For the People?: Can We Fix Public Service?

Overview

The stakes have seldom been higher for public service. Security concerns are surging to the foreground. New or neglected economic and social problems demand fresh thinking and deft action. Technology-driven improvements in the business sector raise citizens' expectations for performance. Government's capacity to deliver, meanwhile, too often falls short.

The perception of government as bureaucratic and inflexible —and the blunt reality of uncompetitive salaries —can make ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$47.90
BN.com price
(Save 4%)$49.95 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $4.94   
  • New (3) from $20.06   
  • Used (3) from $4.94   
For the People: Can We Fix Public Service?

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price
(Save 43%)$22.95 List Price

Overview

The stakes have seldom been higher for public service. Security concerns are surging to the foreground. New or neglected economic and social problems demand fresh thinking and deft action. Technology-driven improvements in the business sector raise citizens' expectations for performance. Government's capacity to deliver, meanwhile, too often falls short.

The perception of government as bureaucratic and inflexible —and the blunt reality of uncompetitive salaries —can make talented people hesitate to take on public jobs. Many civic-minded young Americans opt reluctantly for business careers or turn to the nonprofit sector as a more appealing setting for doing good. Yet as John Adams advised his son, "public business must be done by someone." In our day, as Adams's, the urgency and complexity of much public business call for the talents of the very best.

In this wide-ranging book, scholars from the Visions of Governance in the Twenty-First Century program at Harvard University examine what is broken in public service and how it can be fixed. Three interrelated long-term trends are changing the context of government in this century: "marketization," globalization, and the information revolution. These forces are acting to diffuse a degree of power, responsibility, and even legitimacy away from central governments.

Public service in the era of distributed governance depends less on traditional aptitudes for direct administration and more on a subtler, sophisticated set of analytical and managerial skills. Those who labor for the people still need to discern public value through policy analysis and work the organizational machinery of government. But they must also be able to orchestrate the operations of far-flung networks involving a range of actors in different sectors. The authors argue that we are witnessing not the end of public service, but its evolution. While the evidence and arguments presented in this book make it hard to deny that many aspects of public service are strained, bent, or even broken, they also offer grounds for optimism that public service can be refurbished and reshaped to fit today's shifting challenges.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"For the People: Can We Fix Public Service? is an impressive collection of serious essays by a variety of learned authors who identify some of the most troublesome problems and flaws in public service today -- as well as offer remedies, visions, and plans for improvement in public service for the future...For the Peole: Can We Fix Public Service? is a thought-provoking, far-reaching, and ultimately optimistic contribution to public debate -- and highly recommended for both American Social Issues reference collections and Contemporary Political Science supplemental reading lists." — Library Bookwatch, 12/1/2003

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815718963
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press and Visions of Governance in the 21st Century
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John D. Donahue is Raymond Vernon Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Joseph S. Nye Jr. is University Distinguished Service Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and a former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs and chair of the National Intelligence Council.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Diagnosis: What's Wrong with Public Service Today?
2 Public Leaders: Riding a New Tiger 13
3 Wage Structures and the Sorting of Workers into the Public Sector 29
4 In-and-Outers: Up or Down? 55
5 Is There Still a Public Service Ethos? Work Values, Experience, and Job Satisfaction among Government Workers 72
6 The Good, the Bad, and the Unavoidable: Improving the Public Service in Poor Countries 90
Pt. 2 Desiderata: What Should the Future Look Like?
7 The People Factor: Human Resources Reform in Government 113
8 Public Servants for Twenty-First-Century Government 134
9 Local Problem Solving: Empowerment as a Path to Job Satisfaction 152
10 Moral Competence in the Practice of Democratic Governance 169
Pt. 3 Prescriptions: How Do We Get from Here to There?
11 Creating Leadership Capacity for the Twenty-First Century: Not Another Technical Fix 191
12 Education for Public Service in the History of the United States 225
13 Does Performance Pay Perform? Conditions for Success in the Public Sector 238
14 Government Personnel Policy in Comparative Perspective 255
Contributors 273
Index 275
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)