me to avoid having an exchange with me face-to-face. I will not engage in a discussion over grades in particular via email.  Do come to see me in person. I encourage you to talk with me about any problems you are having with the course.

Recommended Public Administration books/articles


** Books  (you may pick an alternative book or article(s) if approved by Instructor)


Vincent Ostrom, The Intellectual Crisis in American Public Administration, Alabama, 1973.


Civil Service Reform and the "Politics-Administration Dichotomy." Scientific Management.


Woodrow Wilson, "Study of Administration," Pol.Sci.Q., 1887.

Frank Goodnow, Politics and Administration, Macmillan, 1900, ch. 1.

Daniel Martin, "The Fading Legacy of Woodrow Wilson," PAR March 1988.

Paul Van Riper, The Wilson Influence on Public Administration, ASPA, 1990.

James Svara, "The Politics-Administration Dichotomy as Aberration," PAR, Jan./Feb. 1998.

James Svara, "The Myth of the Dichotomy," PAR, March/April 2001.

Frederick Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management, Harper/Norton, 1911, pp. 30-65.

Daniel Nelson, Frederick W. Taylor and the Rise of Scientific Management, Wisconsin, 1980, ch.4.


Classical Administrative Theory: Principles and Functions.

Henri Fayol, "General Principles of Management" (1916), in Shafritz & Ott, Classics of Organization Theory, Brooks-

Luther Gulick, "Notes on the Theory of Organization" in L. Gulick & L. Urwick, (Eds.), Papers on the Science of

**Herbert Kaufman, The Forest Ranger, Hopkins, 1960


Hawthorne Studies

Elton Mayo, The Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization, Harvard Business School, 1933.

Richard Franke & J. Kaul, "The Hawthorne Experiments," Am.Soc.Rev. 1978.

Brian Fry, "Elton Mayo: The Human Relations Approach," Mastering Public Administration


Organization Theory.

Oliver Williamson (ed.), Organization Theory: From Chester Barnard to the Present and Beyond, Oxford, 1995.

**Herbert Simon, Administrative Behavior, Macmillan, 1947.


Organization Culture.

**Richard Pascale & A. Athos, The Art of Japanese Management, Simon & Schuster, 1981, ch 2, pp. 78-84.

John Van Maanen, "Police Socialization," Adm. Sci. Q., 1975.

Frederick Herzberg, "One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?" Harv. Bus. Rev., 1968.




Bureaupolitics: Policymaking, Clientelism, Subgovernments.

**Dwight Waldo, The Administrative State, Ronald, 1948.

David Rosenbloom, "Public Administration Theory and the Separation of Powers," PAR, 1983, 219-227.

Dwight Waldo, "Development of Theory of Democratic Administration," APSR, 46: 81-

Dan McCool, "The Subsystem Family of Concepts," Pol.Res.Q., June 1998.


Decision Theory and Budgeting.

Charles Lindblom, "The Science of 'Muddling Through'," PAR, Spring 1959.

Graham Allison, "Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis," APSR, Sept. 1969.

Michael Cohen, "Conflict and Complexity," APSR, June 1984.

Amatai Etzioni, "Mixed Scanning Revisited," PAR, Jan/Feb 1986.

**Aaron Wildavsky, Politics of the Budgetary Process, Little Brown, 1964,

Otto Davis, M.A.E. Dempster & A. Wildavsky, "A Theory of the Budgetary Process," APSR, Sept. 1966.

**Irene Rubin, The Politics of Public Budgeting, Chatham House, 1993.


The Economists’ II: Principal-Agent Theory.

Terry Moe, "The New Economics of Organization," AJPS, November 1984.


The Economists III: Public Choice.

**Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action, Harvard, 1965

William Niskanen, "Bureaucrats and Politicians," J. Law & Econ. (1975).

Gary Miller & T. Moe, "Bureaucrats, Legislators, and the Size of Government," APSR, June 1983.

**E.S. Savas, Privatizing the Public Sector, Chatham House, 1982.

**E.S. Savas, Privatization and Public-Private Partnerships, Chatham House, 2000.

**John Chubb & Terry Moe, Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools, Brookings, 1990.

**Kevin Smith & K. Meier, The Case Against School Choice: Politics, Markets, and Fools, M.E.Sharpe, 1995.

Robert Lowery, "The Private Production of Public Goods," APSR, June 1997.

**Graeme Hodge, Privatization: An International Review of Performance, Westview, 2000.


Administrative Responsibility: Responsiveness, the "New P.A.," Refounding.

**George Frederickson, New Public Administration, Alabama, 1980, ch.1.

**Charles Goodsell, The Case for Bureaucracy, Chatham House, 3rd ed., 1994.


Administrative Responsibility II: Reinvention. Conclusions.

**David Osborne & T. Gaebler, Reinventing Government, Addison-Wesley, 1992 ch. 11.

**Linda deLeon & R. Denhardt, "The Political Theory of Reinvention," PAR, March 2000.