Based upon a sampling of some 800 public agency heads, division and bureau chiefs in 10 states, this study explores the world of state public management. It examines and reflects practicing public managers' judgments concerning the factors that contribute to and impede effective agency performance. It also looks at the role of state administrative units in shaping state policy and the impact of various nonadministrative actors on the conduct of state management. While a variety of problems are seen to be severe in the eyes of these managers--especially those that involve the adequacy and use of fiscal and human resources--most state administrative units seem to function despite impediments. While state managers are very important players in the processes of state policymaking, they and their organizations also must function within a highly complex influence matrix which substantially limits their automony.The depth and breadth of this study provide a major contribution to the literature on state management. Its findings will be of interest to scholars and practitioners in public administration, public policy, and government.