Lesson 2 begins an analysis of the nature of organizations and in our case public organizations. Within the context of the American federal structure we see an “executive or administrative” function at all levels of government; federal, state and local who all have an administrative organization to carry out the legislative will of the people.
Given this, as we read from Kettl and the other sources, make sure you don’t lose sight of this perspective. Kettl, Part II, looks at governance then as an administrative organization that suffers from both general organizational issues as well as specific issues found only in a public organization, e.g. politics of the legislative process and public service leadership. Indeed, he makes the point that “every option about changing bureaucracy (organization) is inevitably a political choice, one that emphasizes some values over others” (pg. 83).
Again, how does an administrator lead in such a dynamic environment requiring high levels of accountability? Using the other readings, we can see how both theorists and applied researchers have addressed various public organization issues. Considering this week reading from Part II of Kettl as well as the additional reading material, please initially address ONE of the following questions.
1. Chose at least two organizational theories from Kettl and the supplemental readings then compare them pointing out both strengths and weaknesses. Lastly chose one, provide your rationale for the choice indicating how you think the public would accept your choice.
2. Chapter 5 Kettl becomes more current and pragmatically focused. He uses the White House as an example of “top-level” executive management. Given his analysis would any of the theorist from the text or supplemental reading agree. Why or why not. (you can use both current and past White House Administrations)
3. Organizational improvement and change are difficult. Kettl makes this point in chap 6 and 7. He examines the need to improve organizational coordination, especially when addressing organizational change. Use any of the supplement articles from this lesson for this discussion question and compare their view of collaboration, power-sharing or change management to Kettl explanation.
4. In the supplemental reading there is an article about Max Weber; Kettl introduced you to him, by Park & Comeaux “Rethinking Bureaucracy’s Role in Public Administration and Governance” how does this address some of the concerns Kettl brings up in chap 2 and 3 as well as part II, especially chap 6 and 7.
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