Intergovernmental Relations and Productivity

By Falcone, Santa; Lan, Zhiyong | Public Administration Review, July-August 1997 | Go to article overview

Intergovernmental Relations and Productivity


Falcone, Santa, Lan, Zhiyong, Public Administration Review


How have the efforts to coordinate the actions of federal, state, and local governments adjusted to the iterative shifting of responsibilities among levels of governments? The efficiency and effectiveness of intergovernmental interactions have been challenged by current constraints. Using the hypothetical Reinvent, Inc., the following example illustrates the constraints currently affecting the productivity of intergovernmental interactions.

At Reinvent, Inc., three profit center executives -- A, B, and C -- have specific authority, responsibilities, and resources at their disposal. The nature of Reinvent, Inc.'s business requires that the executives coordinate the work of their profit centers. Initially, Executive A provided funds and directives to Executives B and C to assist in accomplishing their profit centers' work. Executives B and C were in a subordinate role to Executive A due to their economic dependence.

The owners of Reinvent, Inc. recently directed Executive A to reduce funds to Executives B and C. As they have sought and obtained other sources of funds, Executives B and C have become more economically dependent on Executive A. Although the economic relationship has changed, the owners directed Executive A to retain and assert more authority over Executives B and C by increasing the directions, and the requirements, expectations, and the responsibilities of Executives B and C. The three executives communicate regularly to adjust the coordination of their work as each change is instituted. This example portrays current intergovernmental relations, with Executive A representing public administrators in the federal government, and Executives B and C representing public administrators in state and local government (Wright, 19990; ACIR, 1996).

Ideally, for intergovernmental relations to have high productivity, the authority, purposes, responsibilities, and resources of federal, state, and local governments would be clearly delineated and stable. Given that less than ideal circumstances exist, the following discussion identifies coping strategies that should be or are being used to enhance the productivity of intergovernmental relations.

Continuous Awareness of

Current Capacities

Awareness of three-year and five-year trends is informative, but it is increasingly important for governments at all three levels to monitor the nearer term in order to capture unanticipated changes that will spike demand for public services. Public organizations at each level can individually and collectively determine on an ongoing basis what their unique and current strengths are and assess what each can realistically accomplish. The following discussion of the unique strengths of the three levels of government is directed to that end.

At the federal level, comprehensive knowledge is avoidable from which overall trends a-nd statistics can be derived. The resources are also comprehensive, enabling the broadest range of activities to be supported. Through these resources, the federal. government has the greatest capacity to function as a change agent using regulation and unfunded mandates or by tying funding to planning, performance measurement, civil service, or other requirements (Hatry, 1989). The federal government has also served as a trendsetter for other government units with regard to public employees through the passage of civil service reforms (Henry, 1992).

State and county governments are confronted by a smaller range of competing interests than the federal government. Regional interests are both more specialized and more unified than at the federal level. For example, states have specific industries such as farming, oil, or aeronautics instead of the full spectrum of industries that compete for favor at the federal level. State and county governments have narrower tax bases than the federal government and, without the extensive public-good obligations like defense, they can focus these resources on issues and problems unique to their region. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Intergovernmental Relations and Productivity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.