The Craft of Public Administration (12th Edition)


By: John Rouse, C. Kenneth Meyer, Lance J. Noe and Jeffrey A. Geerts

Twelfth Edition

E-Book and Learning Management System Resources: (RedShelf, VitalSource, Amazon Kindle)

Print Format: Paperback

Price: $60.00 (bookstores call for discount pricing)

ISBN13: 978-1-7355023-2-8

Published: May 2022

Pages: 284

Samples: Table of Contents, Module 3 Unit 2 Communication and Leadership


The Craft of Public Administration, 12th edition, responds to the growing demand for a textbook that is written to meet the learning requirements of both face-to-face and online instruction featuring content deemed essential to student professional/academic development.

This edition continues to provide the classic collection of essential leadership and administrative notions that have formed the academic basis for generations of students majoring in public administration and public policy. The Five Modules provide the essentials of the discipline in a clear, precise, and engaging manner, intended to build a firm knowledge base for life-long public service.

Understanding administrative systems built on past knowledge that work effectively in today’s rapidly changing world is a major strength of this book. The text, multiple examples, and case studies, reveal how successful administrators embrace change and uncertainty, with flexibility and creativity, enabling them to thrive in a framework of stability, fairness and equality that is expected of our administrative leadership.

This TURNKEY version of The Craft of Public Administration offers the following instructor friendly resources.

Instructor Resources

  • Presentation slides, hundreds of presentation slides arranged by module (coming soon)
  • Suggested TED Talks, videos, and readings
  • Case studies
  • Sample syllabus
  • Discussion of using the case study method of learning

Topics Covered

Module One: Public Service—the Essential Profession

  • Foreword, Preface, and Introduction
  • The Administrative Craft
  • The Ecology of the Administrative Craft

Module Two: Understanding the Essential Organization—Design and Dynamics

  • The Anatomy of Public Organizations
  • The Physiology of Public Organizations

Module Three: Making the Essential Organization Effective

  • Managing Employees as People and Assets
  • Communications and Leadership

Module Four: Purse, Productivity, and Policy

  • Taxing, Budgeting and Spending: The Distributive Question
  • The Productivity Challenge
  • Administrative Law—the Legal Foundation of Public Administration

Module Five: Making Public Administration Live—the Integration of Theory with Practice

  • Introduction: Living the Dream—Collaborative Learning, Problem Solving & Team Engagement
  • Case studies
  • Professional Portfolios: Showcasing Your Experience


“The pedagogical features of this textbook are very sound. When students apply themselves, they leave this class with a clear and concise foundation of the field of public administration.”
—Morgan M. Laury, Kean University

Foreword (excerpt) – by Parris N. Glendening, former governor of Maryland

The impact of technology on our society is sometimes overwhelming. This is true for administrative systems as well, as they struggle with maintaining a balance between work and family when employees are “connected” 24/7. This is particularly true during the work at home, virtual meetings, Zoom culture of Pandemic years, a time of significant physiological illnesses.

The pace of innovation can have enormous impact. What is often called the “disruptive economy” is one very visible example. Witness the worldwide ongoing struggle as communities try to seek a balance between traditional regulations and emerging economic forces such as Uber or Facebook, or the on-line economy, or green energy sources as examples.

The impact of these dramatic changes on our administrative systems is huge. For some this may seem daunting. There is often a disheartening, even frightening, fear that much of the administrative process cannot withstand the onslaught of these massive, complex and fast-moving changes, most of which are so interrelated as to defy simple solutions.

In this context we should remember the words of John F. Kennedy, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

Understanding the need for administrative systems that can work effectively in this sea of change is the strength of this edition of The Craft of Public Administration. This text is designed to help young practitioners do well in public administration in a time of great change and stress. It recognizes that for a system of public administration to do good for the public it must be built on the knowledge, training and experiences of generations past. It understands that students of public administration must be nimble, flexible and creative to deal with change but still work in a traditional framework of stability, fairness and equality that is expected of our administrative structures and processes.


John Rouse, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, taught undergraduate and graduate courses in public administration, American government and politics, and organizational theory. He holds a B.A. from Furman University, and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. He has traveled to 42 countries. Professor Rouse has served on the Editorial Board, PS: Political Science & Politics(APSA), been an Op-ed contributor to the editorial pages of The Chicago TribuneChristian Science Monitor, and major Midwest newspapers. He was a candidate for the Muncie City Council. He has been a columnist for the Sunday Editorial page of The Muncie Star and served as the Producer-Commentator for a weekly Indiana public affairs radio-television program.

Kenneth Meyer is an author of more than a dozen books and 100 scholarly articles on public personnel management, public management practice, violence in American society, public administration and public policy. During his 50+ years of teaching at the university level, he has taught more than 45 diverse courses for the public administration, community planning and nonprofit management field. Among these courses is an international award-winning comparative public management and public policy class incorporating a European study abroad component. As an invited speaker, presenter and host for more than 50 presentations around the world, C. Kenneth Meyer keeps an active schedule speaking and consulting throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

Lance J. Noe contributes extensive teaching and consulting experience in state and local government to The Craft of Public Administration. Lance is the director of the Center for Professional Studies at Drake University where he directs and facilitates public management, private sector, and nonprofit coursework in both professional certificate and graduate programs.

Jeffrey A. Geerts has been a leader in policy development and implementation while working for the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa Senate. Mr. Geerts is currently the Special Projects Manager for the Iowa Economic Development Authority where he coordinates several nationally recognized rural innovative sustainable community demonstration projects. Since 1998, he has co-instructed an international award winning graduate international comparative policy class that has studied in-depth best practices and model programs and policies throughout the United States and Europe. Mr. Geerts brings to these publications his experience serving on boards of directors of state and national nonprofits. Jeff also serves as an adjunct instructor for sustainable development courses at Drake University.

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