In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough. —Frank Crane, quoted in Business Education World, Vol. 15 (1935), p. 172 The “politicization of organizational life” is increasingly becoming the reality of the modern administrative state (Heclo, 1978; Kerwin, West, & Furlong, 2010). Political appointees now take up over 25% of the “management layers between the top and bottom of most departments and agencies.”38 As noted throughout this book, the appointment powers of the United States’ president have been argued to be a valuable method for advancing , and making career civil servants responsive to, presidential agendas (Durant, 1992; Golden, 2000; Wood & Waterman, 1994). Yet, applying this central tool of the administrative presidency is motivated by distrust of careerists to faithfully carry out those agendas (e.g., Ban & Ingraham, 1990; Moynihan & Roberts, 2010; Pfiffner, 1991a). And while researchers have contended that trust is a critical factor in appointees’ relative capacity to wield administrative power toward a president’s intended goals (Durant, 1992, 2000; Heclo, 1977; Michaels, 1997; Pfiffner, 1987; Rourke, 1991, 1992), this research has not been applied with any degree of sophistication as presidents try to advance their policy agendas administratively. Consequently , I offered an integrated model of these relationships employing precepts from cognate fields such as private management studies, organization theory, and game theory. However, findings from the extant work examining the connection between interpersonal trust and organizational outcomes have been mixed. It 6 Rethinking the Administrative Presidency 144 Rethinking the Administrative Presidency has not yet been established whether interpersonal trust is anything more than complementary to institutional incentives and monitoring mechanisms . For example, some have suggested that trust is critical to advancing organizational effectiveness (Brehm & Gates, 2008), while other theorists argue that sufficient support for the argument that trust relations are anything but “complements to organizationally induced incentives” is lacking (Cook, Hardin, & Levi, 2005, p. 134). An important reason for this insufficiency may be that trust is such a context-dependent construct, and that it is difficult to model its relative importance across varying organizational contexts (Gillespie, 2012). By accommodating differences in key organizational -level traits, however, I was able to adequately enable replication of the individual-level measurement of trust across a multiplicity of executive branch agencies. This book establishes a critical link between appointee-careerist trust and institutional competence by accounting for the varying political, structural , professional, and relational conditions under which “encapsulated interest” and “personal trust” might exist among appointees and career executives . I examined how different dimensions of trust are connected to the exchange and combination of information within organizational settings (i.e., the development of “intellectual capital”). In the process, I showed that the application of these tools has a paradoxical effect from its intent. By politicizing bureaucratic ranks with lower-­ level appointees and centralizing decision-making through decidedly topdownarrangements ,presidentsfosterfurtherdistrustofpoliticalappointees among careerists. This reciprocated distrust, in turn, inhibits a president’s (and, by proxy, his appointees’) capacity to develop the institutional competence necessary to successfully implement his policy agenda. Rather than successfully advancing a president’s agenda through jigsaw management approaches that seek to leverage careerists’ “neutral” competence without risking some sort of pushback, obstruction, or subversion, we find that these strategies serve to undermine the potential “joist building” of institutional competence that is fundamental to that intent. Political appointees, as Dilulio (2014) cogently put it, “function for the most part as political appointees, not professional public administrators” (p. 96). The fear of subversion , in other words, is misguided. As one career executive observed, “There’s a sense that all federal agencies are information sieves, that if you share information with the career people you might as well be . . . putting it Rethinking the Administrative Presidency 145 out on the Web. That’s not really the case. I think very little leaks. I think what does tend to leak are, frankly, deliberate leaks from the top or occasionally leaks by politicals.”39 Where We’ve Been: The Joist-Building of Institutional Competence This is not to say that the role of political appointees is not critical to the development of an organization’s intellectual capital. Presidential appointees define and prioritize the value orientation of the organization. They offer a democratic dimension to leadership as emissaries of the sole elected office in the United States executive branch. Appointments are made for both patronage and policy, and seldom are the constructs wholly separate considerations (Rose, 2005). Presidents use patronage to engender support for their administration...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.