The Hierarchical Consequences of Reinvention

Andrew B. Whitford

University of Georgia - Department of Public Administration and Policy


Journal of Management History. 16(1):59-74.

Political reorganizations like that of the National Performance Review in the United States fundamentally alter hierarchical relations within public agencies. This study includes a set of formal exercises to examine two logical consequences of reinvention: the increased likelihood of coordination failures, and the reduction in political leaders' hierarchical status in the organization. These effects are discussed in the context of a substantial change in the public organization of health services: the alteration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' structure. This study shows that reinvention fundamentally alters the power and status of political appointees, the standing of top leadership, and the likelihood of conflict resolution within the organization.

Keywords: Hierarchy, Agency, Political Control, Conflict Resolution, Reorganization

JEL Classification: H11, H83

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Date posted: March 10, 2006 ; Last revised: January 20, 2015

Suggested Citation

Whitford, Andrew B., The Hierarchical Consequences of Reinvention (2010). Journal of Management History. 16(1):59-74.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=888753 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.888753

Contact Information

Andrew B. Whitford (Contact Author)
University of Georgia - Department of Public Administration and Policy ( email )
Athens, GA 30602
United States
706-542-2898 (Phone)
706-583-0610 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://andrewwhitford.com
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