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Implementing Organizational Reform Strategies in State Governments

PAQ, Vol. 33 No. 3, (2009)

This paper examines the implementation of organizational reform strategies in state governments. It uses national survey data to examine the implementation of twelve reforms strategies that cover three areas: workforce reduction, work redesign, and system change. The paper further tests the relationship between reform strategies, individual characteristics, and management factors. The management factors are based on objective state grading data in five areas: financial management, capital management, human resources management, information technology, and managing for results. The empirical findings show that while public managers tend to be conservative and cautious in the implementation of reform strategies, they are also likely to adopt a complete package of related reform strategies in their implementation plans, rather than a single effort. The findings also support the relationship between organizational reforms, the length of a public manager‘s tenure in government service, and the state‘s performance on capital management and information technology issues. Implications of the findings are presented in order to enhance future public management reform studies.

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