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Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Framework, Values, and Bureaucratic Power

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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 2250
Nanita Mohan

Chapter 9: Framework, Values, and Bureaucratic Power Institutional Framework Public servants interact with a number of entities in the political process. These interactions can be reduced to 3 different types which form the basis of the framework for the examination of bureaucratic relationships in the political system: 1. Involves relations within an organization, be it a department, Crown corporations, regulatory agency etc. 2. Relations between an organization and other entities within government 3. Appointed officials dealing with bodies existing outside of government The Concept of Power o It is agreed that power is a relational concept useful for describing and explaining relations between and among governments, organizations, groups and individuals o Defined as: the capacity to secure the dominance of one’s values or goals or the capacity of an individual or group to modify the conduct of other individuals or groups in the manner in which he desires, and to prevent his own being modified in a manner which he does not Control and Influence o Two forms of power: control and influence o Control: the form of power in which A has authority to direct or command B  To exercise control, A must have access to the rewards and sanctions necessary to back up commands (authority of position or position power) o Influence: a more general and pervasive form of powers ex. when B conforms to A’s desired, values or goals by suggestion, persuasion, emulation and anticipation, then A exercises influence over B  Influence can sometimes cause power to flow upwards when administrative subordinates with special expertise influence hierarchical superiors  Influence is the mode of power that gives subordinates the capability to manipulate superiors and gives superiors the ability to get more from their subordinates than is specified o Those with control and influence have at their disposal sanctions and inducements formalized by law and the organization chart Internal and External Interactions Type of Interaction Activities Participants Internal -Intradependent -Line and staff -Efforts to produce policy -Field officials options -deputy minister carrying out his roles ex. providing advice to the minister External within government -Interdependent -Other departments and agencies -Executive-bureaucratic -PM, cabinet, central agencies, -Legislative-bureaucratic parliament and agents, federal -Judicial-bureaucratic and provincial courts -Public servants coordinating activities External outside government -Intergovernmental -Provincial/territorial/local -Governmental- governments nongovernmental -Pressure groups, media, public parties o This chart demonstrates the basis for the development of framework showing the patterns of interaction both within public organizations and between these organizations and other participants in the political process o These interactions involve the reciprocal exercise of power in the form of control and influence o Power can flow both upward and downward Public Service Values o As with all players in the political process, public servants have a value system in which social, political, administrative and personal values are ranked in terms of importance o A review of Canadian administrative history shows that among the most important public service values are neutrality, accountability, efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness, representativeness and integrity o These are often described as traditional values while in the past decade new values have emerged including service, innovation, teamwork and quality Neutrality o Most public servants preserve this neutrality in terms of partisan politics, however, they cannot reasonably be expected to be value-neutral, because they are actively involved in politics which includes the authoritative allocation of values for society o Public servants have never really been value neutral and have become less so as their powers have increased allowing them to inject their own views as to which values should take priority Accountability o Involves concern for the legal, institutional and procedural means by which public servants can be obliged to answer for their actions Efficiency and Effectiveness o Dominant value in public administration over the past century has been efficiency o Can be used as a general indicator of the ability to expend resources n the most profitable or sensible manner Responsiveness o The inclination and the capacity of public servants to respond to the needs and demands of the public and political institution o Must be responsive to the general public and the political executives and legislators Representativeness o A representative public service is one where employees are drawn proportionately from the major ethnic, religious and socioeconomic groups in society Fairness and Equity o Courts and governments are now placing more importance on procedural fairness when determining the merit of persons seeking appointment to the public service o Public servants are expected to consider whether their decisions and recommendations are fair Integrity o Refers to ethics in public administration o Important to the preservation of public trust and confidence in government New Values o As a result of public service reform, new values have emerged, many of which are associated with the new public management a
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