Presidential policy initiatives and agency compliance: Organizational adaptation to A-76.

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Adding to a long line of bureaucratic reforms, the Bush administration launched an invigorated competitive sourcing policy known as A‐76. In the A‐76 process, government commercial activities were subjected to regular cost comparisons with other potential providers, especially from the private sector, and awarded to the most efficient provider. Many agencies had trouble complying with the policy without hurting organizational interests. This article examines the bureaucracy’s reaction to this important presidential initiative. The authors find that agency responses to this initiative fell along a continuum and that bureaucratic power was exercised in complex ways as agencies adapted to competition and greater hollowing out.


A‐76; Adaptation; Budget strategies; Bureaucratic power; Bureaucracy; Civil Service; Competitive sourcing; Contracting; Contracting out; Corporate culture; Leadership; Organizational sociology; Public contracts


Economic Policy | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Public Administration | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Policy

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