Hindy Lauer Schachter
This article explores some of the impacts feminist scholarship has had on the understanding of the Progressive period and the development of the study of American bureaucracy. It first provides an overview of Progressive Era concepts of reform and efficiency in American bureaucracy. It then summarizes the contributions of feminist perspectives to the refinement of what is thought is known about the Progressive Era. Next, it describes the research implications of feminist theory applied to the study of American bureaucracy. Moreover, it discusses an often overlooked affinity of Progressive literature to the women-centered model's concern for engaged research, some promising unresolved historical questions for future research, and what this all means methodologically for the future of the study of American bureaucracy. Students of American bureaucracy pursue historical research for multiple reasons. A glaring lesson of the Progressive Era is that scholars do not always control how their ideas are disseminated.
This chapter comments on Hugh Heclo’s 1978 paper “Issue Networks and the Executive Establishment,” an innovative analysis of modern politics based on four analytical perspectives of public policy: an actor-centered or agent-based dynamic perspective, a relational perspective, a cultural or cognitive perspective, and a long-term perspective. Widely regarded as a classic in policy analysis and public administration, Heclo’s paper uses the concept of “issue networks” to describe the highly intricate and diversified webs of influence that shape modern American policy-making. This chapter discusses Heclo’s concept of issue networks within the context of the American situation in government and public administration, as well as its impact on fields such as political science.
Anne M. Khademian
This article explores the state of the literature focused on leadership and culture change. It begins by investigating the debate over culture as a leadership tool. The conceptual challenges at the heart of this debate is addressed — the meaning and practice of leadership and the meaning and evidence of culture — and it is followed with a discussion of the consequent practical challenges of leadership through culture change. Culture is seen as a manifestation of changing environments, continuous challenges, new employees, new leadership, and so on. Together, ‘organizing’ and ‘inclusion’ offer a more process-oriented view of the relationship between leading and cultural change, one that is decidedly more interactive, emergent, fluid, learning-based, and contextually determined than that envisioned in the traditional literature on leading through cultural change. An agenda for future research in this area is further provided.
George A. Krause
This article discusses the ‘first generation’ of research on the core rationale underlying the delegation choice confronting legislatures vis-à-vis executive discretion. It also describes some of the major theoretical and empirical developments of a ‘second generation’ of research in the legislative delegation literature. It shows how a broadening of the conceptualization of the transaction costs of delegation has advanced theory building on the delegation of authority to American bureaucracy. In addition, four recommendations regarding how the literature on delegation studies can most fruitfully develop from a social scientific study of bureaucracy perspective are presented. These are strengthening the presumed ‘weak’ view of executive authority, providing a richer portrait of hierarchical relations within the executive branch between presidents and administrative agencies, better characterizing the ‘demand side’ of executive discretion, and discerning whether or not, and why, delegation makes a policy difference.
H. George Frederickson and Edmund C. Stazyk
This article presents an overview of the logic of neoclassical economics as applied to market-based administrative reforms. Next, it summarizes the thinking of three scholarly titans whose work has been marginalized in recent debates. Specifically, it discusses Alfred Chandler's theory of the visible hand, its relation to Oliver Williamson's work on hierarchy, and then on to Herbert Simon's work on bounded rationality as premises for a normative theory of bureaucracy. Chandler's findings suggest that the manager must have management expertise. Williamson argues that the advantages of hierarchy are most important with respect to the issues of rationality and uncertainty, and that substantial theoretical and empirical effort should be directed toward examining hierarchies. Simon's analysis suggests that organizations have become the primary mechanism for coordinating human action. Furthermore, the manner in which the work of each scholar might be applied profitably to the study of American bureaucracy is described.
Michaels McGuire and Robert Agranoff
This article first defines what is meant by networks and how they became central concerns in American bureaucracy. It illustrates how networks have become vital for exploring and promoting potential solutions, and how they are rather limited in exercising real power. To exemplify, it shows how public agencies retain some very important legal, financing, servicing, auditing, and other powers when involved in networks of nongovernmental organizations. It also examines some formal and institutional constraints precluding networks from trumping the power of the state. It then reviews how networks pose significant challenges for public agencies because of a lack of dominance by either government or nongovernmental network members. Prior research suggests that neither government, nor networks, nor nongovernmental actors in networks consistently dominate. Furthermore, it urges researchers to abandon simplistic notions of a ‘hollow state’ and determines several promising areas for future research.
John P. Burke
Three important works began to capture the impact of organization upon the presidency: Richard Tanner Johnson's Managing the White House (1974), Irving Janis' Victims of Groupthink (1972), and Graham Allison's Essence of Decision (1971). Johnson's work proved important both in recognizing the different organizational patterns and in beginning to recognize the related dimension of the presidential management of them. Janis sought to demonstrate that poor policy choices were made by participants who were otherwise highly intelligent, substantively experienced, and politically sophisticated. He attributes this failure in decision outcome to a particular pathology of small groups: the emergence of ‘groupthink’. Allison's work is important as an examination of Kennedy's decision making, but it has captured enduring scholarly attention for its three models and the different explanatory light each sheds. There are a number of additional issues that merit further consideration concerning the relationship of organizational structure and presidential decision making.
Samuel Workman, Bryan D. Jones, and Ashley E. Jochim
This article starts by presenting a general overview of the roots of debates over control of the American bureaucracy as expressed in three major traditions informing its study: the classic, behavioural, and economic (contractual) perspectives. It reviews the strengths and weaknesses of each of the three traditions. Each of these three traditions has something to add to the appreciation of the dynamics of American bureaucracy and its relationship to democracy. It then turns to a discussion of the logic of theoretical approach to the study of American bureaucracy. The approach is grounded in two properties of political institutions and bureaucratic organizations. It further evaluates the implications of the information-processing theory for future research on American bureaucracy.
Richard M. Pious
This article uses the broadest possible definition of presidential prerogative, covering all powers a president may claim from the Constitution. Prerogative politics involves the substitution of presidential fiat and unilateral action for statutory authorization and collaborative decision making. The open politics of routine domestic prerogative is fundamentally different from the closed politics of ‘high prerogative’. The assertion of prerogative leads to the institution of prerogative governance. The outcomes of prerogative governance are covered. Some insights from traditional political science literature are dealt with, and then some of the newer methodological approaches are described. Each method of advancing the study of presidential prerogative has made important contributions. The study of presidential prerogative power is likely to advance on all three fronts: through doctrinal approaches, behavioural approaches, and the use of formal modeling.
James P. Pfiffner
This article begins by exploring the development and increasing complexity of the transition of the presidency in the second half of the twentieth century. It also explores the key elements that influence successful transition and suggests questions that future scholars might address. The keys to a successful transition entail mastering the following elements: early planning, White House staff, cabinet, presidential personnel, media relations, the policy agenda, and finally the overall shift from campaigning to governing. The article then provides possible directions for future scholars. Transition research suffers from some inherent drawbacks. The best scholarship on presidential transitions has exploited primary sources in some depth. Personnel recruitment presents a major organizational challenge in every transition. The fundamentals of presidential transitions have been analyzed in a rich, scholarly literature. Perhaps the broadest and most important questions that future scholars can address concern how transitions affect governance.
Robert F. Durant and William G. Resh
This article reviews how students of the presidency, policy implementation, public policy, public management, and public administration have identified three sets of factors as critically affecting the success or failure of policies pursued administratively. It also shows how much literature that is relevant to the study of the administrative presidency is being ignored by those who do identify with the study of administrative strategies for advancing presidential policy agendas. It then provides an agenda for future research on the presidentializing of the federal bureaucracy in America. Surveys of federal bureaucrats have advanced the understanding appreciably of the politicization of the Senior Executive Service (SES), and they should continue to play an important role in future research.
Donald P. Moynihan
This article begins by exploring the adoption of performance management systems, scouring the best research available to understand why results-based reforms have proven so popular. The article then turns to scholarship that addresses the question of implementation. It deals with four possible response strategies available to bureaucrats and contractors (whom are collectively referred to as agents) in the face of performance-based bureaucracy: passive, political, perverse, and purposeful. Moreover, the critique that values cherished in a democracy can be lost in performance-based management, and its strengths and weaknesses are presented. It is also useful to note three additional and relevant counter-criticisms to the value-based critique of performance-based bureaucracy. It further suggests a variety of ways that researchers can advance the understanding of performance-based bureaucracy, most especially by providing evidence on how the introduction of performance information changes the social processes of governance.
Sharon L. Caudle
This article starts by presenting a review of what a PSKN focus entails, and this is followed by a discussion of its potential benefits. Network collaboration relies heavily on acquiring information and knowledge sharing, integrating that information with other information, and having the information used by participants. PSKNs are embedded in the public sector's bureaucratic environment. The article then outlines some of the significant management barriers to successful PSKN development and some mitigating conditions for these obstacles. A successful PSKN requires a variety of organizational, individual, technological, and institutional skills. Its promise in American bureaucracy is elaborated. Additionally, the article reports the individual barriers and conditions that might mitigate or prevent the development of management barriers to relationship success, including certain managerial practices. It further provides a future research agenda for advancing the understanding of the building of PSKN knowledge.
Anna O. Law and Daniel Tichenor
From the earliest days of U.S. nationhood, race and ethnicity have profoundly influenced the politics and governance of immigration. To be sure, this policy arena has been shaped by a variety of economic, social, cultural, and political forces. Yet it is impossible to explain the arc of American immigration policy over time save for recurrent battles over racial and ethnic criteria. This chapter reviews an impressive body of scholarship that chronicles the prominence of race and ethnicity as grounds for immigrant inclusion or exclusion as well as the myriad of ways race and ethnicity have affected the integration and acceptance of immigrants for generations. Additionally, much of the scholarship reviewed in this essay underscores the evolving meaning of racial and ethnic categories even as ascriptive hierarchies have proven durable.
Wolfgang Bielefeld, James L. Perry, and Ann Marie Thomson
This article puts three types of emerging nonprofit relationships in context as emblematic of America's historical tensions between individualism and community: collaborations with government agencies, social entrepreneurialism, and leveraged or paid volunteerism. It specifically addresses Edmund Burke's ‘little platoons’. It then reviews the validity of the claims of proponents and the concerns raised by critics about a troubling rebalance which may be underway among what Johan Olsen (2006) calls the ‘core institutions of modern society’. Prior research offers evidence that government and nonprofit actors perceive the possibility of power gains and losses in joining collaborative networks and weigh them according. It further determines five major paths that are viewed as most promising for future research. The article then offers five interrelated topical questions that merit attention in future research. These relate to findings indicative of alterations in power, diminution of public capacity, resource dependency, goal displacement, and collective-action problems.
Steven Maynard‐Moody and Shannon Portillo
This article first summarizes the foundational works in Street Level Bureaucracy Theory (SLBT) written in the late 1970s and early 1980s by Lipsky and his colleagues. Key characteristics are highlighted related to the work situation, characteristics that offer a sense for the bases of organizational and policymaking power posited by early street-level bureaucracy theorists. The article then describes the developments, extensions, and elaborations of SLBT that have occurred over the past thirty years. Finally, several current issues and trends in research on SLBT that appear most challenging and profitable to pursue in future research are discussed. Future research needs to focus more directly on how discretion is nested within rule-based systems. Street-level bureaucrats are the ‘ultimate policymakers’ in two senses: they are the final or last policymakers and they have the greatest influence.
This chapter takes a look at Alexis de Tocqueville's error with regards to the role of newspapers in democratic life, and tries to show where his view of the press went off course. It suggests that news organizations can only be understood as one part of a multi-institutional complex of monitorial institutions and activities which hold the government accountable. The chapter stresses that journalism is one of the essential contributing factors to an effective democracy and examines the accountability function of journalism.
Cathy M. Johnson and Thomas L. Gais
This article examines the welfare policy in New York State. In a new period of tight public resources, New York confronted the fact that making work pay is costly and does not address the entire problem of poverty. The Welfare Reform Act of 1997 authorized two major cash assistance programs—Family Assistance and Safety Net Assistance. Despite the growing economic needs since the early 2000s, state cash assistance programs are not serving a large number of the individuals hit by recession. Food stamps are an important resource for poor and low-income families and a central element of a “make work pay” strategy. New York's experience in recent years shows limits to what even a wealthy, historically liberal, and highly urbanized state can do to support and reward work among low-income families.