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Cutbacks and Public Bureaucracy: Consequences in Australia

Christopher Hood, Paul Roberts and Marilyn Chilvers
Journal of Public Policy
Vol. 10, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1990), pp. 133-163
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4007417
Page Count: 31
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Cutbacks and Public Bureaucracy: Consequences in Australia
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Abstract

Drawing on data for 60 Australian Commonwealth government bureaucracies 1976-86, this paper explores what measurable consequences for bureaucratic structure can be associated with staffing and spending cutbacks. It looks at cutbacks both at government-wide and at individual-bureaucracy level, on the basis of a casualty list intended to portray the different dimensions of relative bureaucratic 'suffering' more systematically than has hitherto been done in the cutback management literature. It then explores associations between measures of cutbacks and indicators of structural consequences, both at government-wide and departmental level, relating that to the debate as to whether 'leaner means weaker' in government cutbacks. The 'leaner means weaker' view of bureaucratic cutbacks is hard to sustain from these data.

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