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Four related bodies of knowledge inform the study and practice of public management. Broadest in scope is knowledge about the political processes that place demands, provide opportunities, and impose constraints on public managers. Next broadest in scope is policy analysis, which provides the conceptual foundations and craft skills for determining what government should do and how it should be done. Organizational design, a subset of policy analysis, gives insight into how the public sector can be organized to facilitate the effective delivery of goods and services. Narrowest in scope, but most directly relevant to the practice of management, is knowledge about how to carry out executive functions skillfully within existing organizational designs. We take the latter two bodies of knowledge, organizational design and executive function, as the core of the craft and science of public management. In this essay we consider what the discipline of economics offers for research on the core of public management.


CPPS Working Paper Series No.14 (7/94)

Recommended Citation

Weimer, D. L., & Vining, A. R. (1994). Economics as a conceptual resource for the study of public management (CPPS Working Papers Series no.14). Retrieved from Lingnan University website: