Publisher description for Leadership of public bureaucracies : the administrator as conservator / Larry D. Terry ; foreword by Douglas F. Morgan.

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Bureaucracies and their leadership are often viewed as threats to democratic government. In this provocative volume, Larry D. Terry skillfully demonstrates that, contrary to this view, bureaucracies and their leadership--when guided by constitutional principles--help maintain governmental stability. Drawing on the works of Philip Selznick, Carl Friedrich, and others, Terry departs from public administration orthodoxy and offers a normative theory of bureaucratic leadership called "administrative conservatorship." Bureaucratic leaders are depicted as "conservators" of public bureaucracies, vigorously protecting the integrity of the bureaucracy and, when called upon, adapting to change. Replete with illustrative examples, this engaging book will serve as a valuable resource for students and practitioners of public administration, political science, public policy, and administrative theory. "This book will fill a void in many of the current courses in public administration and will provide rich insights on the cutting edge of the debates surrounding responsibility and leadership. It was a pleasure to read intellectually challenging scholarship. I believe both students and practitioners of public administration will enjoy the work of this fine craftsman." --American Political Science Review "Larry Terry defines leadership in public bureaucracies using the effective metaphor of 'conservator." In laying out the fabric of the argument, Professor Terry provides an implicit defense of the positive role of bureaucracy in public life. . . . This book is a qualitative leap forward in the area of leadership studies. Scholarship on leadership has suffered from a lack of serious theoretical groundwork. Terry has created a useful foundation from which reasoned, rather than colloquial, argument can be fashioned." --American Political Science Review "This is a bold and courageous study. Challenging the antigovernmental orthodoxy of the day, author Larry D. Terry does not shrink from arguing that 'public bureaucracies are national treasures' and marshalls impressive evidence to support his claim. His intriguing development of the idea of 'the administrator as conservator' will have a profound effect upon the field of public administration." --John A. Rohr, Virginia Tech "Amid widespread dissatisfaction with government performance and arguments for downsizing or eliminating government bureaucracies, Larry D. Terry argues convincingly for strong bureaucratic leaders who act as stewards of the public trust, conserving vital missions of a democratic government and the institutions that bring them to fruition. . . . [This volume] is a fresh take on the age-old problem of reconciling democracy with bureaucracy, particularly in a field long dominated by simplistic models of what bureaucratic behavior is and ought to be. --Choice "The author argues his case well, providing the reader with many illustrative examples." --International Review of Administrative Sciences

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Public administration.