Volume 18, Number 4, Winter 2015

                                                     REGULAR ARTICLES

Utilizing Flux and Chaos: A Case Study of Wicked Problems
in Environmental Management ……………………………..……………..........      379
U. Ghuman and W. Olmstead
 
Place Brand Identity: An Exploratory Analysis of Three Deep
South States ………………………………………………………………..……….......      405
S. M. Zavattaro

                                                  SYMPOSIUM

Symposium on Change and Evolving Organizational Narratives
and Realities: Part II ……………………………………………………………........      433
A. V. Roman
 
Legislation Induced Organizational Inefficiency: The Case of the
Federal Reserve And The Dodd-Frank …………………………….........…..      434
A. M. Johnson
 
The Drive for Change in Public Organizations: A Critical Analysis
of Management Fashions ................................................................      454
A. V. Roman

For a number of different reasons, some more rational than others, public sector management has often fallen for the allure of the “quick fix” promised by the latest managerial fashion. Although it is commonly accepted that complex problems rarely, if ever, have simple solutions – this has not hindered public organizations from eagerly experimenting with trendy, increasingly radical, managerial practices. More often than not, these experiences, when weighed on the background of the original promises and eventual outcomes, prove to be utter failures. In order to clarify the reasons behind this pattern of failure, this article deconstructs two of the most notable recent managerial fashions: Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Process Reengineering (BPR). It proposes that management fashions fail to lead to effective and productive organizational change primarily due to the fact that their logical construct, which relies on over-dramatization and oversimplification of organizational realities, is at odds with the operational complexities of public sector management. In particular, they fail to account for politics. To this extent, then, they are more likely to be destructive than productive when zealously adopted in public service.

Place branding and marketing are becoming key governance strategies that can increase governance legitimacy by meaningfully involving local stakeholder groups within the brand identity creation process. There remains a gap in knowledge regarding how place branding managers seek to involve stakeholders in the brand development, communication, and evaluation process. This research, based in three U.S. Deep South states and using Kavaratzis and Hatch’s (2013) brand identity framework, finds that practitioners are doing well when it comes to expressing local beliefs within the brand identity, but can improve when it comes to analyzing and incorporating that feedback meaningfully. Without this, critical local stakeholders can feel alienated from local governance practices, thus decreasing legitimacy in branding and marketing processes and policies alike.

In 2010 the Dodd-Frank Law was passed in response to the 2008 recession. However, questions arose regarding the federal agencies’ ability to regulate the economy in general and the utility of financial
regulations in particular. This work examines and discusses the challenges associated with the uncertainty of
the administrative environment in which agencies have been drafting regulations in response to Dodd-Frank. A lack of administrative clarity as a result of Congressional politics led to regulatory capture and operational paralysis on the part of federal agencies tasked with implementing the Act. In this type of environment
it becomes very difficult for regulatory agencies to be effective and competent when regulations have not all been drafted yet and legislation is continuously changing. This article critically examines the recent proposed changes to the Dodd-Frank Law. Specifically, it delineates the manner in which the legislative instability has impacted the Federal Reserve Bank’s capacity to effectively implement the necessary rules for
mitigating economic risks.

Public agency managers dealing with environmental issues often encounter “wicked problems”; poorly defined, with conflicting interpretations of data, and conflict among values and missions (Rittel & Webber, 1973). This case study that provides insight into a “wicked problem” resulting from a complex series of interactions between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation during the Kesterson incident (a biological disaster during the 1980s). Morgan’s (2006) metaphors are utilized to examine the circumstances of the incident and demonstrate the hierarchical structures and opposing cultures that exacerbated the issues. Dealing with a wicked problem requires embracing conflict to potentiate change. We assert that public organizations dealing with complex issues need to embrace chaos and flux and self-organize in the same manner as biological systems, thereby evolving into dynamic organizations well-equipped to deal with the complexities of their environments.

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