This research addresses the following question: "What constitutes an effective public administrator?" The term public administrator may be defined both narrowly and broadly. Narrowly defined, the definition of a public administrator could be restricted to any specific hierarchical group. A broad definition, by contrast, could encompass all public employees elected officials, appointed bureaucrats, personnel employed in white and blue collar jobs, law enforcement officers, and military personnel.
Civilian employment in government at all levels in the United States totals approximately 17.5 million in 1990 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1990). Federal civilian employment accounted for 3.2 million of the 17.5 million total. Among the 17.5 million civilian employees in government at all levels in the United States, approximately 525 thousand are sworn law enforcement officers (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1989). In addition to civilians employed by government at all levels in the United States, there were approximately 2.2 million armed forces personnel on active duty prior to the callup of reserves subsequent to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.
Neither a highly restrictive narrow definition, nor an excessively broad definition of a public administrator appears to be most suitable for this research, which is concerned with the identifying of the characteristics of an effective public administrator. Thus, in this research, a public administrator is considered to be an individual employed in the public sector, whose official duties and responsibilities permit sufficient autonomy of action and discretion in the discharge of those duties and responsibilities to enable the individual to reflect either a high level of credit or an equally high level of disrepute on public administration generally.
RECOGNIZING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PUBLIC
An effective public administrator in th early1990s will, among othe...