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Breaking Through Bureaucracy: A New Vision for Managing in Government Hardcover – October 9, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 237 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (October 9, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520078004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520078000
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,990,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Barzelay teaches at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and his study of Minnesota state government reform was funded by the Program on Innovations in State and Local Government. Barzelay's text offers a practical examination of government management, while his extensive notes provide a theoretical critique of political leadership and bureaucratic administration. While similar to David Osborne and Ted Gaebler's Reinventing Government (Addison-Wesley, 1992) in arguing for more attention to outcomes (rather than inputs), empowered employees, and a customer orientation, Barzelay is less antigovernment and more pragmatic in his approach. His "post-bureaucratic paradigm" recognizes the importance of government and the problems of market-based operations. In addition, Barzelay's theoretical and less generalized arguments will make his work the more lasting critique of modern bureaucratic government. For academic and special collections.
- William Waugh Jr., Georgia State Univ., Atlanta
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

"Simple, clear, and persuasive, Breaking Through Bureaucracy contains a lot of good advice on how to make government agencies work better."—Aaron Wildavsky, University of California, Berkeley

"An invaluable overview of the way government can change. This book doesn't simply identify problems, it also provides solutions. Right on!"—Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., Governor of Connecticut"Breaking Through Bureaucracy provides a diagnosis of what inhibits effective governance and offers a highly workable remedy for those ills."—Stephen Goldsmith, Mayor of Indianapolis

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At its broadest level, the argument of Breaking Through Bureaucracy is that nothing less than new ways of thinking and acting are required today in public service. The text makes the implicit case that administrators too often have become slave to a set of obsolescent ideas. This text could never have been developed without the interweaving of Babak Armajani's practical experience and Michael Barzelay's theoretical acumen. The argument proceeds on two levels of analysis interwoven throughout the text: 1) the level of ideas through which those with management responsibility typically construct administrative arguments and 2) that of daily administrative operations, most especially with respect to recurring relations between overseers, staff, and line operators.

The interweaving of practical and theoretical insights provides invaluable clues for the attentive reader. Part I demonstrates how during the reform era, the bureaucratic paradigm addressed effectively leading problems of its day. At the same time, it argues and illustrates with clarity that yesterday's bureaucratic solutions have become the source of unintended administrative ills and organizational dysfunctions that unnecessarily continue to plague bureaucratic functioning (in government and in business one might add) today. While this case study focuses entirely on governmental operations, its lessons for business are no less profound. Indeed, a colleague of mine restructured his business division after reading this text. It provides practical insight into principles of quality management that correspond with Deming's notion of profound knowledge, not readily available elsewhere.

Part I introduces the two main levels of analysis on which the book unfolds.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jamal Nazir on October 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is for those of you who are sick of redundant and mundane bureaucratic routine work, and wan to learn about the ways to change such system. This books points out inefficiencies of bureaucracy and promotes the idea of simple and quick approach to technology, which the way we do things. It also gives some good examples from a few corporations that are being affected by their implementation of rational organizational structure i.e. bureaucratic structure. It's an advocate of creative behavior at jobs regardless of the nature.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though it took longert that expected to arrive, which was a problem considering that I'm using it to write my thesis and deadlines matter a lot to me, it is an assencial book to those that, like me, study public management.
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