NO "ONE BEST WAY" TO MANAGE CHANGE: DEVELOPING AND DESCRIBING DISTINCT ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM DIMENSIONS ACROSS THE FIFTY AMERICAN STATES by ProQuest

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This paper establishes the contrast between two distinctive reform strategies or philosophies adopted widely across the fifty American states in the 1990's. Previous research has either treated "reinvention" as a unitary pursuit or philosophy, or studied discrete reform techniques like benchmarking, strategic planning, or deregulation. The reality of reform implementation among state agencies falls somewhere in between the two extremes. Some state governments adopted more than one reform strategy during the last decade of the century, but not every possible option under the "new public management" umbrella. This paper uses confirmatory factor analysis of reform features within American state agencies in 1994 and 1998 to derive two distinct dimensions of administrative reform. These dimensions focus on the improvement of process or structural components on the one hand, and highlight measurement of performance and results on the other. The analysis shows that some states opt for one or the other reform philosophies while others pursue reforms in a more inclusive manner. The roots established in the 1990's set the tone for ongoing distinctions in the study and practices of state-level administrative reform into the 21st century. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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									NO “ONE BEST WAY” TO MANAGE CHANGE:
DEVELOPING AND DESCRIBING DISTINCT
ADMINISTRATIVE    REFORM     DIMENSIONS
ACROSS THE FIFTY AMERICAN STATES

JEFFREY L. BRUDNEY
Cleveland State University

BRENDAN BURKE
Suffolk University

CHUNG-LAE CHO
Ewha Womans University, Korea

DEIL S. WRIGHT
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


                           ABSTRACT

          This paper establishes the contrast between two distinctive
reform strategies or philosophies adopted widely across the fifty
American states in the 1990’s. Previous research has either treated
“reinvention” as a unitary pursuit or philosophy, or studied discrete
reform techniques like benchmarking, strategic planning, or
deregulation. The reality of reform implementation among state
agencies falls somewhere in between the two extremes. Some state
governments adopted more than one reform strategy during the last
decade of the century, but not every possible option under the “new
public management” umbrella. This paper uses confirmatory factor
analysis of reform features within American state agencies in 1994 and
1998 to derive two distinct dimensions of administrative reform. These
dimensions focus on the improvement of process or structural
components on the one hand, and highlight measurement of
performance and results on the other. The analysis shows that some
states opt for one or the other reform philosophies while others pursue
reforms in a more inclusive manner. The roots established in the
1990’s set the tone for ongoing distinctions in the study and practices
of state-level administrative reform into the 21st century.
198                                   PAQ SUMMER 2009


                    INTRODUCTION

         Administrative Reform (AR) is in some respects
like the 57 ingredients in Heinz ketchup or the 31 flavors of
Baskin Robbin’s ice cream. It may be imported, marketed,
sold, and consumed by a diverse array of jurisdictional
and/or organizational “customers.” Thus the character and
content of the commodity as well as the complexio
								
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