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Reinventing Government in the American States: Measuring and Explaining Administrative Reform

Jeffrey L. Brudney, F. Ted Hebert and Deil S. Wright
Public Administration Review
Vol. 59, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 1999), pp. 19-30
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration
DOI: 10.2307/977476
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/977476
Page Count: 12
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Reinventing Government in the American States: Measuring and Explaining Administrative Reform
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Abstract

This study examines whether reinventing government is the state reform wave of the 1990s. Using a mailed survey of more than 1200 agency heads, who represent 93 types of agencies across all 50 states, it examines the extent to which agencies have implemented 11 reinvention reforms. Although some proposals are more widely adopted than others, correlation analysis indicates that state agencies consider the reinvention reforms as a package or program. A scale measuring the degree of "reinvention implementation" at the agency level is developed, and a general model consisting of five categories of explanatory variables is proposed and tested to account for variation in implementation. Categories of independent variables include (1) state reform efforts, (2) agency type, (3) agency characteristics, (4) influence of the environment of the agency, and (5) agency director's background and attitudes. While the results indicate that agencies are selectively adopting specific reinvention reforms-most notably, strategic planning and some reforms addressing customer service-and that a few states are more active than others, the principal conclusion is that a concerted reinvention movement does not appear to be underway across state governments.

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