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PhD in Public Policy & Administration: PPPA-8115 Writing a Quality Dissertation reading list

Course texts

  • O’Sullivan, E., Rassel, G. R., & Berner, M. (2008). Research methods for public administrators (5th ed.).  New York, NY:  Pearson, Longman.
  • Rudestam, K. E., & Newton, R. R. (2015). Surviving your dissertation: A comprehensive guide to content and process (4th ed.).  Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. 
  • Sabatier, P. A., & Weible, C. M. (Eds.). (2014). Theories of the policy process (3rd ed.). Boulder, CO:  Westview Press. 
  • Shafritz, J.  M., Ott, J. S., & Jang, Y. S. (Eds.). (2016). Classics of organization theory (8th ed.). Belmont, CA:  Wadworth, Cengage Learning.

Recommended readings: Public Policy & Administration

The following resources are an integral part of the prospectus course, PPPA-8115, Writing a Quality Dissertation. It will be helpful for you to start reviewing these materials before enrolling in PPPA-8115.

  • Box, R. C.  (2015). Public service values.  London:  M. E. Sharpe/Routledge.
  • Moran, M., Rein, M., & Goodin, R. E.  (2008). The Oxford handbook of public policy.  Oxford, NY:  Oxford University Press.
  • Shafritz, J. M., & Hyde, A. C. (2007). Classics of public administration (6th ed.).  Boston, MA:  Thomson.
  • Shafritz, J.  (Ed.) (1998). International encyclopedia of public policy and administration  (Vol. 1).  Boulder, CO:  Westview Press.
  • Tompkins, J. R.  (2005). Organization theory and public management.  Boston, MA:  Wadsworth.
  • Zalta, E. N. (Ed.). (2015.) The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy.  Stanford, CA:  Stanford University. Retrieved from

Recommended readings: research

  • Babbie, E. (2013). The practice of social research (13th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
  • Herr, K., & Anderson, G. L. (2005). The action research dissertation: A guide for students and faculty.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  SAGE.
  • Johnson, G. (2014).  Research methods for public administrators (3rd ed.).  Armonk, NY:  M.E. Sharpe.
  • Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. (2013).  Practical research:  Planning and design (10th ed.). Boston, MA:  Pearson.
  • Lewis-Beck, M. S., Bryman, A., & Liao, T. F. (Eds.). (2007). Encyclopedia of social science research methods (Vol. 1).  Thousand Oaks, CA:  SAGE.  
  • McNabb, D. E. (2013). Research methods in public administration and nonprofit management:  Quantitative and qualitative approaches (3rd ed.).  Armonk, NY:  M.E. Sharpe.
  • Majchrzak, A., & Markus, M. L. (2014). Methods for policy research:  Taking socially responsible action (2nd ed.).  Thousand Oaks, CA:  SAGE.
  • Orcher, L. T. (2014). Conducting research:  Social and behavioral methods (2nd ed.). Glendale, CA:  Pyrczak Publishing.
  • Yin, R. K.  (2014). Case study research:  Design and methods (5th ed.).  Thousand Oaks, CA:  SAGE.

Recommended readings: Critical thinking

  • de Bono, E. (1994). de Bono’s thinking course (Rev. ed.). New York City, NY:  Facts on File, Inc.
  • Elder, L., & Paul, R. (2006). Analytic thinking:  How to take thinking apart and what to look for when you do (2nd ed.). Dillon Beach, CA: The Foundation for Critical Thinking.
  • Fisher, A. (2001). Critical thinking:  An introduction.  Cambridge, UK:  Cambridge University Press.
  • Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2006). Critical thinking:  Concepts and tools (4th ed.).  Dillon Beach, CA: The Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Recommended readings: social change & social entrepreneurship

  • Barreiro, T. D., & Stone, M. M. (2013). Social entrepreneurship:  From issue to viable plan.  New York, NY:  Business Expert.
  • Bornstein, D., & Davis, S. (2010). Social entrepreneurship: What everyone needs to know.  Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Brooks, A. C. (2009). Social entrepreneurship: A modern approach to social value creation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
  • Dees, J. G. (2001). The meaning of “social entrepreneurship.” Retrieved from
  • Dees, J. G., Emerson, J., & Economy, P. (2002). Strategic tools for social entrepreneurs: Enhancing the performance of your enterprising nonprofit. New York, NY:  John Wiley and Sons.
  • Elkington, J., & Hartigan, P. (2008). The power of unreasonable people: How social entrepreneurs create markets that change the world. Boston, MA:  Harvard Business School Publishing.
  • Heegaard, P. (2008). Heroes among us: Social entrepreneurs strengthening families and building communities.Minneapolis, MN:  Nordin Press.
  • Nicholls, A. (Ed.). (2008). Social entrepreneurship, new models of sustainable social change. Oxford, UK:  Oxford University Press.
  • Poon Tip, B. (2013). Looptail:  How one company changed the world by reinventing business.  Toronto, CN:  Collins.
  • Wei-Skillern, J., Austin, J., Leonard, H., &  Stevenson, H. (2007). Entrepreneurship in the social sector. Thousand Oaks, CA:  SAGE.

Recommended readings: theory

  • Cairney, P. (2013).  Standing on the shoulders of giants:  How do we combine the insights of multiple theories in public policy studies? Policy Studies Journal41(1), 1-21.  Retrieved from 
  • Kingdon, J. W. (2010).  Agendas, alternatives, and public policies (2nd ed.).  New York, NY:  Addison-Wesley.
  • Kuhn, T. S. (2012). The structure of scientific revolutions (4th ed.).  Chicago, IL:  University of Chicago Press.
  • Riccucci, N. M.  (2010). Public administration:  Traditions of inquiry and philosophies of knowledge.  Washington, DC:  Georgetown University Press.