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Every tool is a weapon—if you hold it right. —Ani DiFranco, My IQ (1993) As legislatures delegate policymaking authority to the executive branch, and as political executives seek to advance their own policy interests through hierarchical authority over the permanent career bureaucracy, “it is quite uncertain how that authority will be exercised” (Krause, 2009, p. 538). In the US federal government, these responsibilities largely fall to a cadre of individuals who are appointed by the president. Modern presidents can make more than 4,000 appointments to jobs that range from Senate-­ approved, executive appointments in the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and executive branch agencies to upper- and middle-management levels throughout the federal bureaucracy.3 Utilizing this function as an­ administrative strategy is based on the assumption that appointees wield­ extensive powers within agencies by (1) rewarding or punishing careerists’ behavior and compliance with presidential agendas and (2) establishing internal reorganization strategies that “alter the skill mix” in accord with presidential priorities by fast-tracking positions symbolizing those priorities and shifting the responsibilities of tenured career executives (Durant & Resh, 2010). As an essential element of any “administrative presidency” (Nathan, 1983), it is critical to both our descriptive understanding of the presidency as an institution and to any normative interest in effective executive governance to determine the degree to which the appointment strategy effectively aligns the expert and institutional knowledge of the career bureaucracy 1 The “Black Box” of the Administrative Presidency 10 Rethinking the Administrative Presidency with the president’s interest in a given policy area (Rudalevige, 2009). A fundamental tenet of the administrative presidency has been that careerists cannot be trusted to be responsive to presidential policy agendas (Moffit, 2001; Sanera, 1984). And while it is typically claimed that applying the tools of the administrative presidency is motivated by appointees’ distrust of careerists to faithfully carry out those agendas (Ban & Ingraham, 1990; Pfiffner , 1991a), scant research exists on the extent to which applying the tools fosters distrust of (or diminishes trust in) political appointees among careerists. We simply do not know the extent to which wielding the tools of the administrative presidency provokes responsiveness, furthers distrust, or promotes agency effectiveness. The literature today is largely atheoretical beyond principal-agent or game-theoretic models that are incapable of capturing the complexity of the Madisonian system in affecting the success or level of difficulty in advancing presidential policy agendas administratively (Bertelli & Lynn, 2006). By the same token, prior empirical research has not examined in theoretically grounded and statistically sophisticated ways when various tools are used and if various factors intervene in accelerating or mitigating the use and effect of trust on organizational effectiveness. Nor has it incorporated and integrated with prior research on the administrative presidency the insights of cognate fields such as public administration, organizational behavior, and generic management studies. Finally, most prior research on appointee-careerist relations has tended to focus early on in an administration, thus deemphasizing the uniqueness of the second term of any presidency. This book examines the complex nature of relationships between career executives and political appointees within varying organizational settings and the connection between trust and the development of an organization’s intellectual capital. I offer and test models that incorporate observations regarding the second George W. Bush administration from interviews and qualitative analysis of open-ended survey items as well as large-N, quantitative survey analysis. The analysis reveals the relative centrality of trust to organizational relationships and how it pertains to any president’s strategic use of politicization as a means to leverage bureaucratic power toward his or her intended policy ends. The importance of this book is the manner in which it spells out the mechanismbywhicheffortsatpoliticalcontrolcanharmagencyperformance. The “Black Box” of the Administrative Presidency 11 While previous work examining the paradox of presidential control efforts has focused on the “treatment” of politicization (e.g., Lewis, 2008) and associated outcomes, no existing work systematically unpacks the “black box” of organizational behavior that facilitates the connection between politicization and performance. Or, the examination of appointee-careerist relations has not systematically tested the premise that trust is critical to achieving performance. For instance, as figure 1.1 outlines, both positivist and normative theories of the administrative presidency (e.g., Moe, 1989, 1993; Moe & Howell, 1999; Nathan, 1983) propose that the presidential tools of centralization and politicization will facilitate the advancement of a president’s policy goals. However, neither adequately accounts for the interaction of these tools with careerist behavior. Rather, they present fairly deterministic...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781421418506
Related ISBN
9781421418490
MARC Record
OCLC
922889469
Pages
176
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-13
Language
English
Open Access
No
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