How management matters : street-level bureaucrats and welfare reform


How management matters : street-level bureaucrats and welfare reform

Norma M. Riccucci

(Public management and change)

Georgetown University Press, c2005

  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 173-183) and index



Both "bureaucracy" and "bureaucrats" have taken on a pejorative hue over the years, but does the problem lie with those on the "street-level" - those organizations and people the public deals with directly - or is it in how they are managed? Norma Riccucci knows that management matters, and she addresses a critical gap in the understanding of public policy by uniquely focusing on the effects of public management on street-level bureaucrats. How Management Matters examines not only how but where public management matters in government organizations. Looking at the 1996 welfare reform law (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, or PRWORA), Riccucci examines the law's effectiveness in changing the work functions and behaviors of street-level welfare workers from the role of simply determining eligibility of clients to actually helping their clients find work. She investigates the significant role of these workers in the implementation of welfare reform, the role of public management in changing the system of welfare under the reform law, and management's impact on results - in this case ensuring the delivery of welfare benefits and services to eligible clients. Over a period of two years, Riccucci traveled specifically to eleven different cities and, from interviews and a large national survey, she gathered quantitative results from cities in such states as New York, Texas, Michigan, and Georgia, that were selected because of their range of policies, administrative structures, and political cultures. General welfare data for all fifty states is included in this rigorous analysis, demonstrating to all with an interest in any field of public administration or public policy that management does indeed matter.


Tables and FiguresAcknowledgmentsPreface Acknowledgements 1. How Can Management Not Matter? 2. Ending Welfare As We Knew It 3. The Important Role of Public Management in Welfare Reform 4. Public Management and Street-Level Bureaucrats 5. The Art and Science of Managing Street-Level Bureaucrats 6. What Are Welfare Workers Doing at the Front Lines? 7. How Public Management Matters Appendix A. The Survey Appendix B. Data and Data Collection Appendix C. Critical Events Leading to Passage of Welfare ReformAppendix D. Chronology of Major Welfare Policy and Legislation Enacted in the United StatesAppendixi E. Codes for Encounters NotesIndex

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