Bureaucracy, Rulemaking and Agency Heads Assignment Instructions

Bureaucracy is a term often used in government, but not well understood. In fact, most people probably could not define bureaucracy if asked, but might associate it with red tape, inefficiency, and slow-moving outdated processes. In the readings this week, you take a broad look at bureaucracy as an organizational phenomenon defined by strict rules, hierarchies, and subordination, among other things. In doing so, you consider bureaucracy as a framework from which the United States government was created and continues to exist. Then, with this in mind, you examine the impact of bureaucracy on the rulemaking process and the degree to which agency heads have discretionary powers in the creation and execution of law and policy.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  1. Review the article, “Bureaucracy: Is It Efficient? Is It Not? Is That the Question?: Uncertainty Reduction: An Ignored Element of Bureaucratic Rationality.” Pay particular attention to the explanation of bureaucracy as an organizational phenomenon.
  2. Review the stages of rulemaking in Chapter 2 of the course text, Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy.
  3. Review Chapter 7 of the course text, Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write and Law and Make Policy. Think about tools agency heads might use to influence rulemaking.
  4. Review the article, “Bureaucratic Capacity and Bureaucratic Discretion: Does Congress Tie Policy Authority to Performance?” Consider how bureaucracy affects rulemaking and policies.
  5. Reflect on the explanation of bureaucracy as an organizational phenomenon. With this in mind, consider how bureaucracy impacts stages of the rulemaking process and the roles of agency heads.

With these thoughts in mind:

Write a 2 pager with a description of bureaucracy. Then explain two ways in which bureaucracy impacts the rulemaking process and the roles of agency heads. Be specific and use examples to illustrate your explanation.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.
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