Merriam-Webster online (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handbook) defines a handbook as “a concise reference book covering a particular subject.” Written by either scholars or practitioners, handbooks have traditionally served as introductions to areas of study in public administration. One scholarly series including a number of handbooks (Public Administration and Public Policy from CRC Press) now includes over 140 volumes.

In library catalogs, handbooks may be found under the subject heading PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION – HANDBOOKS, MANUALS, ETC. Published handbooks can also be located for purchase through bookstores or publisher sites. Unpublished handbooks can often be located on agency sites or through Internet search engines.

Here are a few examples that show the breadth of subjects and approaches in published public administration handbooks:

  • Editor-in-Chief: Marc Holzer. Public Solutions Series: Routledge
    • Municipal and Shared Services and Consolidation, edited by Alexander C. Henderson
    • E-Government and Websites, edited by Aroon Manoharan
    • Partnership Governance, by Marc Holzer and Seth Grossman
    • Innovations in the Public and Non-profit Sectors, edited by Patria Julnes and Ed Gibson
    • Government Contracting, edited by Robert Shick
    • Government Partnerships, edited by Daniel Bromberg
    • Managing the Next Generation of Public Workers, edited by Madinah Hamidullah
    • The Public Manager’s Guide to Implementing a Performance Management System, by Marc Holzer and Andrew Ballard
  • Abramson, M. A. (2008). The operator's manual for the new administration. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Emerson, S. (2011). The public administrator's companion: A practical guide. Washington, D.C: CQ Press.
  • Griffin, K. G. (1994). Managing your city or town: Or a reference guide for the new public official. Lanham, Md: University Press of America.
  • New Jersey. Division of Public Welfare, & New Jersey. Bureau of Assistance. (1959). Manual of administration. Trenton, N.J.: State of New Jersey, Dept. of Institutions and Agencies, Division of Public Welfare.
  • Peters, B. G., & Pierre, J. (2003). Handbook of public administration. London; Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.
  • Simpson, A. E., & Center for Productive Public Management. (1976). Guide to library research in public administration. New York: Center for Productive Public Management, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
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