Federal Administrators: A Biographical Approach to the Problem of Departmental Management

Federal Administrators: A Biographical Approach to the Problem of Departmental Management

Federal Administrators: A Biographical Approach to the Problem of Departmental Management

Federal Administrators: A Biographical Approach to the Problem of Departmental Management

Excerpt

Much has been written about governmental personnel in the mass. This book is concerned with the apex of the pyramid, not its base. Its emphasis is personal, not procedural. It approaches the problem of management in terms of the individuals who hold positions in the national departments between the Secretary and the operating divisions in the bureaus.

In confining attention to the executive departments, we must not be thought guilty of narrowing our view of management to the commonplaces of hierarchy. We are aware not only of the vast ranges of administration outside the historical accumulations of activities which are represented in the Cabinet and called departments, but also of the uncertain question of the extent to which the permanent needs of government may require autonomous forms for certain tasks or the invention of new types of flexible linkage. In these pages, however, concentration of attention on the departments seems doubly excusable, being justified by the inherent importance of their managerial problems and by the general applicability of the solutions.

The theme of this book is simple. Departmental leadership has two phases, political and administrative. It must be implemented for both. Departments in the past have had neither political nor administrative coherence. Administratively there is need in each department for a focal personality who will direct the flow of command and integrate the work of a flexible group of supervisors. But the political head of the department must be equipped for the formulation of policy and its popularization. There is also need, therefore, for aides who serve at the will of the Secretary, free from routine responsibility. The first group are the core of management. The second group are advisory but they are so complementary to the first that they may be spoken of as an ingredient of management. Without a headquarters personnel disposed in these two organs and suited to their purposes, departments can have no real existence. With such organs the departments can hope to play the role attributed to them . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.