Autonomy in Action: Bureaucratic Competition Among Functional Rivals in Denver Water Politics

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Brian A. Ellison, Professor of Political Science (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Ascribing motivation to bureaucratic behavior has been a longstanding problem in public policy scholarship. Most examinations of bureaucratic motivation explore two competing theories. Some contend that government managers are primarily motivated by the quest for more resources, widely known as aggrandizement. Others assert that government managers are preoccupied with organizational of agency competition in situations where functional rivalry exists as a means of examining these theories. Recently, Kunioka and Rothenberg (1993) concluded that government managers in the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service were more concerned with agency autonomy than with aggrandizement because they did not show competitive inclinations. This article seeks to demonstrate that government managers in autonomous agencies reveal competitive behaviors when core tasks are threatened. It also presents an analytical framework based on three overt behaviors that can be used to examine autonomy in action. The analytical framework is applied to the Denver Water Board's behavior in the context of Colorado water politics.

Additional Information

Brian A. Ellison, "Autonomy in Action: Bureaucratic Competition Among Functional Rivals in Denver Water Politics," Policy Studies Review, 14.1/2 (Spring/Summer 1995): 25 - 48. [ISSN: 0278-4416] Published by Policy Studies Organization [Title discontinued in 2002]
Language: English
Date: 1995

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