ARTICLES Galloping Elephants: Developing Elements of a Theory of Effective GovernmentOrganizations Hal G. Rainey and Paula Steinbauer The University of Georgia ABSTRACT Much of the theoryand discourseon public bureaucracies treats themnegatively,as if they incline inevitablytowardweak performance.This orientationprevails in spite of considerable evidencethat manygovernmentorganizationsperformvery well, and in spite of manyexamplesof their excellentperformance. This article draws on the literatureand researchon effective governmentorganizationsto select and developconceptualelementsof a theoryto explaintheir effectiveness.Theavailable researchsuggests that such a theoryshould includethefollowing components.supportivebehaviorsfrom externalstakeholderssuch as political authorities;agency autonomyin refiningand implementingits mission;high "missionvalence" (an attractive mission);a strong, mission-orientedculture,and certainleadership behaviors.The discussionfurtherposits that thesefactors enhanceseveralforms of motivationof people in the agency-task motivation,missionmotivation,and public service motivationthat can be differentiatedbut that mustbe linkedtogetherin effectivegovernmentagencies. For valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper, I am grateful to Bob Durant, Jameson Doig, Ken Meier, Patrick Wolf, and many of the participants in the theory panel at the 1998 Midwest Political Science Association meeting. I could not take all their comments and critiques into account in my revisions, so they bear no responsibilityfor limitations of this article. J-PART 9(1999): 1:1-32 A corollaryof thisfact is thefalsity of an equally commonclaim. thatpublic and nonprofitorganizations cannot, and on average do not, operateas efficientlyas private businesses. . . . (Simon 1998, 11) The elephantserves as a virtuallyarchetypicalsymbol of a large, cumbersome,lumberingbeing. Yet an elephantcan run very fast. Pachydermmeansthick-skinned,yet elephantsdisplay sensitivityin acts of altruismand nurturancebeyondthose that 1/Journal of Public AdministrationResearch and Theory Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations are instinctivelyparentalin many animals. Governmentorganizations, or bureaucracies,have virtuallyan archetypicalstatusas cumbersome,bunglingentities, yet many of them performvery well. Impugnedfor centuriesas insensitive,they also commonly display sensitivityand responsivenessto the needs of clients and others (e.g., Goodsell 1994; Gore 1995, 49). This article develops and advancesconceptsand propositions,summarizedin exhibit 1, aboutwhy governmentagenciesperformwell, when they do. In its presentform, this set of propositionswill evoke comparisonsto the parableof the blind men tryingto describe the elephant,becausethe propositionsneed much more articulation, justification,and specificationof relationsamongthem. They do, however, considerand develop some fundamental issues such as: Whatprovidesthe basic incentivefor effective performanceof governmentagencies, in the absenceof economic marketsfor their outputs?Is it a form of public service motivation or a motivationto achieve the mission of the agency, or is it more specific task-relatedincentivessuch as interestin the work tasks themselves,or is it pay or otherbenefits?The propositions hold that all these forms of motivationcontributeto the performance of effective agencies, especiallywhen membersof the agency see them as linkedtogether.The propositionsalso hold that characteristicsof the externaloversightand political influenceon the agency relateto its effectiveness, as do characteristicsof the agency's mission, culture,leadership,and tasks, and thatthese factorsin turnenhancethe three forms of motivation just mentioned. 'Wolf (1993) tests seven theories of bureaucraticeffectiveness and argues that we do not need new theories, we need tests of existing theory. The propositions and discussion in this article draw on Wolf's analysis as valuable, but also proceed on the argumentthat such theories as we have need much more articulation. This articledevelops such propositionsas a step toward developmentof a theoryof effective governmentagencies on the argumentthatwe need more theoreticaldevelopmentof that topic.' Thatpublic and academicdiscourseon bureaucracytends to be negativewill be consideredhere to be obvious and will not be elaborated,even thoughthis mostly negativeorientation involves many importantissues and nuances.Much of the 2Thisobservationoverstates the case in an literaturetreatsthe governmentbureaucracyas a social problem effort at lively discourse. In fairness one and liability, ratherthan as an asset. Many authorsfocus on the should acknowledge that the references cited provide a more balancedand subtle problemthatpublic bureaucraciesare too bureaucratic,with too analysis than depicted in this sentence. much hierarchy,too little innovativenessand energy, too much red tape, too much spending,too little efficiency, too little 3Whilenot necessarily negative in its responsiveness to almosteveryoneand everythingoutside their assessment of bureaucraticperformance, much of the academic literatureon public boundariesand most of what is inside them, too much of a lot of bureaucracyconcentrateson the problem other bad things, and too little of a lot of other good things (e.g., of bureaucraticpower, whether there is Barton 1980; A. Downs 1967; Niskanen1971; Warwick1975).2 too much of it, and how it can be conIf this list seems long, it is ratherbrief comparedto Caiden's trolled (see Hill 1991 and 1992; Durant 1992), ratherthan on when and why it (1991) listing of 175 bureaucraticpathologies(cited in Bozeman performns effectively. forthcoming).3 2IJ-PART,January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations Exhibit 1 Propositions About Effective Public Agencies Public agencies are more likely to perform effectively when there are higher levels of the following conditions. Relations with oversight authorities(legislative, executive, judicial) that are: * Attentive to agency mission accomplishment * Supportive * Delegative Relations with other stakeholderscharacterizedby: * Favorable public opinion and general public support * Multiple, influential, mobilizable constituentand client groups * Effective relations with partnersand suppliers * Effective managementof contractingand contractors * Effective utilization of technology and other resources * Effective negotiation of networks Autonomy in operationalizationand pursuit of agency mission, but not extremely high levels of autonomy (a curvilinear relationshipbetween autonomy and agency effectiveness) Mission valence (the attractivenessof the mission): * Difficult but feasible * Reasonablyclear and understandable * Worthy/worthwhile/legitimate * Interesting/exciting * Important/influential * Distinctive Strong organizationalculture, linked to mission Leadershipcharacterizedby: * Stability (a curvilinear relationshipbetween leadership stability and agency effectiveness) * Multiplicity-a cadre of leaders, teams of leaders at multiple levels * Commitmentto mission * Effective goal setting in relation to task and mission accomplishment * Effective coping with political and administrativeconstraints Task design characterizedby: * Intrinsic motivation (interest, growth, responsibility, service, and mission accomplishment) * Extrinsic rewards (pay, benefits, promotions, working conditions) Utilization of technology Development of human resources: * Effective recruitment,selection, placement, training, and development * Values and preferences among recruits and members that supporttask and mission motivation Professionalismamong members: * Special knowledge and skills related to task and mission accomplishment * Commitmentto task and mission accomplishment Motivation among members: * Public service motivation * Mission motivation * Task motivation 3/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations On the otherhand, all along in academicand public discussion of the governmentbureaucracy,one can detect more ambivalencethanrigid antipathy,even in predominantlynegative treatments.Recently, too, more and more authorsdefendthe public bureaucracyor debunkstereotypesand negativeallegations aboutit (e.g., G.W. Downs and Larkey 1986; Goodsell 1994; Milwardand Rainey 1983; Stillman1996; Wamsleyet al. 1990), while othersdescribeand analyzeexcellent leadershipand managementin governmentagencies (Ban 1995; Barzelay 1992; Behn 1991; Cohenand Eimicke 1995; Cooperand Wright 1992; Denhardt1993; Doig and Hargrove1987; Hargroveand Glidewell 1990; Holzer and Callahan1998; Osborneand Gaebler 1992; Riccucci 1995; Thompsonand Jones 1994). Recentempirical researchfurtherundercutssome academicassertionsabout public bureaucracies,indicatingthatthey are not as evasive of externalcontroland oversightas is often alleged (Rubin 1985; Wood and Waterman1994) and thatpeople in them show more effort and motivation,and less shirkingand slacking, than sometimesis alleged (Brehmand Gates 1997; H.G. Rainey 1983). Recentresearchalso shows evidence of the historical inaccuracyof some currentreformers'depictionsof public bureaucraciesas traditionallyhideboundhierarchiesthatresisted innovationand entrepreneurial behaviors;rather,the evidence indicatesfrequentinstancesof entrepreneurial,innovative,and generallyeffective performance(Wolf 1997). EXAMPLES OF AGENCY EFFECTIVENESS In addition,numerousspecific examplesof agency accomplishmentsprovideevidence thatgovernmentagencies often carry out their tasks and missionsvery competently.About the Social SecurityAdministration(SSA), for example, one can point out the following: * The agency operatesthe social securityprogramefficiently in an administrativesense. An economistdiscussingreforms of the system in 1998 pointedout that one reasonto save the system is that it is very efficient, with administrativecosts runningat 0.8 percentof benefits(Eisner 1998). This is lower thancomparablefigures for privateannuitycompanies, even consideringthatthey must pay taxes and provide payoutsto shareholders.The figure for SSA representsincreasedefficiency over the last decade. A Ropersurvey in the early 1980s asked a representativesampleof Americans to estimatethe percentof each dollar in the Social Security programthat goes to administrativeexpenses. The median estimatewas fifty dollarsout of every one hundred.The 4/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations actualfigure at that time was $1.30 out of every one hundred. * The efficiency gain reflects ongoing efforts to controlcosts. Duringthe 1980s, SSA carriedout Project 17,000, which reducedemploymentin the agency by 17,000 employees. * OutsideKansasCity, large caves have been developedas industrialstoragefacilities, and one can drive underground on roads thatrun throughthe caves, accompaniedby large trucksthatdeliver and receive materialsat the storage facilities. The SSA Public Service Center(PSC) in Kansas City operatesa file storagefacility in one of these caves, containingmillions of file folders. SSA employeeswork in this facility, communicatinginformationfrom the files to otheremployees in the PSC offices downtown,who need informationfrom the files to process client claims and requests.The PSC operatesthis storagefacility to hold down costs. It is much less expensiveto store the files in this remote site thanto store them in office space in downtown KansasCity. * SSA has proficientlyadvancedthe computerizationof claims processing,with computersnow performingmany of the functionsthat employeesonce performed. * In 1995, the rankingsof a majornationalsurvey of customer satisfactionwith telephoneservice found thatthe SSA rankednumberone in the nation. Othershigh in the ratings includedSouthwestAirlines;L.L. Bean; Nordstrom;Xerox; Disney; Saturn;FederalExpress;and AT&T Universal Credit. Mutualfund companiesranked8th, and variable annuityprovidersranked1 ith;these rankingsare noteworthybecausethese companiesprovide services roughly similarto those of the Social SecurityAdministration(Gore 1995, 49-51). * In the 1970s, SSA reorganizedthe structurefor claims processing in their large public service centers(Raineyand Rainey 1986). To solve a problemof excessive delays in processingthe claims, SSA createdwork modulesof about forty people each, thatincludedall the specialistsnecessary to process a claim from beginningto end. The work modules were essentiallyteams thatworkedon a particularset of cases-much like havingwork teams build automobiles ratherthanmanufacturingthem on assemblylines. The changeto these moduleswas painful, difficult, innovative, well-led, well-managed,and very successful. This provides 5/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations an excellent exampleof effective leadershipof major organizationalchange (H.G. Rainey 1997, 344-48). Significantly,one can also point to an exampleabouta very distinctagency, the U.S. Departmentof Defense. In the Gulf War, the militaryperformedso well in certainways that one could call the resultsvirtuallymiraculous.In the years after Vietnam,authorsmade nationalreputationsand became talk show celebritiesby criticizingthe poor managementand leadership of the U.S. military.Whetheror not one approvedof the Gulf War, and in spite of many controversiesand criticisms relatedto it, the success in actuallycarryingout the operations (includingrelatedfunctionssuch as logistic support)was so evident, with such a low numberof casualtieson the part of the U.S. and allied forces, that it has to be strikingto anyoneat all familiarwith militaryoperations. One can point to otherexamplesas well-such as the Centers for Disease Control-that typicallyreceive favorableassessments of their generalperformanceand professionalism,and still others such as those describedby authorscited in this article (e.g., Denhardt1993; Holzer and Callahan1998; Wolf 1993 and 1997). Gold (1982), for example, identifiesas well-managed, successfulorganizationsthe U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. PassportOffice, and the governmentsof Sunnyvale,California,and Charlotte,North Carolina.Wolf (1997) identifiesthe Bureauof Standardsin the Commerce Departmentbetween 1917 and 1924 as the agency most highly ratedfor effectivenessin his large sampleof agencies, thus suggesting that effective public agencieshave been aroundfor a long time. Significantly,also, Osborneand Gaebler's(1992) very influentialproposalsfor reformsof public managementdraw almost exclusively on examplesof practicesthat alreadyexist in governmentalorganizations.The examplesillustratethe point that in spite of immenselycomplex issues over what performance means and how one assesses it, public agencies often perform very well. MIXED RESULTS OF PRIVATIZATION Anotherindicationof effective performanceby public agencies comes from the limited success of privatizationinitiatives. Assessmentsof the privatizationof public services generallytend to reportsavings that result from privatization,but the results also show a mixed patternwith many instanceswhere no savings were achieved, and with few findingsof the very large savings projectedby some proponentsof privatization.The more carefully designedthe study, the smallerthe reportedsavings (e.g., 61J-PART,January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations Gill and Rainey 1997). Similarly,evaluationof the privatization of state-ownedenterprisesis much more complicatedthan its aggressiveproponentshave projected(Durant,Legge, and Moussios 1998). These limited successes of privatizationsupport Simon's assertion,quotedat the beginningof this article, that public organizationscan and often do performas well as private firms. Lowery (1997), amongothers, helps to explainwhy one shouldexpect mixed resultsfrom certaintypes of privatization when he analyzesquasi marketfailures, such as the failureof a marketto develop for the contract(i.e., there may be little competitionfor the contract).As Lowery points out, the aggressive proponentsof privatizationimplicitlyrely on the dubious assumptionthatthe bureaucratswho could not manageeffectively before contracting-outsuddenlybecome transformedinto highly efficient and effective managersof the developmentand monitoring of contracts.The mixed resultssuggest that the success of privatizationinitiativesdependsheavily on soundmanagementby governmentemployees, and they returnus to the questions: When and how do governmentagencies and the people in them performwell? Why would bureaucratswho otherwisehave weak incentivesfor efficiency, or who otherwiseface dysfunctional incentivesand informationpatterns,be motivatedto have a successfulcontractingprocess? POWER SHARING AND THE HOLLOW STATE In addition,the extensionof privatizationarrangements,and the increasinglynetworkedor hollow state characterof many public programs,strainsthe depictionof the public bureaucracy as a centralized,retentive,monolithicentity. If so centralizedand retentive,why has the bureaucracyallowed all this privatization, and how could it remainso centralizedand retentiveif it is sharingpower with so many entities (Kettl 1993; Milward,Provan, and Else 1993)? These developments,then, indicatethe need to rethinkthe more negativedepictionsof public bureaucracy and to considertheoriesthatexplaineffective government agencies. BUSINESS BLUNDERS AND GENERIC THEORIES OF MANAGEMENT Business firms produceabundantexamplesof waste, inefficiency, blundering,and fraud,even in the most reputableand admiredfirms. This raises the issue of whethermarketexposure actuallycauses businessfirms to performmore effectively than nonmarketgovernmentagencies. A rich traditionin organization 7/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations and managementtheory involves a generic perspectiveon those topics. This traditionis the idea that distinctionsbetween public and private, and for-profitand nonprofitorganizations amountto stereotypesand oversimplifications(H.G. Rainey 1997, 55ff). Many scholarswho study organizationsemphasize the commonalitiesamongorganizations,especially amongthose that purportedlydiffer by locationin the public and private sectors. Simon (1998, 11), in the assertionmentionedabove and quotedat the outset, providesan exampleof this perspective. Significantly,in relationto the later sections of this article, he attributesthe prospectsfor effective public organizationsto, amongother factors, the presenceof dedicatedpublic servants who are motivatednot by narroweconomic self-interestbut by organizationalloyalty and identification(andby implication,an ideal of public service). Simon also arguesthat effective public administrationis essentialto democracy.He thus quite dramatically implies the need to seek explanationsand theoriesof effective governmentorganizations. MODELS OF EXCELLENCE IN GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS To develop a theoryof effective governmentagencies, one obviously has to decide how to proceed. Lowery (1997), while not directlypursuingmodels of effective agencies, suggests employingconceptsand methodsfrom economics-basedand public choice theoryto analyzesome of the oversimplificationsof those same approaches.His analysisof quasi marketfailures develops useful conceptsfor elaboratingthatdiscussion. The approachin this article, however, focuses more on government agencies and their generaleffectiveness, and it draws more on case studiesand empiricalresearchin public administrationand public bureaucracyas well as conceptsfrom organizationand managementtheory. The propositionsadvancedlater will draw on conclusionsfrom many of the authorson successfulleadership and managementwho are cited above. Some of those authors concentrateon one partof the elephantsuch as leadership,mission, or culture, and some draw only implicitconclusionsabout linkagesto organizationaleffectiveness. The full groupof referencesis not easily summarizedhere. One subsetof the references,however, includesefforts to characterizegovernmentagencies thatperformefficiently. These profiles representefforts to develop models of excellent organizations and to specify their attributes.Exhibit2 summarizessome of these profiles. An elaboratereview and critiqueof these efforts is beyondthe scope of this article, but the row headings on the left of the exhibit indicatecommontopics in the profiles, 8/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations includingaspectsof the agency mission and public orientation (includingpublic service), leadershipand primarymeans of managingemployees, and task design and work environment. Especiallyas summarizedin the exhibit, in ways that cannotdo full justice to the analyses, the profiles need much more specification and articulationto move in the directionof a theory. Yet some of their implicationsare clear, and they show up in the propositionsin exhibit 1 and in the discussionof them that follows. Also of significanceare some omissionsin the implicit models in exhibit2. (In the parlanceof organizationaleffectiveness researchers,they mostly representinternalprocess models.) Additionalfactorsreceive emphasisin other researchon agency effectiveness.Wolf (1993) analyzedforty-fourcase studiesof federalagencies to constructmeasuresof the agencies' characteristics and their relationshipsto the organization'seffectiveness. As do most of the profiles in exhibit2, his findingsindicatedthe importanceof leadershipand sense of mission. In addition,however, he found importanta variablerepresentingpoliticalautonomy (thatincludeduniversalpolitical supportand/orfreedom from directionby politicalauthorities).This variableindicatesthe importanceof relationswith oversightauthoritiesand other externalstakeholders,a topic thatreceives little or no emphasis in the profiles in exhibit2. It also suggeststhe need for a supportiveand delegativerole by those authoritiesthat allows the agency reasonableautonomyto develop and pursueits mission (cf. Wilson 1989; Meier 1993a). PROPOSITIONSAND A FRAMEWORK As we indicatedearlier, exhibit 1 statespropositionsabout effective agenciesthatdraw on the referencesjust cited and on additionalreferencesand examplesthatare describedbelow. Exhibit3 providesa diagramthat suggestsa frameworklinking these propositionsand their componentconcepts. While exhibit 1 does not clearlyposit all the relationships,it bears the implication that all the componentsin exhibit 1 shouldbe positivelyrelated in the more effective agencies. Also, in exhibit 3 and in the discussionto follow, some of the relationshipsare hypothesized so clearly thatthey have sharpand challengingimplicationsfor research,theory, and practice. THE MEANING OF EFFECTIVENESS In the literatureon organizationtheory, the topic of organizationaleffectivenessis complex and inconclusivein certainways, and it involves an unresolveddiversityof models, 9/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations Exhibit 2 Characteristicsof High Performance Government Agencies Mission / public orientation Gold (1982) STEP (1985) Wilson (1989) Emphasize clear mission and objectives Closer contact with customers to better understandtheir needs Mission is clear and reflects a widely shared and warmly endorsed organizational culture Externalpolitical support Leadership/ managingemployees Employees take pride in the organizationand its product Focus on treatingemployees fairly and respectfully throughhonest and open communication Emphasize delegation of responsibilityand authority as widely as possible Increaseddiscretionary authorityfor managersand employees for greater control over accountability Increasedemployee participationtaps their knowledge, skills, and commitment Executive takes responsibility for organizational maintenance Managementemphasizes innovative ways of managing Places great value on the people in the organization Job tasks and goals are clear Leaders make peer expectations serve the organization Maximize discretionary authorityfor operators Managementaims at challenging and encouraging people Task design / work environment Executives commandloyalty, define and instill a clear sense of mission, attract talented workers, and make exacting demandsof subordinates Bottom-upimplementation perspective Partnershipsto allow the sharingof knowledge, expertise, and other resources State-of-the-artproductivity improvementtechniques Improvedwork measurements to provide a base for planning and implementing service improvementsand worker evaluation Clearly defined goals Widespreadagreementon how critical tasks are performed Agency autonomyto develop operationalgoals from which tasks are designed Ability to control or keep contextualgoals in proper perspective Note: Portionsof this exhibit are adaptedfrom Rainey (1997, 359) and from Hale (1996, 139), with portionsusing Hale's terminology and summary. 1O/J-PART,January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations Denhardt(1993) Alliance (1994) Hale (1996) Holzer and Callahan(1998) Dedication to public service and understandingpublic intent Mission clarity and understanding Focused mission that is clarified and communicatedto organizationmembers Customerfocused Serving the public, which representsdemocratic values Leader demonstrates commitmentto mission Managerbuilds sense of community in organization Managerclearly articulates values Managers insist on high ethical standards Empoweredand shared leadership Maintain open and productivecommunication among stakeholders Empowered employees Organizationsallocate resources for continual learning Enabling leadershipthat emphasizes learning, communication,flexibility, sharing, and vision development Build partnershipswith public and private organizationsand citizens Manage for quality using long-term strategicplanning with supportfrom top leadership Develop human resources and empower employees throughteam building, systematic training, recognition, and balancing employee and organizational needs Employees accept accountability to achieve results with rewards and consequences Motivate and inspire people to succeed Employees accept responsibility and performance accountability Pragmaticincrementalism (change is natural, appropriate) Defined outcomes and focus on results (performance measures) Approachto change is creative and humane Institutenew work processes as necessary Commitmentto values Flexible, adjust nimbly to new conditions Competitive in terms of performance Emphasize learning and carefully supportlearning, risk taking, training, communication,and work measurement Nurturing-community culture that is supportive and emphasizes teamwork, participation, flexible authority,and effective rewardand recognition Restructurework processes to meet customer needs 11/J-PART, January 1999 Adapt technologies that include open access to data, automationfor productivity, cost-effective applications, and cross-cuttingtechniques that deliver on public demands Measure for performance by establishinggoals and measuring results, justifying and allocating as necessary resource requirements,and developing organizational improvementstrategies Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations Exhibit 3 *Other External *Oversight Human Financial Characteristics of Technological RESOURCES resources stakeholders stakeholders authorities resources resources Effective 0 Government autonomy Responsive Agencies _____-__--_>___m *Strong *Mission __>_|_Task design Taoaedsk valence Mission Leadership Organizational oriented l culture 4 l oTask motivation Mission motivation | Public service motivation Agency effectiveness 12/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations includinggoal models, internalprocess models, stakeholder models, resourcedependencemodels, participantsatisfaction models, and competingvalues models (Daft 1998, ch. 2; H.G. Rainey 1997, ch. 6). The discussionhere cannotresolve these variations,but it can proceedusing a relativelystraightforward definitionof agency effectiveness:The agency performswell in dischargingthe administrativeand operationalfunctionspursuant to the mission. It achieves the mission as conceivedby the organizationand its stakeholders,or pursuesachievementof it in an evidentlysuccessfulway. While it skirts some of the controversies over the conceptof organizationalperformance,this approachto effectivenessbears similaritiesto conceptionssome researchersand authorsuse (Collins and Porras 1994; Gold 1982; Peters and Waterman1982; Wolf 1997). This conceptof effectivenessrefers to whetherthe agency does well that which it is supposedto do, whetherpeople in the agency work hardand well, whetherthe actionsand procedures of the agency and its membersare well suitedto achievingits mission, and whetherthe agency actuallyachieves its mission. Does it producethe actionsand outputspursuantto the mission or the institutionalmandate(Osborneand Gaebler1992, 351; Wolf 1997), and does it appearto contributeto outcomesindicated by the mission?Did the U.S. militarywin the Gulf War, does the CDC reducehealthrisks, and does the Social Security Administrationpay benefits expeditiously,accurately,and appropriately, and do all these resultscome in significantpart from the activitiesof the agencies and their members?As additional examples, the Coast Guardhas statedas one of its centralgoals the reductionof accidentaldeathsand injuriesfrom maritime casualties(U.S. Coast Guard1996). The NationalHighwayTraffic Safety Administration(1996) includesin its mission the goals of saving lives, preventinginjuries,and reducingtraffic-related healthcare problems.Evidencethatthe agencies' operationshave contributedsubstantiallyto the achievementof these goals providesevidence of agency effectiveness. This conceptof effectivenessconcernsthe organization's administrativeand operationaleffectiveness, and not necessarily the effectivenessof the generalpolicy design in which the agency operates.For example, the Social SecurityAdministrationmay operatethe Old Age and SurvivorsInsuranceprogramvery effectively, in the sense that claimants'benefits are expeditiouslyand accuratelyauthorized,calculated,and paid in ways thatprovide income securityfor the clients. The program,however, still may need reformthroughsome form of privatizationor some other adjustmentbecause of the fiscal and financialimplicationsof the benefits and benefit schedulesthat Congressmandatedfor the 13/J-PART,January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations program.As anotherexample, the U.S. militaryperformedwell in the Gulf War, but critics can disputeor lamentthe policy decision to proceedwith militaryforce. In addition,declaring thatthe ForestService is an effective organizationdoes not resolve controversiesover the use of public forests for timbering by privatefirms. Numerousotherconceptualand methodologicalcomplexities can be discussedat length. The most importantobjectiveof this article, however, is to advanceconceptsand generalizationsuseful to theorizingaboutagency performance,so it is best simply to move to the propositionsthemselves. RELATIONS WITH STAKEHOLDERS The propositionsuse the termstakeholdersfrom the organizationtheoryliteratureto refer to persons, groups, and institutions that have an interestin the activitiesand outcomesof the organizationsufficientto draw theirparticipationand attentionto the agency. Oversightauthoritiessuch as legislative, executive, andjudicial authoritiesare one obvious componentof this part of the framework.Otherstakeholders,such as constituentand client groups, the generalpublic, and variouspartnersand suppliers such as contractors,exert less legally formalinfluenceson governmentagencies. Effectiveagencies will have oversightauthoritiesthat are supportive,delegative,and attentiveto agency missionaccomplishment.The authoritieswill devote attentionto the agency, in a demandingway that emphasizeseffective performance.Yet the authoritiesalso will tend to be supportivein the sense of providing resourcesand authorizationnecessaryto supportgood performance.They will be delegativein thatthey will refrainfrom micromanagement and extensiveinterventionin decisionsabout the managementof the agency. As an exampleof these conditionsof oversight,one can point to the responseof congressionalleaderssuch as Wilbur Mills when the Social SecurityAdministrationwas having serious problemswith backlogsin claims processingduringthe 1970s. Congresshad expandedthe types of coverageand benefitsof the social securityprogram,and the populationof entitledpersons had grown rapidly.Decisions aboutclaims becamemore complicated, more varied, and simply more voluminous.More claims took longer to process, and citizens complainedto their congressmen aboutdelays in receivinga responseabouttheir claims and inquiries.To oversimplifyfor brevity, Mills and other congressional leadersessentiallytold CommissionerRobertBall to fix 14/J-PART,January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations the problemand acceptedBall's assurancesthat such efforts were underway.SSA actuallytook some time to adoptreforms, while devotingconsiderableattentionto diagnosisand planning.The ultimatesolution, which involvedreorganizingthe majorpayment centers (publicservice centers)into work moduleswhere teams workedtogetherto process claims, provedhighly successful. While demandinga solution, congressionalleadersdelegatedthe selection and managementof the solutionto the agency's leaders. By contrast,in more recentyears observershave expressedconcern that rapidturnoverin the top executivesat SSA, due to efforts by presidentialadministrations to increasetheir control over the agency, has damagedeffective managementwithinthe agency (Raineyand Rainey 1986; U.S. GAO 1986). As a roughly similarexample, the highly effective Gulf War operationswere conductedrelativelyautonomouslyby commandersthere, without extensivecontrolor interventionfrom Washington.As an exampleof the failureof oversightofficials to focus on mission accomplishment,the FederalEmergencyManagementAgency (FEMA) had a reputationfor weak performanceat one point, frequentlyattributedto oversightofficials' use of the agency as a haven for politicalcronies. OTHER STAKEHOLDERS Summarizingresearchon the influenceof interestgroupson public bureaucracies,Meier (1993a) concludesthat an agency is betterable to obtain resourcesand autonomyof operationswhen it has interestgroups that, in additionto being attentiveand interested,are geographicallydispersed,diverse along various dimensions(suchas demographicmakeup),mobilizable,and multiple. That is, an agency loses autonomyif it is capturedby an interestgroup, and it gains autonomyand influenceif it has supportersthat are diverse but mobilizable.The agency can play differentgroupsoff againsteach otherbut, as is elaborately discussedin the literatureon publicbureaucracyand public management,it usually needs the supportof interestgroupsto gain resources.In addition,as is impliedin the discussionof issue networks,policy subsystems,and subgovernments,other actors, such as experts, play a partin this process. Agencies will also tend to be more effectivewhen they have favorablepublic support.This includesgenerallyfavorablepublic opinionand mediacoverage. More effectiveagencies also will manage well their relations with allies andpartners(Holzer and Callahan1998) such as contractorsand otherpublic, private, and nonprofitentities with which they interactin carryingout their work. For example, a 15/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations growing literaturenow details the requirementsfor the effective managementof contractsand privatizationinitiatives(e.g., Globermanand Vining 1996; Donahue1990; Gill and Rainey 1997; Kettl 1993; Lowery 1997; H.G. Rainey 1997; Rehfuss 1989) as well as the effective managementof networksof actors and organizationsmore generally(Provanand Milward1995; O'Toole 1997). Agencies thathave in place systems thatmeet these requirementsshouldmore effectively managesuch relations and therebyenhancetheir own effectiveness. AUTONOMY Governmentagencies will be more effectivewhen they have higher levels of autonomyin relationto externalstakeholders,but not extremelyhigh levels of autonomy.(Therelationshipbetween autonomyand effectivenessis curvilinear.) When oversightauthoritiesare supportiveand delegative,as we have describedabove, they grantautonomyto the agency. Autonomyto manageits mission and tasks tends to enhancean agency's performanceof the mission and tasks. Yet the following discussionof organizationalculturedescribesexamplesof agencies thatbecametoo insular.The SSA exampleabove illustrate the responsivenessof the agency and its leadersto the demands of stakeholders.An effective agency's autonomydoes not imply extremeisolationfrom communicationand exchangewith external stakeholders;it shouldbe conceivedas a responsiveautonomy. Wolf (1998) concludesfrom his data that agency leaders earn grantsof autonomyfrom oversightofficials throughskillful managementof relationswith externalstakeholders. MISSION VALENCE The higher the mission valenceof the governmentagency, the more effectivelythe agency will perform. The conceptof mission valence drawson the conceptof valence from the expectancy theoryof work motivation.Formulationsof thattheoryuse the conceptof valence from chemistry(the positive or negative chargesof atomicparticles)to refer to the positive or negative attractivenessof an outcomeof behavior-to how good or bad, attractiveor unattractive,a personconsidersan outcometo be (H.G. Rainey 1997, 229-32). An agency's mission can be attractive or abhorrent(e.g., combat, war) to individuals.The more engaging, attractive,and worthwhilethe mission is to people, the more the agency will be able to attractsupportfrom those people, to attractsome of them to join the agency, and to motivate them to performwell in the agency (dependingon some other conditionswe will discuss). 16/J-PART,January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations The externalstakeholdersand the membersof the organization interactivelyestablishthe organization'smission. The mission is the general social contributionand purposeof the agency and its relatedgeneralgoals. The militaryservices must defendthe nation,be preparedfor combatengagementsand, when necessary,to win them. The Social SecurityAdministration providesincome securityfor retiredpersonsand their survivors. The Centersfor Disease Controlmust defendthe populace againstdiseases and other dangersto health. Any organization has a mission, in this generalsense, whetheror not the organizationhas joined the herd of organizationsissuing mission statements. The mission has highervalence when it has higher levels of the dimensionslisted in exhibit 1 (cf. Behn 1991, 67-69; Dilulio 1994; Hargroveand Glidewell 1990; Wilson 1989). ORGANIZATIONALCULTURE Effectivegovernmentagencies have a strong organizational culture, effectivelylinkedto missionaccomplishment. Organizationalcultureis probablythe most overusedand loosely used term in contemporarymanagementdiscourse. Journalistsregularlyuse it to interpretdevelopmentsin businessfirms and other organizations.In any brainstormingor planningsession of governmentemployeesthat is concernedwith organizational improvement,leadership,or relatedmatters,participantswill repeatedlyrefer to the need to changethe culturesof agencies. These casual uses of the term typicallyrefer to a subdimensionof culture, such as employees' attitudestowardrisk taking, but their commonusage suggeststhe need for a conceptsuch as culture. Scholars,of course, have devotedmuch attentionto cultureand regularlyassert its importanceto organizationalanalysis(Schein 1992; Trice and Beyer 1993), includingthe analysisof government agencies (Wilson 1989; H.G. Rainey 1997, 273-81). Culturerefers to patternsof sharedmeaningin organizations, includingsharedvalues and beliefs aboutappropriate behaviorsand actions. It also refers to such mattersas the nature of the organizationand its relationto other entities or to the basis for authorityin the organization.Culturecan be manifestin, and influencedby, symbols, ceremonies,statements,and actionsof leaders. The propositionabove assertsthat a strongorganizational culturewill be relatedpositively to agency effectiveness when the cultureis effectively linked to mission accomplishment. The literaturenow containsnumerousexamplesof strongor salient culturesin agencies thatpromotethe agencies' effectiveness in accomplishingtheir missions and the roles of leadersin shaping such cultures(e.g., Doig and Hargrove1987; Lewis 1980 17/J-PART,January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations and 1987; Maynard-Moody,Stull, and Mitchell 1986; Mashaw 1983, 216; Meier 1993a; Rainey 1997, 273-81; Wilson 1989). In addition,authorssuggest guidelinesfor leaders in their efforts to influenceand develop culture(Schein 1992; Trice and Beyer 1993; Yukl 1998). Like otherpropositionsadvancedhere, this proposition about strongagency cultureruns into complexitiesand potential controversy,since a strongculturecould make an agency impervious to externaloversightand control, resistantto innovation,or otherwisepoorly adaptedto imperativesof its environment. Examplesof such a problemincludeHoover and the FBI, and the case of a public healthagency in Kansasthatbecame so focused on professionalautonomythat the legislatureultimatelyintervened to assert authorityover the agency (Maynard-Moodyet al. 1986). Strongculturedoes not need to imply insularityor arrogance. Values stronglyespousedin a strongculturecan include adaptiveness,surveillanceof the environment,and responsiveness. The two examplesabove can be interpretedas illustrations of ineffectivelinkagesto agency mission that in the long run damagedthe agencies' effectiveness. LEADERSHIP The more effectivethe leadershipof the agency, the more effectivethe agency. More effectiveleadershipis characterizedby more stability, multiplicity,commitmentto mission, effectivegoal setting, and effectiveadministrativeand political coping. Scholarsregularlycite leadershipas an essentialelement in the success of public agencies. Leadershiphas long been treated as an importantdeterminantof an agency's power and influence (Meier 1993a, 75-77; Rourke 1984). More recently, numerous authorsdescribeand analyzeeffective, innovative,and exemplary leaders in governmentagencies (Behn 1991; Cooper and Wright 1992; Doig and Hargrove1987; Hargroveand Glidewell 1990; Riccucci 1995; Terry 1995). As we noted earlier, Wolf (1993) reportsempiricalevidence of a significantrole of leadershipin achievingagency effectiveness. Holzer and Callahan(1998, 160) reportresultsof a survey of winnersof an awardfor exemplary state and local public service initiatives,in which the respondents rate the supportof top agency executives as the most important factor in the success of agency innovations. Like most fundamentaltopics in the social sciences, the topic of leadershipis vast, richly elaborated,and inconclusive (Yukl 1998). Enoughlistings of desirableleadershipskills and qualitiescould be gatheredto build anothergreat pyramid.They 18/J-PART,January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations vary widely, and none of them can claim conclusivevalidation. One could choose any of a numberof such listings, but one can reasonablychoose, as a generalconceptionof leadershipskills for governmentagencies, the ExecutiveCore Competenciesof the Senior ExecutiveService (U.S. OPM 1998). The competencies includethe following: leadingchange(includingleadership competenciesof creativityand innovationand service motivation, amongothers);leadingpeople (e.g., conflict management,team building);resultsdriven [sic] (e.g., accountability,customer service); businessacumen(financial,humanresources,and technology management);and buildingcoalitionsand communication (e.g., interpersonalskills, partnering,political savvy). From many sourcesin the leadershipliterature,one can add thatleaders need a basic motivationfor the role, along with a drive to take responsibility,to lead others, and to make a difference. In additionto such generalconceptions,however, the subdimensionsof leadershipcited in the propositionabove and in exhibit 1 seem particularlyimportantto leadershipin government agencies. First, scholarsand expertsemphasizethe problemsthat resultfrom rapidturnoverof top executives in public agencies (e.g., Warwick1975; Heclo 1978; U.S. GAO 1986). Conversely, variousresearchershave reportedan apparentlinkagebetween stable, long-termleadership-often from careercivil servants and effective performanceof public agencies (Behn 1991; DiIulio 1994; Doig and Hargrove1987; G.W. Rainey 1990; Raineyand Rainey 1986; Riccucci 1995). Excessive stabilityof leadership can build a harmfulinsularity,of course, and there are also importantexamplesof generalistleaderssuch as Eliot Richardson who earnedreputationsas excellent governmentexecutives througha variety of relativelyshort-termposts in different agencies. Riccucci (1995) providesadditionalexamplesof effective leaderswithoutlong-termgovernmentalexperience.Leadership stability,then, needs to be consideredin associationwith other dimensionsin exhibit 1, which hypothesizesa curvilinear relationshipbetweenleadershipstabilityand agency effectiveness. Sharedleadership,for example, can make a short-term leadermore influentialon agency effectiveness. The literatureon managementin both the public and privatesectors increasingly emphasizesthe importanceof sharingleadershiproles among teams or cadresof leaders, as well as the empowermentof individuals to assumeroles in the leadershipof variouspartsof the work (e.g., Behn 1991; Denhardt1993; Huberand Glick 1993; Sims and Lorenzi 1992; Terry 1995, ch. 4). As an exampleof a skillful approachto sharedleadership,one can cite JamesWebb's creationof a leadershiptriadat NASA and his emphasison maximalleadershipcontinuityin the agency (Lambright1987). 19/J-PART,January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations Althoughhe did not possess scientific skills, he establisheda who did have strongrelationshipwith assistantadministrators those skills, and he therebyenhancedhis own legitimacy,and more importantlythe qualityand legitimacyof the decisions of the leadershipteam. Somewhatsimilarly,Nancy Hanks, as the early and influentialchair of the NationalEndowmentfor the Arts, empoweredher deputychairmanto serve as the chief spokespersonfor the agency, to complementher own abilities and her preferencefor workingin small, informalsettings (Wyszomirski1987). Such skillfulexercises in empowermentand team leadershipcan help even short-termpoliticalappointeesto ensurethattheir influenceson the agency endure(Ingraham 1988). The problemof turnoverat the top of many agencies also makes a strongcommitmentto an agency's mission an important aspect of leadership.The most effective agency executives, such as RobertBall, HymanRickover,Nancy Hanks, JamesWebb, and GiffordPinchot,all embodysuch a commitment.Analystsof their careersconcludethatthey displayeda desire to "makea difference"(Doig and Hargrove1987, 11) coupledwith an ability to see new possibilities,which led them to focus on the agency and its mission as an avenuefor exertinginfluenceon the developmentand pursuitof new possibilities. The most frequentlyrepeatedobservationaboutthe distinctive characteristicsof public agenciesconcernsthe vagueness, multiplicity,and mutualconflict amongagency goals. Therefore, skillful leadershipthroughmissiondevelopmentand throughgoal settingin relationto the missioncontributesignificantlyto agency effectiveness. The literaturenow offers numerous examplesof such leadershippractices(e.g., Behn 1991; Denhardt 1993; Riccucci 1995; Wilson 1989). Finally, it seems to be obvious thatleadersof effective public agencies will display skills in coping with the politicaland administrativepressuresand constraintsof their roles. Yet the importanceof this dimensionof leadershipis reflectedin frequent expressionsof concernthatthese constraintspenalizeeffective leadershipand make it scarce in public agencies (e.g., National Academyof Public Administration1986; Thompson1993, 1822). Significantly,accountsof the most influentialand innovative agency leadersemphasizetheir abilityto turn into opportunities the constraintsthat supposedlyimpedemany executivesand to cope with the pressuresand complexitiesof their roles (Ban 1995; Doig and Hargrove1987; Hargroveand Glidewell 1990; Lewis 1980 and 1987; Riccucci 1995). 20/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations TASK DESIGN The more the task design in the agencyprovides extrinsic and intrinsicrewardsto individualsand groups, the more effective the agency. In additionto the generalmission, there are more specific characteristicsof the work people do, and in the frameworkthese are includedin a broadconceptionof task. Includedin this conception of task are those factorsassociatedwith an individual's relativelyspecific ongoing activitiesthatprovideextrinsicand intrinsicrewardsfor work. Organizationalbehaviorresearchers commonlydefine extrinsicrewardsas those mediatedexternally to the individualand providedby the organization,such as pay, promotion,and physicalconditionsof work. Intrinsicrewardsare mediatedinternallyto the individualand includepsychological rewardssuch as interestin the work, enjoymentof the work, a sense of growthand development,and a sense of worthwhile accomplishment.Organizationalpsychologistshave developed measuresof the motivatingpotentialof jobs, which assess the degree to which the job providesautonomy,task significance, task identity,feedbackfrom the work, and skill variety. These factorstend to increaseintrinsicwork motivation(Hackmanand Oldham1980). This conceptionof task design is intendedto includeconditionsmentionedin the profiles of excellentpublic organizationsdescribedin earlier sections, such as whetherthe membersare empowered,whetherthey are organizedinto teams and have a teamworkorientation,and whetherdecisions are participative. Includedin this conceptionof task and task design are extrinsicrewardsassociatedwith the more specific, day to day work of the individual,such as those that are mentionedabove. These rewardswill also depend, of course, on organizational structuresand policies such as humanresourcemanagement/ personnelpolicies. The distinctionbetweentask and mission is useful in analyzingwhetherthey are two distinctsourcesof incentiveand motivationin governmentagenciesthat are separablebut that need to be linkedtogether.For example, considera professor who is excited abouther work for the day. How much is she motivatedby the overall mission or general societal contribution of the university,and how much by the intrinsicrewardsfrom her enjoymentof the more specific activitiesof teachingand research?A NASA employeemay enjoy his job designingand implementingtrainingproceduresfor space shuttleastronauts. 21/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations How much additionalmotivationdoes he derive from the overall mission of advancingspace explorationand travel? UTILIZATIONOF TECHNOLOGYAND DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES Exhibit 1 hypothesizesthatutilizationof technologyand developmentof humanresourcesrelateto agency effectiveness, becauseHolzer and Callahan(1998) emphasizethe importanceof these processes in innovativegovernmentagencies and becauseof the obvious importanceof such processes in buildingthe internal capacityof an agency. Holzer and Callahanprovideelaboration on effective utilizationof technologyand humanresources;other examplesand case studiesabound.SSA, for example, has used computerizationto improvemarkedlythe efficiency and accuracy of case processing.HerbertKaufman'sclassic study, The Forest Ranger, providescase illustrationsof the effective development of humanresources. PROFESSIONALISM Variousauthorsattributeagency effectivenessto professionalismamongthe membersof the agency (Brehmand Gates 1997; Wilson 1989; Wolf 1993 and 1998). Authorsin public administrationhave analyzedprofessionalismin that field, and an elaborateliteratureexaminesthe topic of professionalismin sociology and organizationtheory. This lattermaterialdevelops the conceptmore elaboratelythando some of the authorswho write aboutprofessionalismin public agencies. For example, sociologistsdefine professionsas occupationswith the following characteristics:they apply advanceskills based on theoretical knowledge;they requireadvancedtraining;they requiretesting of competencethroughexaminationsand other means;they are organizedinto professionalassociations;they emphasizeadherence to a code of conduct;they espouse altruisticservice. Members of such professionalizedoccupationstend to have values and beliefs that accordwith the occupationalcharacteristics,such as belief in collegial maintenanceof standardsamongprofessionals, identificationwith otherprofessionals,and commitmentto professional norms. Authorson professionalismin public agencies tend to define it less elaborately-as involving specializedskills thatrequireadvancededucationor training,membershipin professional groupsoutsidethe agency (Wilson 1989), or simply a commitmentto professionalnormsof performanceand behavior and to do the work right and well (Brehmand Gates 1997). Professionalismcan enhancean agency's performanceby increasingits autonomy,due to the social statusand intellectual 221/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations authorityand independenceof professionalsin the agency (Wolf 1998). In addition,professionalnormsand technicaltraining provide incentivesand guidelinesfor individualsin the agencies (Wilson 1989; Brehmand Gates 1997). MOTIVATION Effectivegovernmentagencies have high levels of motivation among their members,includinghigh levels of public service motivation,missionmotivation,and task motivation. The precedingpropositionslead to this one. The framework and propositionsgenerallyassert the importantrole of motivation that stimulateseffort and effective behaviorsamongpeople in the organization.The propositionrefers to all of the several forms of motivationto emphasizethe importantquestions:Can we actually conceive and validatethese three separateforms?Is there a generalmotive to serve the public?Is it stimulatedin government agencies, stimulatedto higherlevels in some than others, and in turn translatedinto motivation,effort, and effective behavior? PUBLIC SERVICE MOTIVATION Public service motivationcan be defined as a general altruistic motivationto serve the interestsof a communityof people, a state, a nation, or humankind.Majorsocial scientistsrecently have referredto evolutionarydevelopmentsthathave fosteredin humanbeings motives and attitudesconduciveto communaland collective behaviors,includingtrust, reciprocity,and identification with organizations(Ostrom1998; Simon 1998). Since animalsdisplay altruisticbehaviors,behaviorsthat involve selfsacrificeon the part of their groups, these motives shouldbe consideredfundamentalin humansas well, and in some persons as strongas the more extrinsicmotives for money or other materialgain. Such forms of motivationhave been part of human discoursesince classic times, when, for example, Athenians pledged to leave their city betterthanthey found it. A form of public service motivationhas been partof discoursein public administrationfor a long time. Frederickson and Hart (1985), for example, discuss a "patriotismof benevolence" that involves benevolentimpulsesand behaviorstowarda broadcommunity.They define it as an affectionfor all people in the nationand a devotionto defendingtheir basic rights, as grantedby enablingdocumentssuch as the Constitution.Frederickson (1997) treatssuch a motive, and associatedethical and equitablebehaviors,as a centraltheme in public administration. 23/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations Interestingly,however, this topic has attractednot nearlyas much systematicresearchas one might have expected, Various surveys have found that governmentexecutives and managers tend to express a motive to serve the public or society in a worthwhileway (e.g., Sikula 1973). Kilpatrick,Cummings,and Jennings(1964) found that federalexecutives, scientists, and engineersgave higherratingsthandid their counterpartsin businessto work-relatedvalues such as the importanceof doing your best, even if you dislike your work, the importanceof doing work that is worthwhileto society, and the importanceof helping others. H.G. Rainey (1983) foundthat state agency managers ratedthe "opportunityto engage in meaningfulpublic service" as a more importantwork rewardthandid managersin large business firms. Among the very large sampleof executives and managersin the FederalEmployeeAttitudeSurveys,high percentages of the respondentswho enter the federalgovernmentrate public service and havingan impacton public affairsas the most importantreasonsto enter federalservice; very low percentages of these groupsrate salaryandjob securityas importantattractions (Crewson 1995, 94). Analyzingother large social surveys such as the GeneralSocial Survey,Crewson(1997) also finds thatpublic sector respondents,as comparedto privatesector respondents,place a highervalue on work that is useful to society and thathelps others. These resultsand other findings within such surveys suggest the form that general service motives in governmentmay take-placing a high value on work that helps others and benefits society as a whole, on a degree of selfsacrifice, and on responsibilityand integrity.Public managers often mentionsuch motives (Hartmanand Weber 1980; Lasko 1980; Kelman 1989; Sandeep1989). Seekingto refine the conceptionof public service motives, Perry and Wise (1990) suggest thatpublic service motives can fall into three categories:instrumentalmotives, includingparticipationin policy formulation,commitmentto a public program because of personalidentification,and advocacyfor a special or privateinterest;norm-basedmotives, includinga desire to serve the public interest,loyalty to duty and to government,and social equity; and affectivemotives, includingcommitmentto a program based on a convictionaboutits social importanceand the patriotism of benevolence(Fredericksonand Hart 1985; Frederickson 1997). Perry (1996a and 1997) providesmore recentevidence of the dimensionsof a generalpublic service motive and ways to assess it. He analyzedsurvey questionnaireresponsesfrom about four hundredpeople, includingmanagersand employees in 24/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations variousgovernmentand businessorganizations,and graduateand students.He developedscales for four dimensions undergraduate of public service motivation:attractionto public policy making, commitmentto the public interestand civic duty, compassion, and self-sacrifice.He foundhigherlevels of some of these factors associatedwith religious involvementand family background. These findingsand those cited above show thatpublic service motivationis a complex conceptthatdeserves more attention. The evidence, however, stronglysupportsthe existence of a generalform of public service motivationthat tends to be more prevalentamonggovernmentemployeesthanprivatesector employees. The evidence also suggeststhatthis form of motivation involves a generalmotive to provide significantservice that benefits the community,the public, or society in dutiful, compassionate, and self-sacrificingways. MISSION MOTIVATION The above propositionaboutmotivationalso holds that high levels of mission motivationcontributesignificantlyto the effectivenessof public agencies. Why coin a term such as mission motivationand proposeit as a new concept?Wilson (1989) describesthe existence of a sense of mission in such agencies as the Army Corpsof Engineersand the ForestryService. Various authorsdescribehow leadersdevelop a sense of mission for their agencies and inculcateit into the cultureof the agency through goal setting, symbolicactions, and othertechniques(e.g., Behn 1991; Cooper 1987; Denhardt1993). The propositionabout mission motivationassertsthatmembershave perceptionsof the mission of the agency and may be highly motivatedto contribute to the achievementof the mission. When so motivated,an individual will extendeffort and seek to performwell in ways thathe or she perceivesto be relatedto accomplishingthe mission.4 4A reason to use a term such as mission motivation is that it implies a different concept from a sense of mission. It includes not just the perception of a mission but the extension of effort toward achieving it. This patternof motivationdiffers from public service motivation,althoughthe propositionsand frameworkassertthat they have a strongrelationto each other in effective agencies. While public service motivationfocuses on altruisticservice that benefits a communityor a largerpopulation,mission motivation has as its targetor objectivethe mission of the agency. For example, this distinctionraises the issue of how much of a person's motivationis accountedfor by a sense thather actionscontributeto a generalpublic service, and how much is accounted for by this sense of mission?When a tankcommanderin the Desert Stormoperationworks hardto contributeto an effective combatinitiativeby his unit, how much is he motivatedby a 25/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations perceptionor belief thathe is contributinga valuableservice to the nationor to humankind,and how much by a perceptionor belief that his actionscontributeto the mission of winningcombat engagementsin defense of the nation?How much is a module managerin a public service center of the Social SecurityAdministrationmotivatedby a belief thather actionscontributeto somethingworthwhileand importantto the nationas a whole, and how much is motivatedby a belief that soundmanagementof her modulewill contributeto the mission of providingincome securityfor the retiredpeople who have earnedit throughtheir contributionsto the program? An earlier section introducedthe conceptof mission valence because of its relevanceto the role of mission motivation.A mission can have a high valence for an individualand attractthat person to an agency. Membersof NASA, for example, observe that many people came to NASA and remainedthere because of interestin and excitementaboutthe mission of space exploration, when they could have workedin the privatesector for higher pay. Motivationin organizationsalways involves at least two general steps-first, joining and staying;second, workinghard and well. One can take the first step withouttakingthe second (Marchand Simon 1958). High levels of mission valence will tend to attractcertainindividualswho will self-select into the organizationon the basis of the valence of the mission for them, but then their levels of mission motivationwill furtherdependon their perceptionsaboutthe linkageof their work to the mission. Buchanan(1974 and 1975) some years ago reportedevidence that idealisticpeople may enter the public service and later become discouragedbecausethey cannotsee the linkageof their work activitiesto their ideals. Throughleadershippracticessuch as those describedearlier, the agency must sharpenand make salient the relationsof individuals'work to the mission. In turn, the perceivedlinkageof the mission to public service values can enhanceboth mission valence and mission motivation,such that in the governmentagencies thatperformthe best, memberswill show both high levels of mission motivationand high levels of public service motivationand will feel thatthe mission of the agency contributesto generalworthwhilepublic service. TASK MOTIVATION The distinctionmade earlierin this articlebetweenthe generalconceptof task motivationand the conceptsof public service motivationand mission motivationserves a purposeof distinguishingamongpatternsof motivation.Returningto the exampleof the highly motivatedprofessor, considerhow much of 26/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations thatperson's motivationmight derive from a sense of contributing a valuablepublic service; how much from a sense of contributingto the university'smission of advancingteaching, research,and public service; and how much from enjoymentof the specific work itself? Otherexamplesof the task motivationat issue here includea NASA employeewho finds it fun and exciting to develop and implementsafety and emergencydrills for trainingastronauts.Also, a districtoffice managerfor the Social SecurityAdministrationenjoys the tasks of managingthe office, supervisingpersonnel,and engagingin public relationsactivities such as appearingon a local radio show to answerquestions aboutthe social securityprograms. These examplesillustratethe broadconceptof task motivationadvancedhere. They reflect the influenceof the relativelyspecific and immediateextrinsicand intrinsicrewards availablethroughthe person's role in the organization,as describedearlierin the discussionof task design. These factors can be independentof, or weakly relatedto, public service motivationand mission motivation.For example, agency employeesmay express high levels of motivationin spite of low levels of some of these rewards,such as favorablephysical surroundingsat work. Ultimately,however, the frameworkand the proposalshold that agency effectivenesswill be highest where organizationaldesign, task design, leadership,and other factors producedesirablelevels of extrinsicand intrinsicrewards throughtasks and where membersof the agency perceive that task activitiesand accomplishmentscontributeto mission accomplishment,which in turncontributesto the provisionof a worthwhileand valuablepublic service. Ultimately,too, the propositionsand frameworkhypothesize thatthe several forms of motivationplay a significantrole in determiningagency effectiveness, as do the other factorssuch as leadershipand culture.These actuallyposit very debatableand researchableconceptsand relationsthat might be opposedby other interpretations.For example, one might arguethatexternal forces, such as technologicaland economicfactors, drive the performanceof public agencies by providingnew technologies and humanand financialresources,such thatthe espoused motives of bureaucratsand the dramaturgyof leadershipprovide merely a superficial,self-justificatorylabelingfor developments that are essentiallyout of the controlof the people in the organizations. Such alternativeinterpretations,along with the general importanceof the performanceof governmentagencies, provide all the more reasonto continueto develop theoriesto explain theirperformance. 271J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations DIRECTION FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT AND THE PROBLEM OF PARSIMONY The conceptsand relationsin the propositionsadvancedhere need more developmentin a variety of ways. In particular,however, many relatedconceptsand topics that are not discussed here need furtherconsiderationin relationto the propositionsand agency effectiveness. These includetypologiesof agencies and differencesby type of agency; organizationalsocialization processes; organizationalcommitmentor identification;performance measuresand their availabilityand adequacy;and numerous others. The lengthylist of variablesin exhibit 1 raises the question of whetherthe list can and shouldbe pareddown to a more parsimoniousset. In a sense, the set of variablesis not so vast if one conceives it as basis for a LISRELanalysisor a similaranalysis that would treatthe subdimensionsunderthe more general variablesas indicatorsof the more generalvariablethat would factortogetherin measuresof it. As a hypotheticalstatement aboutthe most importantvariables,however, based on the literature reviewedand cited in this article, one can posit that the variablesfor the following conceptswill emerge as the most important:relationswith externalauthoritiesand stakeholders, autonomy,leadership,professionalism,and motivationamong members. A SYMBIOSIS OF FREEDOM? As we noted earlier, Simon (1998) emphasizesthe essential role of effective public administrationin maintainingthe strength of democracy.Othersocial scientistshave remarkedon the interesting tendencyof democraticsystems to coincide with free marketsystems, and conservativeeconomistsoften have mentioned the need for an effective, albeit limited, governmentin a prosperouseconomy. Analysis of effective governmentagencies shouldbe part of a new dialogueon the role of governmentand public administration(e.g., Durant1998) that recognizesthat effective organizationsin business, government,and the nonprofit sector benefiteach other. Pursuitof systematicexplanationsand theoriesabouteffective governmentagencies shouldcontinueas part of the effort to enhancethese mutualbenefits. 28/J-PART, January 1999 Theoryof Effective GovernmentOrganizations REFERENCES Ban, C. 1995 How Do Public Managers Manage? San Francisco: JosseyBass. Collins, J.C., and Porras, J.I. 1994 Built to Last. 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