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Resisting the Ascendancy of Public Management: Normative Theory and Public Administration

Resisting the Ascendancy of Public Management: Normative Theory and Public Administration AbstractThough the field of public administration has historically been grounded in a tension between a science-based quest for efficiency and the essentially contested questions that mark public life, this conceptual arena is under siege by adherents of public management, who reject “traditional” public administration in the way Herbert Simon did more thanfifty years ago, and for similar reaSons. Taking Dwight Waldo’s position that public administration is fundamentally a theory of politics, this essay argues that while scientific knowledge has a place in the field, the quest for a science of management should not be permitted to occlude the political. It argues that normative theory points us in the direction of usable knowledge, aform that is neither pure science nor conventional wisdom, and concludes by suggesting a stance for normative theorists, one aimed a preserving the publicness of public administration. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Administrative Theory & Praxis Taylor & Francis

Resisting the Ascendancy of Public Management: Normative Theory and Public Administration

Administrative Theory & Praxis , Volume 22 (1): 14 – Mar 1, 2000
14 pages

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References (48)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2000, Public Administration Theory Network. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1949-0461
eISSN
1084-1806
DOI
10.1080/10841806.2000.11643423
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThough the field of public administration has historically been grounded in a tension between a science-based quest for efficiency and the essentially contested questions that mark public life, this conceptual arena is under siege by adherents of public management, who reject “traditional” public administration in the way Herbert Simon did more thanfifty years ago, and for similar reaSons. Taking Dwight Waldo’s position that public administration is fundamentally a theory of politics, this essay argues that while scientific knowledge has a place in the field, the quest for a science of management should not be permitted to occlude the political. It argues that normative theory points us in the direction of usable knowledge, aform that is neither pure science nor conventional wisdom, and concludes by suggesting a stance for normative theorists, one aimed a preserving the publicness of public administration.

Journal

Administrative Theory & PraxisTaylor & Francis

Published: Mar 1, 2000

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