Higher Education

Theories of Public Organization, 7th Edition

  • Robert B. Denhardt Arizona State University
  • Thomas J. Catlaw Arizona State University
  • ISBN-10: 1285436334  |  ISBN-13: 9781285436333
  • 272 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2011, 2008, 2004
  • © 2015 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $86.25
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THEORIES OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, Seventh Edition, is a brief, readable overview of public administration theory that presents multiple viewpoints, enabling students to develop their own philosophies of public administration, and helping them relate theory to application. The Seventh Edition incorporates a theme of Governance, which explores the traditions, institutions, and processes that determine how power is exercised, how citizens are given a voice, and how decisions are made on issues of public concern.

Features and Benefits

  • Thoroughly revised and updated in every chapter, the 7th edition reflects the latest research, current trends, and important issues in the field, keeping the text relevant to today's students.
  • Provides a complete history of public administration theory in the United States, and presents theorywithin a historical and philosophical context.
  • Encourages students to develop their own philosophy, and includes using an administrative journal to bring together theory and practice.
  • Contrasts the most contemporary differences in viewpoints; the New Public Management, and the New Public Service. Later chapters highlight the differences between these two viewpoints.

Table of Contents

1. Learning about Public Organizations.
2. The Intellectual Heritage: Marx, Weber, and Freud.
3. The Political Heritage: From Wilson to Waldo.
4. The Rational Model of Organization.
5. Organizational Humanism and the New Public Administration.
6. The Policy Emphasis and the New Public Management.
7. Public Administration and the New Public Service.
8. The Practitioner as Theorist.

What's New

  • Helps students understand and more clearly reconcile the differences of theory and practice as they relate to public administration.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"The text has an intuitive sequence based on a functional approach that is roughly chronological. It introduces the basic theories as they build and respond to one another. This sequence allows students to gain an appreciation for the sweep of the discipline's history through the prism of major theoretical schools of administrative thought." - Brett Sharp, University of Central Oklahoma

— Brett Sharp


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

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.

Thomas J. Catlaw

Thomas J. Catlaw is the Frank and June Sackton Chair in Public Administration and an Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University on the Downtown Phoenix Campus. His research centers on the application of political and social theory to problems of governance and social change. He is the author of Fabricating the People: Politics and Administration in the Biopolitical State and has published widely on matters of public administration and democratic participation. Dr. Catlaw was editor of Administrative Theory & Praxis, an international journal dedicated to innovative and critical analysis of governmental practice, and worked previously for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in Washington, DC on issues of federal audit policy.