Careers, Motives, and the Innovative Administrator
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
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A consultant myself, I observed very different approaches to policymaking by different administrators, even when they faced very similar financial, institutional, and environmental conditions. Some bureaucrats engaged their elected officials proactively and sought the media spotlight, while others almost seemed to hide from their elected officials and shunned...
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When I was a child, I imagined that writing a book must be a profoundly, almost romantically solitary exploit. In reality, of course, producing a scholarly book is an inexorably social act. To the extent that this book succeeds, its success is due to the financial, intellectual, and personal support of many individuals and organizations. This project was possible thanks...
1. Principles, Principals, and Ambition: The Politics of Bureaucratic Entrepreneurship
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The names of America's most prominent, transformational public administrators are easily familiar to scholars of American politics or public administration. William Bratton, William Mulholland, Gifford Pinchot, Alice Rivlin, and James Lee Witt are icons of agency leadership who...
2. Glorious Heroes, Tragic Heroes, Antiheroes: How Bureaucratic Entrepreneurship Happens
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Government bureaucrats are frequently lampooned as insensitive, incompetent, or even corrupt. Scholarly works on the bureaucracy, particularly in the political science literature, often echo these themes, depicting bureaucrats as risk-averse, mechanical, or budget-maximizing. Nearly as often, however, the media identify administrators as policymaking heroes...
3. A Theory of Bureaucratic Ambition: Why Bureaucratic Entrepreneurship Happens
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Despite numerous anecdotal accounts and case studies, we know little about why some bureaucrats emerge as policy entrepreneurs while others do not. Greenport's two police chiefs, Calvin Jensen and his successor Jerry Cook, approached the same job with very different decisions: Jensen was entrepreneurial and Cook deferential, each in the extreme. The concept...
4. The Market for Bureaucratic Entrepreneurs: Career Path and Professional Innovation
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Policy entrepreneurship occurs when an individual introduces a policy innovation that satisfies some public demand. Like their commercial counterparts, policy entrepreneurs must assume some costs or takes some risk in pursuit of innovation with the expectation of some future payoff. For business entrepreneurs, the payoff is clear: commercial...
5. The Psychology of Bureaucratic Entrepreneurship: Human Motivation and Political Advocacy
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When addressing the political dimensions of her job, a bureaucratic agency head must make two related decisions: which policies to pursue and how hard (if at all) she should try to change policy. Regarding the first decision, chapter 4 demonstrated that career path affects the diffusion of professional innovations: bureaucrats hired from outside are more...
6. Ramps and Ladders: How Career Systems Foster or Inhibit Bureaucratic Entrepreneurship
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Chutes and Ladders is a popular children's board game sold in the United States by the Milton Bradley Company. The game is an adaptation of the English board game Snakes and Ladders, which is itself an adaptation of the traditional Hindu game Leela.1 Chutes and Ladders is played on a square board marked out into one hundred smaller, numbered squares. Players...
7. What Bureaucratic Ambition Means for Democracy
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Unhappy with the condition of his police department, Mayor Jerry Abramson of Louisville, Kentucky, went shopping for a new chief and found one in Robert C. White.1 On arriving in Louisville, Chief White introduced a series of reorganizations and disciplinary policies to change a department with a disturbing record of violence and adversarial relationship with several...
Appendix A: Survey Methodology
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Appendix B: Supplementary Regression Analysis Results
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Page Count: 208
Illustrations: 17 line drawings
Publication Year: 2011
Series Title: Johns Hopkins Studies in Governance and Public Management
Series Editor Byline: Kenneth J. Meier and Laurence J. O'Toole Jr., Series Editors