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This book explores an important side of public employment that most Americans never get the opportunity to see—high-level career executives who make positive contributions to our quality of life. Norma M. Riccucci profiles six "unsung heroes," the people behind the scenes of some of the most successful programs in American government, and identifies the tools, skills, and strategies that make them effective leaders.

Through in-depth interviews and provocative story-telling, Riccucci demonstrates that while these executive-level bureaucrats—or "execucrats"—may have an overall negative public image, they create, develop, execute, and enforce a number of programs and public policies that change our country for the better. She highlights six of these modern execucrats who best exemplify the creativity, determination, and leadership found in such officials:

—William Black, Senior Deputy Chief Counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision, who attacked the rampant corruption and mismanagement that created the savings and loan crisis;

—Eileen Claussen, Director, Atmospheric and Indoor Air Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who negotiated as intensely within her own government as with other countries to create an international plan to protect the earth's ozone layer;

—Ambassador Edward Perkins, U.S. State Department, the first African-American Ambassador to South Africa and the first American ambassador to meet with black South African leaders as part of his persistent efforts to end apartheid in that country;

—Stephen Marica, Assistant Inspector General, Small Business Administration, who investigated the Wedtech scandal, which bilked millions of dollars in fraudulent defense contracts from American taxpayers;

—Dr. Vince Hutchins, Director, Division of Maternal and Child Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who spearheaded the team that developed "Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition," a public-private partnership that improved, and even saved, the lives of thousands of newborn babies; and

—Dr. Helene Gayle, Division Chief, HIV-AIDS Division, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, who is actively battling the AIDS virus through education and prevention programs around the world.

Riccucci not only relates the intriguing tales of these six dedicated officials who overcame the challenges before them, but she also analyzes the specific factors—from knowledge of the system to honesty, integrity, and humor—that are needed to become a dynamic government executive. Of interest to those both inside and outside government circles, Unsung Heroes gives captivating insights into effective executive leadership.

With over 20 million people on its payroll, the government continues to be the largest employer in the country. Managing people who do the nation’s work is of critical importance to politicians and government leaders as well as citizens. The great recession of 2008 put enormous strains on governments, highlighting the key role personnel play in managing under times of austerity as well as prosperity.

A thorough examination of political and historical aspects, Personnel Management in Government: Politics and Process, Seventh Edition provides students with a comprehensive understanding of human resource management within its historical and political context in the public sector. It discusses the development of public sector human resource management, the present status of best practices, and important insights from current scholarship on all three levels of government: federal, state, and local.

See What’s New in the Seventh Edition:

Personnel reforms under the Obama administration Pension developments at state and local levels of government Labor relations reforms at state and local levels, e.g. recent experiences in Michigan, Ohio, and other states making big changes to labor laws and policies Changes to diversity and affirmative action initiatives across the nation Developments in performance outcome initiatives at all levels of government

During the 36 years since the publication of the first edition, the authors have addressed issues that were not yet considered mainstream, yet have become so over time. The seventh edition is no different. It examines progress that public personnel professionals are making to address changes in the political, legal, and managerial environment of the current decade. Exploring developments and innovations in the management of people who carry out the government's work, the book introduces students to public sector personnel management.

The role of formal and informal institutional forces in changing three areas of U.S. public policy: privacy rights, civil rights and climate policy There is no finality to the public policy process. Although it’s often assumed that once a law is enacted it is implemented faithfully, even policies believed to be stable can change or drift in unexpected directions. The Fourth Amendment, for example, guarantees Americans’ privacy rights, but the 9/11 terrorist attacks set off one of the worst cases of government-sponsored espionage. Policy changes instituted by the National Security Agency led to widespread warrantless surveillance, a drift in public policy that led to lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of wiretapping the American people. Much of the research in recent decades ignores the impact of large-scale, slow-moving, secular forces in political, social, and economic environments on public policy. In Policy Drift, Norma Riccucci sheds light on how institutional forces collectively contributed to major change in three key areas of U.S. policy (privacy rights, civil rights, and climate policy) without any new policy explicitly being written. Formal levers of change—U.S. Supreme Court decisions; inaction by Congress; Presidential executive orders—stimulated by social, political or economic forces, organized permutations which ultimately shaped and defined contemporary public policy. Invariably, implementations of new policies are embedded within a political landscape. Political actors, motivated by social and economic factors, may explicitly employ strategies to shift the direction of existing public polices or derail them altogether. Some segments of the population will benefit from this process, while others will not; thus, “policy drifts” carry significant consequences for social and economic change. A comprehensive account of inadvertent changes to privacy rights, civil rights, and climate policy, Policy Drift demonstrates how unanticipated levers of change can modify the status quo in public policy.
With over 20 million people on its payroll, the government continues to be the largest employer in the country. Managing people who do the nation’s work is of critical importance to politicians and government leaders as well as citizens. The great recession of 2008 put enormous strains on governments, highlighting the key role personnel play in managing under times of austerity as well as prosperity.

A thorough examination of political and historical aspects, Personnel Management in Government: Politics and Process, Seventh Edition provides students with a comprehensive understanding of human resource management within its historical and political context in the public sector. It discusses the development of public sector human resource management, the present status of best practices, and important insights from current scholarship on all three levels of government: federal, state, and local.

See What’s New in the Seventh Edition:

Personnel reforms under the Obama administration Pension developments at state and local levels of government Labor relations reforms at state and local levels, e.g. recent experiences in Michigan, Ohio, and other states making big changes to labor laws and policies Changes to diversity and affirmative action initiatives across the nation Developments in performance outcome initiatives at all levels of government

During the 36 years since the publication of the first edition, the authors have addressed issues that were not yet considered mainstream, yet have become so over time. The seventh edition is no different. It examines progress that public personnel professionals are making to address changes in the political, legal, and managerial environment of the current decade. Exploring developments and innovations in the management of people who carry out the government's work, the book introduces students to public sector personnel management.

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