Presidential Power and Management Techniques: The Carter and Reagan Administrations in Historical Perspective

By James G. Benze Jr. | Go to book overview

cies' existing budget practices. This was almost certainly the case, since the logic of ZBB was to supersede existing incremental budgeting strategies. Conflict of this kind has been shown to be the kiss of death for management techniques in terms of bureaucratic acceptance. Finally, agency personnel have become upset with the rapid replacement of management techniques. Each administration has a pet budget technique that it wants to employ. Given the longevity of the career bureaucracy, many prefer to wait out the administration rather than to give wholehearted acceptance to a particular technique that almost certainly will no longer be employed by a new administration.

Each of the budgeting techniques was developed by an administration to gain greater influence in the budget process, as the president tried to make basic changes in the direction of policy (this was particularly true of Johnson and Nixon). So far, presidents have met with very limited success. 52


SUMMARY

Presidential management has emerged from presidential frustration over the inability to manage policy implementation. As frustration grew, presidents increasingly turned to management techniques such as reorganization, manipulation of personnel, and budgeting to penetrate the bureaucratic process. The success of presidential management has been hindered by bureaucratic opposition, lack of administrative skill, and perhaps the limitations of the management techniques themselves. Yet because of the lack of alternatives, presidents continue to apply management techniques.


NOTES
1.
Because it is impossible to consider all the management attempts since Franklin Roosevelt's administration, this study will focus on the most significant ones.
2.
Howard E. McCurdy, in Public Administration: A Synthesis ( Menlo Park, NJ.: Cummings Publ., 1977), p. 150, defines reorganization as a change in the structure of an organization to improve the effectiveness of the organization, through administrative rationality: an administrative system based on reason rather than on the emotional or political criteria that often influ-

-50-

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Presidential Power and Management Techniques: The Carter and Reagan Administrations in Historical Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Political Science Series Editor: Bernard K. Johnpoll ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 4
  • 1 - Presidential Power and Presidential Management 5
  • Summary 13
  • Notes 14
  • 2 - The Origins of Presidential Management 17
  • Summary 28
  • Notes 29
  • 3 - The History of Management Techniques 31
  • Summary 50
  • Notes 50
  • 4 - Management in the Carter Administration 55
  • Summary 72
  • SUMMARY 72
  • 5 - Management in the Reagan Administration 77
  • Notes 94
  • 6 - An Empirical Investigation of Presidential Management 97
  • Summary 113
  • Notes 114
  • 7 - The Limits of Management Techniques and the Importance of Presidential Leadership 117
  • Summary 133
  • Notes 134
  • Conclusion: The Future of Presidential Management 137
  • Bibliography 143
  • Notes on Methodology 149
  • Index 153
  • About the Author 159
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