Higher Education

Public Administration: An Action Orientation, 7th Edition

  • includes CourseReader 0-30: Public Administration Printed Access Card
  • Robert B. Denhardt Arizona State University
  • Janet V. Denhardt Arizona State University
  • Tara A. Blanc Arizona State University
  • ISBN-10: 113393921X  |  ISBN-13: 9781133939214
  • 464 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2009, 2006, 2003
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $194.75
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Issuing a call to action, PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: AN ACTION ORIENTATION, Seventh Edition, encourages students to become active participants in public administration and equips them with the tools to do it effectively. Robert B. Denhardt, Janet V. Denhardt, and Tara A. Blanc teach readers how to influence the operations of public agencies--helping them learn to get involved and effect positive changes, regardless of whether they are working outside the agency as citizens or within the agency as managers. With a strong emphasis on ethics, the text introduces the theories and scholarly literature of the field while reflecting the latest trends and issues. Packed with hands-on applications, it helps students develop such practical skills as personal management, communication, delegation, motivation, and decision making. Key topics like nonprofit management, the global dimensions of public administration, and organizational theory are covered thoroughly throughout. In addition, CourseReader integrates primary and secondary sources to give students a well-rounded perspective.

Features and Benefits

  • Though content is completely up to date, chapter organization in PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, 7e remains the same as the previous edition to allow for easy transition.
  • Helping maximize your course success, the Student Companion Website offers tutorial quizzes for individual chapters so students can test their comprehension of chapter content.
  • The Seventh Edition provides a thorough overview of the field of public administration in a clear, concise, and engaging manner, effectively covering essential theory and history while maintaining a consistent emphasis on practical applications and skills students can use in their own lives.
  • PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION introduces students to concepts in an easy-to-digest way. The first two chapters examine the public administration from a big picture point of view. The text also defines key terms and offers study questions at the end of each chapter.
  • Abundant study questions, case studies, and activities integrated throughout the text provide strong support for students to master and apply course material.
  • The text features substantial coverage of ethics and conflicting values, agencies and nonprofits, the interorganizational context of public administration, the role and impact of technology, and other current topics of interest and importance in this dynamic field.
  • Exploring the daily activities and practical realities of public administration, the authors equip students with a detailed understanding of how agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations function in the real world--including insight into how to influence their decisions and impact.

Table of Contents

1. Personal Action in Public Organizations.
2. The Political Context of Public Administration.
3. The Interorganizational Context of Public Administration.
4. Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation.
5. Budgeting and Financial Management.
6. The Management of Human Resources.
7. The Ethics of Public Service.
8. Designing and Managing Organizations.
9. Leadership and Management Skills in Public Organizations.
10. Administrative Reform and Technology.
11. The Future of the Public Service.

What's New

  • Manageable, affordable, and extremely reader friendly, PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: AN ACTION ORIENTATION, INTEGRATED (WITH COURSEREADER 0-30: PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION PRINTED ACCESS CARD), 7e remains comprehensive and detailed while featuring streamlined and reorganized material, new boxed features, and updated information in nearly every chapter.
  • Thoroughly revised and updated, the text reflects the latest research, current trends, and important issues in the field, while contemporary case studies illuminate key aspects of social problems in a way that is relevant to today’s students.
  • CourseReader Assignments integrated throughout the text provide additional cases and real-world scenarios that bring chapter material to life for students.
  • Putting chapter concepts into practice, new Take Action boxed features support the book’s action theme by teaching readers step by step how to implement a given strategy or potential solution to an issue.
  • New Exploring Concepts boxed features provide additional examples of concepts in action and information to help students better understand key concepts and ideas.
  • New Public Administration in History boxed features equip students with related historical examples, scenarios, and case studies to support the core text.

Alternate Formats

Choose the format that best fits your student's budget and course goals

To customize your learning solution, contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

  • Paperbound Book Only Edition

    ISBN-10: 1133939201 | ISBN-13: 9781133939207

    List Price = $259.95  | CengageBrain Price = $259.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $195.50

Efficacy and Outcomes


“…the approach is solid. The text starts with the importance of PA and progresses nicely through the various essential building blocks of the discipline. The authors, in my view, do a very good job of maintaining neutrality in the topic, yet challenge the reader through case studies and exercises.”

— Marcus Castro, University of La Verne

“This is an excellent approach to expose students to public administration while also reinforcing the importance of management principles and the basis of ethical conduct and the role of ethics in our decision-making.”

— Willie Britt, Golden Gate University

“The authors make the core ideas, concepts, and terms readily apparent to students. Students are not left to guess about what it is that the authors intend to emphasize in each chapter.”

— Bradley Best, Buena Vista University


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1133949142 | ISBN-13: 9781133949145)

This comprehensive resource includes an introduction on teaching public administration, ideas on preparing and designing a syllabus, a section on using supplementary textbooks, an overview and test bank including multiple-choice, true/false, and essay questions for each chapter, and a section on ideas for class activities.

CourseReader 0-30: Public Administration Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 1133350372 | ISBN-13: 9781133350378)

CourseReader: Public Administration is a fully customizable online reader which provides access to hundreds of readings, audio, and video selections from multiple disciplines. This easy to use solution allows you to select exactly the content you need for your courses, and is loaded with convenient pedagogical features like highlighting, printing, note taking, and audio downloads. YOU have the freedom to assign individualized content at an affordable price. CourseReader: Public Administration is the perfect complement to any class.

List Price = $67.00  | CengageBrain Price = $67.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $67.00

Student Supplements

CourseReader 0-30: Public Administration Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 1133350372 | ISBN-13: 9781133350378)

CourseReader enables instructors to create a customized reader so that you buy only the readings that are assigned in class. With this online reader you can take notes, highlight, and print content in a convenient, modern, and economical way.

List Price = $67.00  | CengageBrain Price = $67.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $67.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Robert B. Denhardt

Robert B. Denhardt is Professor and Director of Leadership Development in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, Regents Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University, and Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Delaware. A past president of the American Society for Public Administration and a member of the National Academy of Public Administration, Dr. Denhardt has published twenty-two books, including THE DANCE OF LEADERSHIP, THE NEW PUBLIC SERVICE, MANAGING HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN PUBLIC AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, THEORIES OF PUBLIC ORGANIZATION, PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: AN ACTION ORIENTATION, IN THE SHADOW OF ORGANIZATION, and THE PURSUIT OF SIGNIFICANCE.

Janet V. Denhardt

Janet V. Denhardt is the Chester A. Newland Professor of Public Administration in the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Her teaching and research interests focus on organization theory, organizational behavior, and leadership. Her most recent book, THE DANCE OF LEADERSHIP, was preceded by THE NEW PUBLIC SERVICE, MANAGING HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN PUBLIC AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, and STREET-LEVEL LEADERSHIP: DISCRETION AND LEGITIMACY IN FRONT-LINE PUBLIC SERVICE. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Southern California, Dr. Denhardt taught at Arizona State University and Eastern Washington University as well as served in a variety of administrative and consulting positions.

Tara A. Blanc

Tara A. Blanc is a lecturer in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. Her teaching and research interests are primarily in the areas of public service, civic and political engagement, leadership, and public service ethics. Formerly the associate director of the Cronkite/Eight Poll at Arizona State University, she co-directs a public opinion poll for ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy and provides consulting services on projects involving public opinion research, planning, and communication.