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7 THE BUREAUCRACY 7.1 JAMES 0 . WILSON From Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It Wilson writes convincingly that bL1reat1cracies can vary greatly in their effective-ness. He pokes holes i11 standard complaints about bureaucracies by indicating how some of tlw inefficiencies that people complain about are either unavoid-able or by design. BUREAUCRACY AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST The German army beat the French army in 1940; the Texas prisons for many years did a better job than did the Michigan prisons; Carver High School in Atlanta became a better school under Norris Hogans. These successes were the result of skilled executives who correctly identified the critical tasks of their organizations, distributed authority in a way appropriate to those tasks, infused their subordinates with a sense of mission, and acquired sufficient autonomy to permit them to gel on with the job. The critical tasks were differ-ent in each case, and so the organizations d,iffered in culture and patterns of authority, but all three were alike in one sense: incentives, culture, and author-ity were combined in a way that suited the task at hand. By now, ... the reader may find all this painfully obvious. If (these points] are obvious to the reader, then surely they are obvious to government officials. From James Q. Wilson, Buniaw.:racy: Wliat Gova11me111 Agenci~s Do awl W/1y They Du It (New York: Basic Books, 2006). 287
. a WILSON 211 JAMES · • But whatever Hp service may be give h the, arr. 1· . I Oto Jntellec1UDIJ) per np_s . rol i ng in the po a tac a World enc '" hdaih inrcnues ope Ollrag, lesson,; . t t: · . I ,-e-f)' diffcn--nt course of ac11on. Amm•s d . .1 ... ,, ·ve of field officers and noncoms is of . I d. -sh ·pan ,ni lu Cru; Though the tCO '' 1 . fill d wiih generals who want to control cal . h" p.-nrngon 1s I e . cornb tmportnnce, r t: t: f hel,·coprers. using radios to gather infor.,... ;i, f h d ters or rom ·•1a11 rorn ea quar ' . h h th" skill of the infontrvma n aim 00 rocess 1t. T oug c.: osr a~a and computers to P the us Armv traditionaHv has pur · \) ha~ been a ke,· to milirary success. · · . J Its~ . . 1. d un,·ts (intelligence, engmeerrng, communications) 1 .. ,x-ople in ,,xna 1.ic . , ... a\. I r-, h .. •n[onlry, Though it has fought wars smce 1945 e\ in,g 1h~ c lO\-'l'fS ,or t c • · · en. . E " the armv continues to devote most of its plannin \I.here e~cept in uropc. g to big-rank battles on the West German plains. Prisons The success of George Beto in the Texas DOC \.Vas there for everyone to~. but manv observers gave the most favorable attention to prison executives ~ho seemed ;0 voice rhe best intentions (rehabilitation, prisoner self-governance/ rather than the best accomplishments (safe, decent facilities).

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