Continuity Amid Discontinuity? George W. Bush, Federal Employment Discrimination, and “Big Government Conservatism”

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mark Bradbury Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director of MPA Program (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: One of the major substantive components of “big government conservatism” was a decided predisposition against public employee unions, toward privileging managerial discretion, and yet still maintaining equal opportunity in the workplace. However, could this predisposition be resolved in practice without harming federal employees’ rights, benefits, and morale in the workplace? To address this question, this article examines whether the attitudes of federal employees toward variants of subjective discrimination in the workplace changed significantly during the George W. Bush presidency. We find that trends related to perceptions of retaliation and discrimination have improved in recent years. However, perceptions of retaliation and discrimination are found to exist among minority and female employees and managers in the federal workplace that require vigilance. These results suggest that big government conservatism’s predisposition to pursue equal opportunity as opposed to affirmative action—while diminishing the power of public employee unions and enhancing managerial prerogatives—either succeeded on its own merits or that the earlier momentum could not be stopped.

Additional Information

Bradbury, Mark. D., Battaglio, R. P., and Crum, J. L. (2010) Continuity amid discontinuity? George W. Bush, Federal Employment Discrimination, and “Big Government Conservatism.” Review of Public Personnel Administration, 30(4): 445-466. (Dec 2010). ISSN: 0734-371X doi:10.1177/0734371X10381486
Language: English
Date: 2010
merit protection, employee discrimination, civil service reform, George W. Bush

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