Chapter Overview

The chapter begins by discussing the negative stereotypes many Americans have concerning bureaucracy and bureaucrats. Although there are many reasons for these negative stereotypes, ultimately they might have much to do with what Barry Bozeman calls the "inherently controlling" nature of bureaucracy. However, the chapter suggests that although state and local bureaucracy does often involve control by seemingly "disinterested" administrators, state and local bureaucrats are also key actors in the ultimate achievement of sustainable communities. State and local government administration are evolving into increasingly sophisticated enterprises at a rapid pace. Community needs are changing and increasing in scope—and as a consequence administrators in state and local government need to find ways to meet these needs while keeping costs of operation as low as possible. The use of e-government, as mentioned in earlier chapters, has increased efficiency and effectiveness of government administration greatly. A cooperative relationship within and across organizations is making better use of human and fiscal resources. The demand for person-to-person service has forced innovation—and the strategic use of retirees and youthful volunteers has become a prominent element in modern governance as a consequence.

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