SAGE Journal Articles and Readings

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SAGE Journal Articles


Article 1: Smith, A. E. and Monaghan, Karen R. (September 2011). Some Ceilings Have More Cracks: Representative Bureaucracy in Federal Regulatory Agencies. The American Review of Public Administration43(1). 50-71.

This article discusses representative bureaucracy and its importance and influence on the nature, scope, and implementation of public policies. The authors use data that examines the distribution of women in leadership in federal regulatory organizations. The authors find that women remain underrepresented in the these organizations.

Questions to Consider:
  1. Do the characteristics of bureaucrats resemble the people they serve?
  2. What is representative bureaucracy theory? Identify the two types of representation. When do these occur?
  3. What did the authors find in terms of female leadership in federal regulatory agencies? Where is the female leadership mostly centered?

Learning objective: Outline the organization and roles of the federal bureaucracy; Explain how the characteristics and features of bureaucracy influence decision-making


Article 2: Marion, D. E. (November 1986). The Federal Bureaucracy and Separation of Powers: A View from the Founding. Administration & Society 18(3). 291-314.

This article discusses the federal bureaucracy from the perspective of the founders, Madison and Hamilton, and the Federalist Papers. The author affirms that it is important to look at the instruction of both Hamilton and Madison and that effective government demands an administration that is trusted by the people.

Questions to Consider:
  1. Do you agree with Ostrom’s critique the class model of hierarchically arranged professional organizations? Why or Why not?
  2. What is the spoils system?

Learning objective: Describe the relationship between the federal agencies and the three branches of the federal government; Explain how the characteristic’s and features of bureaucracy influence decision-making


Article 3: Clark, R. C., Ochs, H. L., and Frazier, M. (March 2013). Representative Bureaucracy: The Politics of Access to Policy-Making Positions in the Federal Executive Service. Public Personnel Management 42(1). 75-89.

This article discusses whether the bureaucracy represents the interests of the public or whether it reacts to the partisan and ideological demands of political leaders. The authors use date from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Central Personnel Data File to show that both partisanship and ideology influence the demographic composition of the senior executives.

Questions to Consider:
  1. What did the author’s analysis show in terms of ideological views?
  2. What methodology was used by the authors?
  3. What implications do the authors findings have on women and people of color?  

Learning objective: Explain how the characteristic’s and features of bureaucracy influence decision-making; Describe power struggles between political appointees and professional bureaucrats


CQ Researcher

Learning objective: Analyze the tension between transparency and efficiency in the federal bureaucracy