Public Management in Lean Years: Operating in a Cutback Management Environment

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Cutback management is a way of life for most public and private sector organizations today, and the factors leading to its presence are expected to be felt well into the 1990's and beyond. At the same time, organizations are being faced with a changed internal culture where employees want and need to be involved in decisions that affect them. The author, who has been at the forefront of assisting organizations in effectively managing both external and internal change, explores the trends impacting state and local governments in the next decade and beyond, describes the cutback management environment that policy and decision makers face, and lays out effective approaches to deal with this environment from the bottom of the organization upward. In this manner, organizations that identify techniques to improve revenues and reduce costs can find lasting solutions that are accepted at all organizational levels. After reviewing the 15 major trends expected to impact state and local governments during the 1990's and beyond, the author describes the cutback management environment being faced by most state and local governments. He then describes in detail how to set a direction to address the cutback management environment through the application of strategic planning and goes on to describe how to organize around critical success factors in order to focus resources on achievement of the organizational mission in light of external and internal environmental factors. He explores various techniques for improving employee productivity, ranging from the use of new technology to better management systems to various types of employee involvement. He then discusses the importance of values in the achievement of a shared organizational vision and describes various employee involvement processes that can be used to secure buy-in by employees at all levels where organizational changes are underway. Among other issues explored in depth are the use of matrix management to improve productivity in a project-oriented environment and contingency planning to deal with unforeseen events. The book culminates with a description of how to use strategic management as a day-to-day tool for effective bottom-up cutback management, and provides real-life case situations of how state and local governments are effectively dealing with the cutback and involvement processes. This book is aimed at state and local government policy and decision makers.