Handbook of American Public Administration
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Handbook of American Public Administration

Edited by Edmund C. Stazyk and H. G. Frederickson

The Handbook of American Public Administration draws on the expertise of established and emerging scholars to provide national and international audiences a comprehensive review of the current state and future direction of theory and practice in US public administration. The authors provide a cross-disciplinary, holistic review of the field and pave an agenda for future research.
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Chapter 23: Collaborative local governance: building metropolitan services, vision, and teamwork

Eric S. Zeemering


The notable public administration scholar, Luther Gulick, offered a critique of metropolitan governance in the US that provides a framework to assess and critique how public administration has contributed to research about metropolitan governance. After reviewing the context for collaborative local governance in the US, this chapter uses Gulick’s three-part critique to assess what we know about the role of the public administrator in metropolitan America. Many studies have illuminated metropolitan and interlocal cooperation for service delivery. So too, public administration research has documented the institutional design challenges associated with metropolitan-wide planning efforts and the development of community goals. New investments should be made in exploring the individual-level underpinnings of metropolitan governance, or what Gulick labeled teamwork machinery. The chapter concludes with questions to guide future research and data development in each of these three areas.

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