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Transforming Government: Lessons from the Reinvention Laboratories

ISBN: 978-0-7879-0931-4
292 pages
October 1997, Jossey-Bass
Transforming Government: Lessons from the Reinvention Laboratories (0787909319) cover image


This insider's guide reveals the key lessons for managing reform being learned from the federal government's Reinventing Government program. Leaders will discover that success will be evident not in major, sweeping changes but in a series of small, but important signs.

The contributors present strategic issues for change, discussing why the current bureaucratic model of organizing is ill-suited to today's challenges and identifying what will replace it. They explore the tactics for change in public organizations, examining the repercussions of change for employees, identifying success factors for change, and examining the crucial role leadership plays in successful change.

Transforming Government presents a look into the future of public organizations and sage advice on how to implement change effectively to succeed in that future.
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Table of Contents

Part One: Strategic Change in Public Organizations.

1. Ferment on the Front Lines: Designing New Modes of Organizing(James R. Thompson).

2. Heroes of the Revolution: Characteristics and Strategies of Reinvention Leaders(Ronald P. Sanders).

3. The Best-Kept Secret in Government: How the NPR Translated Theory into Practice(John M. Kamensky).

4. Reinventing Public Agencies: Bottom-Up Versus Top-Down Strategies(James R. Thompson, Ronald P. Sanders).

Part Two: The Tactics of Change in Public Organizations.

5. Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change(David C. Frederickson, james L. Perry).

6. Ingredients for Success: Five Factors Necessary for Transforming Government(Hal G. Rainey).

7. Tailoring Change Strategies: Alternative Approaches to Reform(B. Guy Peters).

Part Three: Lessons for Continuing Transformation.

8. Where the Buck Stops;
Accountability in Reformed Public Organizations(Barbara S. Romeck).

9. Making Government Reform Stick: Lessons Learned(Donald J. Savoie).

Conclusion: Transforming Management, Managing Transformation(Patricia W. Ingraham).
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Author Information

PATRICIA W. INGRAHAM is professor of public administration and political science and director of the Alan K. Campbell Institute at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and the author of New Paradigms for Government. JAMES R. THOMPSON teaches public administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago. RONALD SANDERS is associate professor at George Washingotn University.
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"There has been enormous debate about "reinventing government"--but little careful study about what is actually happening. This extremely useful book tells the story-behind-the-story. It examines the critical steps required to make reinvention work, and the big problems that reinvention must solve. Anyone interested in improving government performance will need to read this book." (Donald F. Kettl, director, The Robert M. LaFollette Institute of Public Affairs)

"Bureaucracy-busters will benefit from this manual for bettering business practices in government. Its authors offer a practical guide that does not ignore the considerable obstacles facing reinvention advocates." (Timothy B. Clark, editor and publisher, Government Executive Magazine)
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