As in previous editions, this highly practical book is written with beginning MPA students and practitioners in mind. It focuses on the interpretation and use of research findings, not just number crunching. It covers the entire research process, from initial questions to final report, in clear, jargon-free language, and includes numerous easy-to-understand examples and exercises that provide opportunities for concrete applications of the concepts. It is solidly grounded in public administration and recognizes both the promise and limitations of research within a political environment.

Key features of the book:

--It is highly practical and written to accommodate a mix of readers: those who want to become analysts, managers who will oversee research contracts, and citizens who need to know whether to believe the facts and data they read in today's news;

--It minimizes the use of jargon and explains difficult concepts in clear language. Plentiful end-of-chapter exercises provide opportunities for concrete application of the concepts;

--Key points are highlighted as "takeaway lessons" so readers are reminded about what really matters. The tough questions to ask are suggested in every chapter;

--Examples and applications are used throughout the book to illustrate concepts and add topical interest;

--It covers the entire research process, from initial questions to the final report.

This book demystifies and makes practical the research every public administrator and policy analyst needs to do the job well. Online instructor's materials, including a Test Bank, PowerPoint slides, and a Survey and Documental Analysis (SDA) guide, are also available to adopters.

chapter 1|14 pages


1Research Methods for Public Administrators

chapter 2|17 pages

Basic Research Concepts

chapter 3|14 pages

What Is the Question?

chapter 5|20 pages

Designs for Research

The Xs and Os Framework

chapter 6|13 pages

Other Research Approaches

chapter 7|15 pages

Data Collection I

Available Data and Observation

chapter 8|15 pages

Data Collection II

Interviews and Focus Groups

chapter 9|18 pages

Data Collection III


chapter 10|17 pages

Sampling Demystified

chapter 11|9 pages

Qualitative Data Analysis

chapter 12|15 pages

Data Analysis for Description

chapter 13|12 pages

Analyzing Survey Scales

chapter 14|18 pages

Data Analysis

Exploring Relationships

chapter 15|14 pages

Data Analysis


chapter 16|14 pages

Data Analysis Using Inferential Statistics

chapter 17|16 pages

Communicating Research Results

chapter 18|17 pages


Research at the Intersection of Politics and Administration