Investigating Implementation of Federal Agency Reorganization
Leimer, Paul Frederick
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Investigating Implementation of Federal Agency Reorganization Paul Frederick Leimer ABSTRACT This study investigates the implementation phase of reorganization. Although determination of reorganization success or failure is a rather intractable problem, this study sheds light on this issue by performing a structured study of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports to answer the question, what do GAO reports say about the implementation of federal agency reorganization? More specifically this study explores what portion of reorganization plans are implemented, what are both expected and unexpected costs, and what issues occurred during the implementation process. GAO reports on reorganization are used as a data source to gather information on a number of implementations of varying sizes. Content analysis is the tool to be used to extract data over a large number of implementations. This study provides a more nuanced view of implementation by evaluating a number of reorganization implementations as a data set. As Destler (1981a) said, 'For reorganization, as for any other change, implementation is the bottom line. Without it, the whole exercise is show and symbolism' (p. 155) Findings of this study reinforce observations on reorganization and implementation by many scholars. The results of the content analysis show the precepts of classical organization theory still influence implementation of reorganization. Economy and efficiency were found to be motivations in a large majority of reorganizations. This study also showed the primacy of personnel issues in implementation, especially when implementation resulted in a net loss of personnel. The desire to avoid layoffs combined with reduction in force procedures exacerbated uncertainty in implementation. Neither the implementation schedule nor the resulting workforce was completely under agency control in many cases. Finally, this study showed the conflict between advocates of less government and advocates of reinventing government was evidenced in reorganization implementation.
- Doctoral Dissertations