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Author

Matthew Dull

Other affiliations: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Bio: Matthew Dull is an academic researcher from Virginia Tech. The author has contributed to research in topics: Divided government & Congressional oversight. The author has an hindex of 8, co-authored 15 publications receiving 416 citations. Previous affiliations of Matthew Dull include University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
Matthew Dull1
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors apply the logic of credible commitment drawn from the study of institutional political economy, and model leadership commitment as a factor shaping organizational responses to reform, concluding that the impact of leadership commitment on perceived credibility results-based reform and reported use of performance measures.
Abstract: Few problems common in management reform are more prominent or more vaguely conceived than is leadership. Advocates and observers broadly agree that leadership is a critical factor where reform takes hold. Yet, in scholarship assessing the results-model management reforms proliferating in public organizations during the last decade and a half, leadership remains an elusive concept, rarely subject to empirical scrutiny. Applying the logic of credible commitment drawn from the study of institutional political economy, this article models leadership commitment as a factor shaping organizational responses to reform. Quantitative analysis of data drawn from two Government Accountability Office surveys of agency managers administered during the implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act provides evidence regarding the impact of leadership commitment on perceived credibility results-based reform and reported use of performance measures. The article concludes with a brief discussion of reputation-based credibility and the skepticism many government managers hold toward reform.

131 citations

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TL;DR: The Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) as discussed by the authors is a tool used by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of Defense (DoD) to evaluate the performance of federal programs.
Abstract: The George W. Bush administration’s Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) follows a sequence of president-initiated budget reforms. The pattern is puzzling in that past reforms have tended to drain staff resources, failed to take hold, and yielded little or no political advantage. Given the track record of past initiatives, why has the Bush administration chosen to invest Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency resources in PART? This article briefly traces PART’s development and, placing the initiative in the context of contemporary research on the institutional presidency, attempts to make sense of the sustained appeal that rationalizing reforms have held across administrations. An account of reform as problem solving is developed. Set against the changing architecture of budget and administrative politics, reform is prompted by the interplay of evolving management concepts and two persistent problem types: Reform holds at least the potential for enhanced budget control where any leverage is valued and responds to the dilemmas of managing policy competence in the modern institutional presidency. The article concludes with a plea on behalf of institutional theories built on realistic models of how actors interpret and respond to the conditions prevailing in administrative politics. The George W. Bush administration’s Program Assessment Rating Tool, or PART, is ambitious, carefully crafted, and if history is a guide, probably doomed. Since its initiation in 2002, PART’s worksheets have guided Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency staff through assessments of the design and performance of hundreds of federal programs, ‘‘PARTing’’ about 20 percent of programs each year. The president’s fiscal year (FY) 2006 budget, the first of Bush’s second term, demonstrated a commitment to use PART to target program reductions, as the administration endeavors to rein in a budget deficit that exceeded $400 billion in 2004. ‘‘My budget,’’ President Bush announced in his 2005 State of the Union address, ‘‘substantially reduces or eliminates more than 150 government programs that are not getting results, or duplicate current efforts, or do not fulfill essential priorities. The principle here is clear: Taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all’’ (Bush 2005). Evidence regarding PART’s leverage as a tool for The author is grateful to Peri Arnold, Donald Kettl, Patrick Roberts, Rachel Girshick, and Clinton Brass for valuable guidance and feedback; and to Sarah Binder and members of the Governance Studies program of the Brookings Institution for their hospitality and encouragement while this project (slowly) took its current form. Address correspondence to the author at mdull@polisci.wisc.edu doi:10.1093/jopart/muj004 Advance Access publication on January 12, 2006 a The Author 2006. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org. JPART 16:187–215

101 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper analyzed original data tracking congressional committee investigations into alleged fraud, waste, and abuse by the executive branch between 1947 and 2004 and showed that divided government generates more and more intensive congressional investigations, but this relationship is contingent on partisan and temporal factors.
Abstract: Are congressional committee investigations into alleged executive-branch wrongdoing more common during periods of divided government? We analyze original data tracking congressional committee investigations into alleged fraud, waste, and abuse by the executive branch between 1947 and 2004. Countering David Mayhew's (1991) empirical finding, we show that divided government generates more and more-intensive congressional investigations, but this relationship is contingent on partisan and temporal factors. Our findings shed new light on the shifting dynamic between partisan institutional politics and congressional oversight.

45 citations

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TL;DR: For example, the authors analyzed 2,200 appointments across three presidencies, describing patterns of tenure and vacancies that form the contours of the administrative presidency and concluded that efforts to fix the appointee system are as inevitable as the system is, in some basic respects, unfixable.
Abstract: The presidential power to appoint senior government officials has evolved from a few phrases in the second paragraph of the second section of Article II of the U.S. Constitution into an unwieldy and opaque system of rules and expectations. "The appointment power operates in a framework of studied ambiguity," Louis Fisher observes, developing through generations of "imaginative accommodations between the executive and legislative branches" (1985, 59). Demands for broad-based reform occasionally take hold, most recently through the Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, which sought to reassert the Senate's advise and consent power by placing strict (though sometimes neglected) limitations on the service of "acting" appointee (GAO 2003; Stayn 2001). Yet, as in the case of the controversy over the appointment of interim U.S. attorneys in the Department of Justice, the system's "studied ambiguity" remains unyielding. (1) Its complexity is rooted in tensions inherent in presidential administration: the drive for political control and policy competence; the dynamics of issue networks and policy domains; and the priorities and ambitions of politicians, interest groups, and administrators. Recognizing that efforts to fix the appointee system are as inevitable as the system is, in some basic respects, unfixable, this article aims simply to provide a measure of clarity. We describe one prominent feature of agency appointee politics--continuity--based on appointee turnover, tenure, and position vacancies. (2) We develop a series of snapshots in time, illuminating the succession of the top-tier of appointees--presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed (PAS)--during the administrations of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, between January 20, 1989 and January 20, 2009. Using a new data set drawn from the Office of Personnel Management, Government Accountability Office, and a variety of published sources, we analyze roughly 2,200 appointments across three presidencies, describing patterns of tenure and vacancies that form the contours of the administrative presidency. (3) We consider research linking appointee continuity and agency performance and conclude by reflecting on the nature of this relationship for research on and the practice of presidential administration. More than three decades ago, Hugh Heclo's A Government of Strangers (1977) depicted America's transient governing elite--the presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed administrators populating the upper echelons of federal government agencies--as the role of appointees shifted with the expanding reach of institutional presidency. Heclo observed that transience among appointees forms a stark, sometimes uneasy contrast with the continuity of senior-level career civil servants, often at the culmination of successful government careers. He saw relations between appointees and careerists shifting under the weight of thickening bureaucracies and the politicization of government administration, central themes in contemporary presidency and public administration scholarship (Goodsell 2006; Light 1995; Peters and Pierre 2004). Richard Nathan's (1983) administrative presidency and Terry Moe's (1985, 1990, 1993) politicized presidency have inspired a generation of scholars who have embraced political control of the bureaucracy as a means to fulfill Hamiltonian visions of an energetic executive. (4) Critics of politicization, by contrast, stress the value of administrative competence, contending that politicized agencies put the state's capacity for expertise and, ultimately, performance at risk (Lane 1996; Williams 1990). Most contemporary thinking about politicization posits a trade-off between political control and administrative competence (Bawn 1995; Bertelli and Feldman 2007; Epstein and O'Halloran 1999; Miller 2005). This control-competence trade-off is analytically useful, framing a critical tension in bureaucratic structure (Waldo 1948; Weber 1958). …

42 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Matthew Dull1
TL;DR: The 8 Cs of organizational culture: complicated, control, competence, commitments, credibility, conflict, context, and change as mentioned in this paper. But, the last 10 years have seen diminished scholarly attention to this subject, while efforts to shape culture remain central to the leadership of public organizations.
Abstract: Few topics in the study of contemporary public organizations better illustrate the burdens—and potential benefits—of sustaining dialogue between practitioners and scholars than the interplay between leadership, organizational culture, and public sector performance. Following two decades of intensive research and advocacy, the last 10 years have seen diminished scholarly attention to this subject, while efforts to shape culture remain central to the leadership of public organizations. This essay reflects on the 8 Cs of organizational culture: complicated, control, competence, commitments, credibility, conflict, context, and change.

39 citations


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01 Jan 2008
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that rational actors make their organizations increasingly similar as they try to change them, and describe three isomorphic processes-coercive, mimetic, and normative.
Abstract: What makes organizations so similar? We contend that the engine of rationalization and bureaucratization has moved from the competitive marketplace to the state and the professions. Once a set of organizations emerges as a field, a paradox arises: rational actors make their organizations increasingly similar as they try to change them. We describe three isomorphic processes-coercive, mimetic, and normative—leading to this outcome. We then specify hypotheses about the impact of resource centralization and dependency, goal ambiguity and technical uncertainty, and professionalization and structuration on isomorphic change. Finally, we suggest implications for theories of organizations and social change.

2,134 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper examined the antecedents of selfreported performance information use from a survey of local government managers and found that public service motivation, leadership role, information availability, organizational culture, and administrative flexibility all affect performance information usage.
Abstract: This article proposes that understanding public employee use of performance information is perhaps the most pressing challenge for scholarship on performance management. Governments have devoted extraordinary effort in creating performance data, wagering that it will be used to improve governance, but there is much we do not know about the factors associated with the use of that information. This article examines the antecedents of selfreported performance information use from a survey of local government managers. The results show that public service motivation, leadership role, information availability, organizational culture, and administrative flexibility all affect performance information use.

550 citations

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TL;DR: The Administrative State as mentioned in this paper is a study of the public administration movement from the viewpoint of political theory and the history of ideas, focusing on the first half of the 20th century.
Abstract: This classic text, originally published in 1948, is a study of the public administration movement from the viewpoint of political theory and the history of ideas. It seeks to review and analyze the theoretical element in administrative writings and to present the development of the public administration movement as a chapter in the history of American political thought. The objectives of \"The Administrative State\" are to assist students of administration to view their subject in historical perspective and to appraise the theoretical content of their literature. It is also hoped that this book may assist students of American culture by illuminating an important development of the first half of the twentieth century. It thus should serve political scientists whose interests lie in the field of public administration or in the study of bureaucracy as a political issue; the public administrator interested in the philosophic background of his service; and the historian who seeks an understanding of major governmental developments. This study, now with a new introduction by public policy and administration scholar Hugh Miller, is based upon the various books, articles, pamphlets, reports, and records that make up the literature of public administration, and documents the political response to the modern world that Graham Wallas named the Great Society. It will be of lasting interest to students of political science, government, and American history. Dwight Waldo (1913-2000) taught at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Syracuse. He was the author or editor of several books, including \"Ideas and Issues in Public Administration\" and \"The Study of Public Administration\", and for eleven years served as editor-in chief of Public Administration Review.

384 citations