Leadership of Public Bureaucracies Essay

1389 Words Nov 30th, 2010 6 Pages
Leadership of Public Bureaucracies – The Administrator as Conservator

November 3, 2010

In Leadership of Public Bureaucracies – The Administrator as Conservator, Larry D. Terry explores public administration from a relatively new perspective, that of Bureaucratic Leadership, which he describes as historically neglected by scholars. Bureaucratic leadership, according to Terry, is “…institutional leadership in the administration of public bureaucracies within the executive branch of all levels of government” (p. 4). Terry goes on to discuss the important role bureaucratic leaders play in public administration. Terry’s first chapter looks at the reasons why the subject of bureaucratic leadership has not received the attention he
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He goes on to provide strategies that administrators use to ensure that the authoritative mission is maintained and ends the chapter with a list of violations that the administrative conservator must be aware of.

Chapter 4 addresses the task of conserving organizational values by focusing exclusively on building and maintaining an executive cadre that helps the administrator protect the organization’s core values. Terry relies heavily upon the works of Barnard, Wilkens, Carnavale and Wechsler, and Wamsley and Zald to explain his support for the executive cadre approach to preserving values. He reviews the strategies of inducements (Barnard), minimizing dissension (Wilkens), building trust (Carnavale and Wechsler), and diversity (Wamsley and Zald).

Chapter 5 focuses on preserving internal and external support for the organization. Terry accurately emphasizes the importance of maintaining the support of key stakeholders in and around and organization. He again draws upon the works of others to describe strategies (complying with established standards, maintaining accurate indirect indexes of quality, cooptation, etc.) to successfully garner and maintain support.

I found Terry’s chapters on conserving values, mission and support to be lacking in theory. Rather, the book turns into a “how-to” manual for executive leadership. His introduction of strategies doesn’t fit the overall concept he’s trying to advance. I was left wanting a clearer explanation

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