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Bureaucracy : what government agencies do and why ... Read More

Wilson, James Q.(Author).

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  • 1 of 1 copy available at Kirtland Community College.

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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Kirtland Community College Library JK 421 .W55 1989 30775305491517 General Collection Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 0465007848
  • ISBN: 9780465007844
  • ISBN: 0465007856 ((pbk.))
  • ISBN: 9780465007851 ((pbk.))
  • Physical Description: xiv, 433 pages ; 25 cm
  • Publisher: New York : Basic Books, ©1989.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages ... Read More
Formatted Contents Note:
Armies, prisons, schools -- Organization matters ... Read More
Summary, etc.:
Bureaucracy is the classic study of the way ... Read More
Subject: Administrative agencies > United States.
Bureaucracy > United States.
Administrative law > United States.

Syndetic Solutions - CHOICE_Magazine Review for ISBN Number 0465007848
Bureaucracy : What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It
Bureaucracy : What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It
by Wilson, James Q.
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CHOICE_Magazine Review

Bureaucracy : What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It

CHOICE


Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Wilson has written a book as worthy as his scholarly reputation is strong. This volume confirms that the author is one of the most knowledgeable and pragmatic observers of contemporary American government. In keeping with the Wilson style, this is not a quantitative analysis, but it is highly empirical. Based upon a wealth of detail about administrative structure and behavior, this thorough analysis will provide decades of grist for the theoretical mill of both political science and public administration. Students of private-sector management should also find the book richly rewarding. The volume as a whole has a humble conclusion: that no theory of bureaucratic behavior does justice to or explains the complexity of public administration today. Wilson's reason for that conclusion, he states, is owed to the fragmented structure of both government and constituency to which bureaucrats react. In that sense the book fills a void created from previous oversimplification and generalization. The author goes on to show at length that what results from the modern American style of governance cannot be reduced to sweeping truisms. New meaning is given in each of the 20 chapters to the overused but now finally clarified statement, "context matters." Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and general readers interested in US politics. -W. P. Browne, Central Michigan University

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 0465007848
Bureaucracy : What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It
Bureaucracy : What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It
by Wilson, James Q.
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BookList Review

Bureaucracy : What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

A preeminent social theorist tackles a quagmire: enlightening the reader on just what it is that bureaucracies do and why they do it just that way. Wilson examines such organizations as the army, the diplomatic service, the CIA, and the Social Security Administration, demonstrating how each governmental unit develops its own subculture in order to accomplish its ends. In general, he finds, most bureaucracies are effective as long as they are able to plod along in their merry way. Trouble develops when reformist-minded agency heads attempt to eliminate specific weaknesses by changing the rules and procedures. His conclusion is that the government, in effect, must be deregulated, allowing more personal autonomy than now is the rule. Bureaucratic executives must understand the particular culture of their agency, be able to define a "core" mission, and allow for those employees not involved in the core mission to have more freedom and consequently a more meaningful career track. In short, Wilson's analysis, in his own words, will comfort neither "libertarian advocates of the minimalist state" nor "liberal proponents of an activist state." To be indexed. --Allen Weakland

Syndetic Solutions - Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 0465007848
Bureaucracy : What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It
Bureaucracy : What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It
by Wilson, James Q.
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Library Journal Review

Bureaucracy : What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It

Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Wilson (management, UCLA) attempts to explain bureaucratic behavior, beginning with a contrast of similar institutions (armies, prisons, and schools) that have succeeded and failed. He finds that neither the liberal view (more money, new programs) or the conservative ideology (smaller government) provides the single answer. Wilson's key contribution here is his emphasis on the ``bottom'' of the bureaucracy--those who do the work. Policy, he says, is developed by those with no understanding of its implementation. In addition, Wilson suggests that bureaucracy can be made ``efficient'' by giving bureaucrats more incentives and flexibility, a strategy, he concludes, that conflicts with our political culture. For academic libraries.-- Jeffrey Kraus, Wagner Coll., Staten Island, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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