University of Utah
Political Science 630-R
Administrative Theory
Bob Huefner
Office: OSH 210D, ext. 801-581-6043.

This five-quarter-hour graduate course is the basic theory and readings course for the Masters of Public Administration program. Its scope includes administrative history, scientific management, formal/informal organization, comparative administration, decision making, motivation, leadership, participative management, organization development, and innovation. The service component of the course is to assist someone having difficulties coping with bureaucracy, and through that assistance to help interpret, apply, and raise questions about, the theories of administration. The course is taught once a year, usually in the winter.


Shafritz/Hyde. Classics of Public Administration. 1987.

Publius (Hamilton/Madison/Jay). The Federalist Papers. 1787-88.

Stegner. Beyond the Hundredth Meridian. 1953.

Janis. Groupthink. 1972-82.

Moore, Creating Public Value, 1996.

Peters, The Future of Governing., 1996.

COURSE PROJECT: Do one of the following two projects:

(1) Article: for administrators or to be part of your final MPA written project. Submit an article and its revision (no more than ten double-spaced pa(Yes plus end notes) at the beginning of the 3rd and 5th sessions. Submit a proposed topic at the beginning of the I st session. The topic should be one which is illuminated by administrative theory. The article should, in its theme(s) and citations, explicitly build upon theory and questions of theory. It should, in important ways, reflect and react to course readings, contrasting and challenging these readings. But it should not be a self-conscious review of the readings for the course; it should stand on its own. Examples: (a) consider changes taking place in the relationships between federal and state administrators in the U. S. system of federalism; (b) explore new theories of executive leadership. The article may be either: a) an article for administrators of a particular function (e.g. budget) or program (e.g. highways), suggesting how administrators might improve administration in the near future, or b) a major section of your final MPA written project.

(2) Service Learning: Ombudsman and Analysis In teams of two, assist a person having difficulty gaining assistance from a program agency: public, not-for-profit, or private (the Travelers Aid Society will help identify such persons):


     20%        Original article
     30%       Revised article
     10%        Quizzes on readings (beginning of each weekend)
     40% Class discussion: pertinence, constructiveness, insight, 

mastery of readings

  1. Students in the class provide a needed service to individuals, organizations, schools, or other entities in the community.

Course participants will assist individuals having difficulties dealing with bureaucracy. Individuals needing assistance will be identified by participating organizations -- this year the Salt Lake Travelers Aid society.

2. The service experience relates to the subject matter of the course.

The service experience assists the students in seeing how administrative theory helps in understanding, resolving, and avoiding the problems of bureaucracy.

3. Activities in the class provide a method or methods for students to think about what they learned through the service experience and how these leamings related to the subject of the class.

Course participants will make written and oral analyses of their experience.

4. The course offers a method to assess the leaming derived from the service. Credit is given for the learning and its relation to the course, not for the service alone.

The analyses of the experiences use the experience to learn from, and to critique, administrative theory.

5. Service interactions in the community recognize the needs of service recipients, and offer an opportunity for recipients to be involved in the evaluation of the service.

Course participants will work directly with the service recipients, seeking from them an understanding of their needs and problems, and will work directly with the agencies from whom the service recipients seek assistance.

6. The service opportunities are aimed at the development of the civic education of students even though they may also be focused on career preparation.

The experience takes the course participants beyond the institutions in which they act as professional administrators -- to understand citizens and their needs, hopes, and frustrations.

7. Knowledge from the discipline informs the service experiences with which the students are involved.

Administrative theory is concerned with human nature, individual needs, and citizenship.

8. The class offers a way to learn from other class members as well as from the instructor.

Course participants will work in teams. The teams will make oral presentations to the entire class, and the class will discuss the experiences.

9. Course options ensure that no student is required to participate in a service placement that creates a religious, political and/or moral conflict for the student.

Participation is optional.

Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 15:21:37 MST
From: Renee Buchanan <>
Subject: Political Science 630 -- Huefner (Instructor)