Bureaucratic politics and adaptation in implementing the President’s agenda

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


In 2001, the Bush administration launched competitive sourcing, the most difficult and controversial component of the President's Management Agenda. This paper attempts to examine the bureaucratic politics in the implementation of competitive sourcing by focusing on the power, vulnerabilities, and adaptive strategies of federal agencies. An analysis of agency power yields significant correlation with the level of compliance of selected agencies in competitive sourcing. However, a qualitative exploration shows the range of strategies that federal agencies undertake when implementing a threatening presidential agenda in order to minimize organizational turbulence and protect their missions and capacities.


Administrative agencies; Compliance; Contracting out; Federal government; Public contracts; United States


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


Paper presented at the 2008 Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, January 9-12, 2008, Hotel Intercontinental, New Orleans, LA


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