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Non-hierarchical institutions and privatization

Explaining from a different angle, Kettl argued (2002) that what is required of public administration is totally different from that in 1887, the days when former U. S. President Woodrow Wilson published his essay, The Study of Administration. In Wilson's days, there was a loud call for strong hierarchical institutions that could fit into systems within systems. Policy making was then thought to be completely separated from policy administration. Compared to what we have today, administrative institutions are highly interdependent upon one another and show much significant reliance on "third-party partners", or, as Kettl's put it (2002, p. 51), contracted services. The estimated percentage of all contracted federal government services, as Kettl points out (2002, p. 52), will soar from 40 percent in the 1980s to more than 80 percent by the end of the twentieth century. Other than policing, fire and emergency services, and education, most of the other government services at various levels has already been outsourced though various forms of contracts, grants, and loans. Such a change has brought about the shifting of focus for the government, from one being a direct manager, to now being an indirect manager of services, or more specifically, now known as privatization of services (Kettl, 2002, p. 52). As a consequence, people with new sets of skills are required to cope with such a change in the management focus.

In addition to the required new management skill sets, privatization of government services indeed created other problems as well. These new problems originate from the fact that government institutions were mainly designed to be hierarchical, meaning that they were designed to provide services. However, with privatization of services, these hierarchical institutions will now have to supervise, monitor, scrutinize, and even manage, but indirectly, services provided by these outsourced, non-hierarchical, third-party private companies -- a new breed of work they were never designed to finish. Thus, as management responsibilities have become broadly shared among various different parties, both public and private, problems occur immediately in governance and it is becoming harder and harder to define with clarity "who is in charge of what" (Kettl, 2002, p. 120). Old methods like removing particular officials from their positions, reassigning roles and responsibilities, and even reorganizing the hierarchy no longer works. The system today is twisted in such a way it is run both vertically and horizontally. It is run vertically -- in the traditional, hierarchical sense. And it is also run horizontally -- in the sense that government institutions or agencies must now work with, coordinate, and integrate with other organizations, public and private alike.

Another common frustration seen among both the politicians and the administrators is the balancing of the expertise, and hence the power, required to fulfill the job. On one hand, one would need expertise to fulfill the wants and the needs of the public, whereas, on the other hand, such expertise and power, particular for the individual administrator, has to be limit to such an extent it would not allow the administrator to "intrude on individual liberty" (Kettl, 2002, p. 151). Kettle (2002) agues that such paradox has occurred within four very common scenarios in public administration, and they are: "responsiveness versus efficiency; centralization versus decentralization; strong executive versus separation of powers; and federal control versus federalism" (Kettl, 2002, p. 151). He concludes that a viable solution has yet to be found.

Issues with personnel and leadership

As the hierarchical nature of the public institution changes, its personnel demographics changes as well. Light (1999) noted that nowadays public servants no longer stay in or move up the ladder within the same hierarchical system throughout the lifetime of their careers, but rather they become more and more mobile. Many public servants, as Light (1999, p. 28) described, seem to share the same desire and focus on how they could "make a difference to the world", even at entry-levels of their careers. They require readily-available benefits and immediate satisfaction to help them motivate. This, in turn, results in the need for constant changes and evolution at all government levels, requiring administrators to stay abreast of all kinds of organizational development while coping with the ever-shifting workforce (Berman, Bowman, Van Wart, & West, 2006, p. 29). McCurdy and Rosenbloom (2006) recalled that in the post-war period of Waldo, changes are often implemented by means of structural reforms, which do not seem to work for the present day system of public administration. Changes and challenges, however, are often dealt with by means of leadership, their charisma, and by establishing links and networks between public institutions and the private sectors (Kettl, 2002, p. 208). Such an approach, as Kettl (2002) comments, has eventually become a new problematic source of accountability, especially when these public-private networks have become so inter-related and responsibilities are become so vague "who is in charge of what" (Kettl, 2002, p. 120) can no longer be defined.

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COUNT ON THE STATISTICS  100% Towels (c) Daniel Chittka
Photo © Daniel Chittka

This new section contains some interesting statistics in bribe and corruption, please check back for more as we pile up our numbers!

It's statistics time!  Using n-gram: kickback, graft, bribe and corruption - Comparison of their historical occurrences from 1810 to 2009 A.D.

  The word guanxi (collocation) and meanings of bribe: Deeply rooted, disgusting, sad endings

Looking for a good book (c) Doug Logan
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tagged by area of interestBY AREA OF INTEREST
Pragmatics: Politeness trends from the historical perspective of global trade
Computer mediated communications: Social network – Came riding the waves of amazing coincidences
Language acquisition:
A critique on "A corpus driven study of the potential for vocabulary learning through watching movies"

Grammatical analysis: "When a linguist stumbled upon a Buttonwood"
Lexicon and the corpus: "John Sinclair's lexical items – an introduction"
tagged by regionBY REGION • Anything AsiaUS Presence in Asia
Communist ChinaNationalist TaiwanHong Kong and MacauJapanKoreaSingaporeMalaysiaPhilippinesPakistanIndiaAfghanistanVietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and MyanmarTimor-Leste and IndonesiaMongoliaNew Zealand and Australia
tagged by topicsBY TOPIC • BiofuelRhino and elephant poachingAmerican movies hit China marketChina Internet censorshipChina's outward FDI opportunitiesGlobal rice yield
Island disputes in Southeast Asia | Senkakus-Diaoyu and historical findings | Dokdo-Takeshima | Spratly, Paracel, Scarborough | Kurils

For those you who don't have time to read all our news excerpts about the Asian island disputes (links above), you may find the following video, "The economic impact of a war between Japan and China", very enlightening.

© Minute MBA: More from

Free Pussy Riot!
Free Pussy Riot!

Photo © Igor Mukhin, retrieved from Wikipedia

"This trial is another example of the Kremlin's attempts to discourage and delegitimize dissent. It is likely to backfire." John Dalhuisen, Director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme

 More from Amnesty InternationalFree Pussy Riot

How it started – Pussy Riot Prayers, February 2012

08/17 Pussy Riot imprisoned on hooliganism charges
08/17 The only professionals in sight
08/19 Pussy Riot protesters arrested in Marseille
08/20 NZ PM – Sentence 'disproportionate'
08/20 Pussy Riot fear their kids being put in care
08/22 German supporters face criminal charges
08/22 Pussy Riot – it's carefully calibrated
08/23 Russian church-state corruption unveiled
08/23 Putin's secret weapon: The Orthodox faithful
08/24 Putin-nominated watchdog slams convictions
08/31 'Pussy Riot ritual killing', man detained
09/03 Orthodox deacon speaks over verdict
09/06 Putin denies part in 'Pussy Riot case'
09/10 Pussy Riot benefit concert draws 1,000
09/10 Gorbachev says verdict "disproportionate"
09/19 Punk group to transfer to remote penal colony
09/21 Aung San calls on Moscow to release RP
10/01 Sentence appeal delayed until Oct 10
10/10 Katya freed, 2 years for Nadya and Masha
10/16 Masha and Nadya sent to remote labor prison

BBC • Pussy Riot women begin life in prison

11/16 Merkel challanges Putin on imprisonment
11/22 Maria Alekhina transferred to solitary cell
11/28 Tolokonnikova's appeal case goes to court
12/24 Extremist videos appeal adjourned

01/15 Masha's sentence deferment denied
02/01 PR civil claim granted right to appeal
02/07 Pussy Riot files complaint with ECHR
03/06 Ombudsman asks court to overturn verdict
03/08 Protesters detained in Moscow
04/13 PR gets reprimand: parole problematic
04/21 PR defense seeks abolition of conviction
07/26 Parole denied, PR remains defiant

The Knife supporting PR at Pukkelpop

08/17 Against verdict on PR – Day of Solidarity
08/23 PR seeks mitigation of remaining sentence
GLUCK ON SOCIALISM AND CHINA Asia (c) Robert Churchill
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Professor Sidney Gluck (c) Sandi BachomI am honored to have obtained Professor Sidney Gluck's (right) permission to allow me to repost here some of his work and interview related to China and socialism. Professor Gluck is professor emertius at the New School University in New York. A classical Marxist, Gluck has been studying China for 60 years in history and modern development. He has lectured all over the U.S. and still welcomes engagement at the age of 94 – photo © Sandi Bachom


Usman Khurshid on Mike McCune's HD Monitor with Paths logo with Maartje van Caspel's Public Space
I am proud to announce that the website is now carrying the technology updates from Usman Khurshid's Usman is a network consultant and works in a mixed environment of Windows and Linux platforms. He likes to study about the latest advancements in computer technology and shares his views on his blog.

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COMING 2014 – COMPUTING CORPUS Active Network Hub (c) Phil Sigin-Lavdanski
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Oh, please do not get me wrong. This new section is not about computers, electronics or any engineering stuff, but rather I am currently constructing a new corpus based on Spectrum, the monthly publication from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers USA, from July 2007 to date. Having been a member for over 20 years since 1992, I am always fascinated by some of the terms scientists use when they talk about or envision their new inventions or methodologies. How many of them eventually come into practice? Could there be some insights we could possibly derive, from the linguistics perspective?


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