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Louis Brownlow, one of public administration's historical thinkers, argued that “the principal requirement of a good administrator is an insatiable curiosity.” This book is rooted in the notion that public administrators must practice insatiable curiosity to be effective, fair and democratic. By seeking to uncover how the world works, and therefore practicing curiosity, public administrators may be more likely to move toward evidence-based decisions, improving the efficacy and efficiency of public service. Curiosity encourages public administrators to seek answers in a caring manner and, in doing so, empathize with the communities that they serve.
This book incorporates the concept of curiosity into the field of public administration. Scholarship in philosophy, business administration, social science and other fields address curiosity, but public administration has yet to examine this concept in detail. The Curious Public Administrator
fills that hole. The book also presents novel primary data on curiosity in public agencies by examining curious organizations and surveying local government officers, and on how public affairs faculty view curiosity and incorporate the concept in their research and the classroom. Finally, Hatcher integrates this information to present a model of administrative curiosity, focusing on creating a guide for future research and teaching.
Will Hatcher, Chair, Department of Social Sciences and Professor, Augusta University
Sean McCandless, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Dallas
Beth Rauhaus, Moderator, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University