Author Archive

Administration & Society Vol 34 Num 4

Productivity and the Moral Manager

Thomas D. Lynch

Louisiana State University

Cynthia E. Lynch

Southern University

Peter L. Cruise
California Sate University, Chico

In this article, the authors argue that there is a positive relationship between productivity and morality in public-sector organizations. If there are ethical problems such as corruption in such organizations, the administrative answer typically is added rules, more complex procedures, and greater sanctions. In other words, we increase organizational red tape to confront our ethical problems rather than address the real problem directly. Using a systems modeling approach informed by Kohlberg’s moral development theory and Friedrich’s view of “inner controls,” we suggest (a) a more direct method to assess the level of ethical development in organizations and (b) a technique by which to improve public-sector organization productivity that places greater emphasis on individual morality rather that on more administrative controls.

In this article, we argue that there is a relationship between productivity and morality in an organization. If there are ethical problems such as corruption in an organization, the administrative answer typically is adding more rules and making more complex procedures. In other words, we increase the red tape to confront our ethical problems rather than address the real problem directly. In the article, we suggest how we can address that problem directly by building on the literature of individual moral development so that we upgrade our organizations directly rather than lower efficiency by adding red tape.

As advances in technologies accelerate the increase of organizational and institutional relationships, the need for a strong foundation in moral principles also accelerates. An organization can purposefully develop cultural values to control the way its members behave (George & Jones, 1996).

The Bureaucrat Vol 5 Num 1

Public Policy Forum

Thomas D. Lynch


The Federal Government, and increasingly state and local governments, are becoming more concerned about program evaluation. At least $130 million is spent each year to evaluate federal programs. Increasingly, Congress in mandating program evaluation. More and more people would agree with the U.S. Comptroller General, who in testimony on the Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 noted the need for and significance of program evaluation as an integral part of government activities.

We are seeing program evaluation becoming more apparent in federal agencies, the Office of Management and Budget (OBM), Congress agencies, especially the General Accounting Office, and legislative review commissions. We are seeing some excellent literature being developed on evaluation-particularly by the Urban Institute. And we are increasingly seeing more academic attention devoted to policy analysis with program evaluation considered within the larger topic. In other words, program evaluation is an important and current emphasis in public administration.


Public executives are concerned with a central managerial question: Is my organization making satisfactory progress toward accomplishing the objectives established for it? The question is easily stated, but nor so easily answered. For example, what is “satisfactory” or what are the “objectives”? Legislatures normally uses vague, nonoperational language in their enabling legislation. Regardless of the practical difficulties to the administrator, critical commentators frequently offer their opinions on how a public administrator is failing to meet his or her responsibilities.

This paper explores one method that could be used by a public executive in addressing this central question. This method involves the establishment of a progress reporting system within the agency-an often tried and often poorly executed managerial technique. this paper is not addressed to judging whether the agency is properly impacting society’s problems, but rather to the less complex questions of whether the agency is accomplishing the tasks it has set out for itself. A good progress reporting system should logically relate to program evaluation, cost accounting, the budget process, performance measures, and personnel performance reports, but these measures are not addressed here in order to reasonably limit the scope of this paper. Instead, this paper examines reporting format, the techniques used to isolate and overcome organizational resistance to establishing progress reporting, some advice on properly institutionalizing the reporting system, and some cautions on the types of people who should manage such a system.

There is a relatively large body of literature on Management by Objectives (MBO) which is relevant to progress reporting. This article complements the MBO literature. The topics of what are “good” objectives, supervisor-employee goal setting, and how to decide on objectives are not focused upon here. The reader is, however, encouraged to consider this article in the larger context is understood, many of the subsequent topics discussed will have added meaning. The reader will become more aware of the organizational pitfalls which prevent the existence of effective progress reporting systems.

Performance & Quality Measurement in Goverment Issues & Experiences

Entrepreneurial Operations and Service Quality in The Public Sector

Thomas D. Lynch and Daryl S. de Armond


The industrialized world is hurling into the Information Age at an irresistible, mind-boggling pace. Almost daily there are news stories extolling the virtues of some new technology that will allow more information to be processed more quickly at less cost. This rapid pace of progress is particularly noteworthy, when compared to the rate of change experienced in the Industrial Age that now seems painstakingly slow. While innovation in the Industrial Age was capital intensive, many of the improvements of today are in software written by individuals or small groups working in relatively small companies. Comparatively, there is little in the way of resources being used, other that human thought. The Internet has disseminated these new ideas and innovations instantaneously over the world. Collaboration and cooperation are possible with almost no effort. Informal groups of individuals can develop ideas and produce the final product without ever meeting face to face.

The purpose of this chapter is to show how web organizations can be used by public administrators to take advantage of the innovations of the information age while striving to retain the needed accountability in the process. The public bureaucracy is said to be slow and is allegedly resistant to the idea of change. However, the same can be true of private bureaucracy. Look at the major American automakers and the difficulty they had reacting to Japanese competition. Even IBM, a leader in the development of information technology, was slow in reacting to the Information Age revolution. The challenge for the public sector is to participate in this information revolution in a time when the public appears to be demanding more services and rejecting new taxes.

Administratio Publica Vol 9 No. 1

Entrenching Ethical and Moral Behavior in the South African Public Service

V G Hilliard

Thomas D Lynch


South Africa, since 1994, has once more entered the global community . This means that South Africa may neither be able to call the past to excuse present unethical behavior, nor can it rest on its post-apartheid laurels. A global perspective demands a totally different approach to morality and ethics in the new South Africa. the article advocates a global virtue ethics approach to ensuring that all South African public servants embrace virtuous ethical behavior and morality that would be expected and required from an international public servant.

This article discard the notion that regime values can serve as a basis for ethical behavior. South Africa found that regime values under the apartheid government did much harm to the country. Under the post-apartheid dispensation regime values are once again being called into question. Isolation in not the ideal option and therefore South Africa would have to adopt a global approach to ethics and morality. This, in effect, implies that South Africa must view its ethics and morality in terms of how the international community perceives and practices it.


In 1994, after years of academic and socioeconomic isolation, South Africa returned to, and was welcomed into, the international community. Because South Africa became a global player in the post-apartheid era, global rules once more became salient; these rules encompass the field of ethics and morality. But the ethical norms affecting South African public functionaries can no longer only remain regime values (the values of a specific regime) partially because of the international norms and standards that have evolved in the twentieth century, and partially because these norms and standards have now become valid for all global players in an era of increasing globalization.

Government and society can also not promote and enforce ethical behaviour solely through the utilization of ethical codes of conduct or through the promulgation of a plethora of legislation. Actually, what is needed is a new mind-set, including a paradigm shift, of all public service personnel that appreciates and values above all else the public interest, interconnectedness and oneness. In other words, South Africa needs an organizational culture that nor only supports ethical behavior, but sees that it also defines and underpins right and wrong conduct at both an individual and at an organizational or institutional level. This concept of inter-relatedness largely corresponds with the African concept of “Ubuntu” or brotherliness and good neighborliness. What effects one’s brother, directly or indirectly, also affects oneself.

Furthermore, society needs to inculcate moral virtue in all public functionaries through the enforcement of good moral habits. Good habits could, in the long term, ensure that a person reacts “automatically” and intuitively to being virtuous and upholding high ethical standards that are closely akin to a set of globally recognized ethics, instead of submitting to parochial regime values. Society needs to reject the latter values taking due cognizance of the sordid sociopolitical past of apartheid from which the new South Africa emerged.

Managing and Financing Urban Public Transport System

Disaster Transit: The New Orleans Experience

Thomas D. Lynch

Cynthia E. Lynch

Peter L.Cruise


Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster, but it was human error that prevented better management of that disaster. Good management of public transportation in New Orleans was important both before and after the hurricane: public transit should have provided an efficient mans of evacuation before the storm struck, and effective mass transportation is now needed to move workers into and around the city, as a means of reviving the economy and supporting urban redevelopment. the story of New Orleans provides some hard lessons on planning and budgeting issues for transit int he context of a large natural disaster.

This chapter address transit in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina. The first section provides essential background information to help readers understand this case study. The second section explains the role that transit played during and after the hurricane. The third section describes the role of transit in New Orleans. The fourth section explains how state and local leaders reacted to the disaster in terms of New Orleans transit. The fifth section explains the new role of planning in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The sixth section explains the new role assigned to the transit system in New Orleans. The seventh section contrast the Kobe, Japan reaction to its earthquake disaster with that of New Orleans hurricane disaster. The last section provides our assessment of the future of transit in New Orleans, along with recommendation.

This is not a pretty story. In fact, it is a story of failure. As you approach this case, consider this questions. Why was it a failure?, What role did political leadership play in that failure?, What role can urban transit play in a disaster such as Katrina?, What went wrong and why?. We believe there are some valuable lessons to learn from this experience. It is important to look at the institutional, political, and financing failures in Louisiana and consider whether those failures are likely to occur, possibly in a somewhat different manner, in other parts of the world.

Social Accounting and Public Management

Social Accounting and Public Management

Accountability for the Common Good

Budget and Social Capital System Theory
Empirical Research Tools

Cynthia E. Lynch and Thomas D. Lynch

This Chapter explains how to do empirical research using concepts of budget systems and social capital. We believe researchers can be used both concepts as theoretical research tools to greatly enhance understanding of social auditing, social accounting, and accountability. In this chapter, we explain a previously developed budget system model and demonstrate how it can be used as a model to calculate social capital.
Both models enable those who do empirical research to greatly strengthen their understanding of how to achieve greater accountability and trust in government and non-profit organizations. Our recommended systems model permits the measurement of both organizational accomplishments and social capital. This chapter articulates a practical research agenda that explains how researchers and policymakers can use these models to create, enhance, and sustain co-operation as well as judge effectiveness and efficiency in our governments and non-profit organizations.
the chapter is divided into six sections with this introduction being the first section. The second section presents a short review of the familiar modernist concept in theory. The third section summarizes the budget system theory model and explains its relevance to social auditing, social accounting, and accountability. The fourth section introduces “Social capital” as a concept. The fifth section presents the social capital systems theory model. the final section offers some concluding thoughts.

The American Review of Public Administration Vol 30 Number 1


The Economics Of Public Administration

The Budget-Maximizing Bureaucrat: Appraisals and Evidence. By Andre Blais and Stephanie Dion (Eds.). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1991. 366pp., Hardcover.

Handbook on Public Finance. By Fred Thompson and Mark T. Green (Eds.). New York: Marcel Dekker, 1998. 665pp., Hardcover.

Fiscal Administration: Analysis and Application for the Public Sector (5th ed.). By John Mikesell. Orlando, Fl: Harcourt Brace, 1999, 647 pp., Hardcover.

In reviewing these books, I noticed the remarkable influence of economics on public administration during the past two decades, which is particularly evident in the subfield of public budgeting. In fact, in discussing public budgeting, today I normally hear the term Public Finance, indicating economics used in connection with public budgeting, rather than the term Public Financial Management, indicating public management. Increasingly, professors who teach public budgeting have degrees in economics commonly combined with a public policy or public administration. In the not-too-distant past, this was not the case. Professors who taught public budgeting had a political science academic background with little or no knowledge of economics. Today, economics is a mandatory background for anyone teaching this subject.

Of the three books reviewed, the Andre Blais and Stephanie Dion book demonstrate how economics influences public administration theory. The Budget Maximizing Bureaucrat: Appraisals and Evidence is a must-read book because it clearly discusses the organization theory of William A. Niskanen (1971), who wrote Bureaucracy and Representative Government. In lauding Niskanen (1971), some say his book is “the most significant work yet produced by an
0economist on the role of bureaucracy” and that the book should “attain the status of a classic in the study of bureaucracy” (Mitchell, 1974, p. 1775). Indeed, Niskanen’s (1971) book is the most cited study on this subject (Bendor, 1988).

The impact of the Niskanen book us remarkable, especially in politically conservative circles. He intellectualized bashing the bureaucrat, which became the proper intellectual conservative elite thing to do, In turn, the media, politicians, and others scapegoated government workers for society’s problems with the radical fringe groups, in particular, chanting their hatred of bureaucrats.

What is important about the Blais and Dion book is that they used empirical information to test the Niskanen (1971) model that he based on public choice theory. Using empirical research done independently by several researchers on this subject, Blais and Dion found Niskanen’s (1971) theoretical model and his assumptions problematic. Niskanen (1971) makes two crucial assumptions in his theory. The first assumption is that bureaucrats attempt to maximize their budgets. A bureau is a nonprofit organization financed by an appropriation or grant from a sponsor, meaning a legislature in the case of government. In Niskanen’s (1971) theory, a bureaucrat is a senior career official in a bureau. Niskanen (1971) argues bureaucrats maximize bureau budgets because it benefits them due ti higher salaries, perquisites, reputations, power, patronage, output, ease of making changes, and ease if managing their bureau. Ninkanen argues a type of social contract exist between the top-level bureaucrat and the bureau employees. The employees support the bureaucrat, and the bureaucrat seeks higher bureau budgets, which increases the employees’ opportunities for promotion and enhanced job security.

The second assumption is that bureaucrats largely succeed is maximizing their budgets. Why are bureaucrats so successful? Niskanen argues that “the relative incentives and available information, under most conditions, give the bureau the overwhelming dominant monopoly power” (p.30). Politicians focus on reelection, and they do not view saving from bureau operations as personal income savings but as a political plus or minus depending on circumstances. Thus, unless a saving of taxpayer money becomes a popular issue for their reelection, politicians are largely indifferent to savings. Even if politicians find savings and increasing productivity useful politicians issues, often a lack of performance information from the bureaucrats that they or the public can understand handicaps them in making such arguments in political discourse.

Migue and Belanger (2974) amended the Niskanen (1971) model by asserting that bureaucrats concern themselves foremost with managerial discretion and that it is the discretionary budget that they seek to maximize. Niskanen (1975) conceded that Mingue and Belanger (1971) might also be correct. In the revised version of the Niskanen (1971) model, the bureaucrats still direct their efforts toward getting a larger bureau budget (Mingue & Belanger, 1974, p.46).

Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management Vol 9 Number 1

Symposium on Public Budgeting: An Introduction to the Future

Thomas D. Lynch


Modern Public Budgeting is about one hundred years old but now it is in the process of being fundamentally reinvented as we begin our next century. This is a symposium about the future of budgeting. It features the following themes:

  • Budget formats and procedures are important as they do influence policy outcomes;
  • Academic research, such as done by Aaron Wildavsky, does make a difference in terms of what budget formats and procedures are selected;
  • The future of budgeting is at a crossroad;
  • Part of the disillusionment with current public budgeting directly relates to the disillusionment with contemporary American politics;
  • A major element for future budgeting appears to be extensive use of performance measures especially those focusing on program accomplishments;
  • Another element for future budgeting is the incorporation of other reforms including reinventing, re-engineering, TQM, franchising, competition, and privatization;
  • A new emphasis in public budgeting is focusing on linking user fees and charges for services to agency budgets;
  • Although budgeting is a universal activity of governments around the world, the rate of evolution and appropriate reform by regions and cultures; and
  • Increasing those on the cutting edge of budget reform will be adopting Entrepreneurial Budgeting.
  • This symposium consist of nine articles that address each of the themes. Although each article stands alone, they should be viewed as an interrelated set that together explores the larger subject of this symposium.

    The Road to Entrepreneurial Budgeting

    Thomas D. and Cynthia E. Lynch


    The twenty-first century appears to be starting with a new budget reform called Entrepreneurial Budgeting. This article not only explains what it is but also first places it into a futurist context and secondly contrast it to other budget reforms using a topology popularize by Allen Schick. This article argues that it is more that a passing fad but rather a continuation of an evolutionary stream of reforms that shape how professionals normatively think about the budget process.


    The twenty-first century is upon us. For several decades, futurists like Drucker (1989a, 1989b), Naisbitt (1994), and Reich (1992) have told us that information technology is transforming our society. They have predicted that the more successful organizations among is will alter themselves to take advantage of new technology and they and we will change in the process. The writing teams of Hammer and Champy (1992) and Gaebler and Osborn (1992) have echoed the thoughts of the futurists in their calls for the re-engineering and re-invention of not only private organizations but also government.

    Because of information are technology, society including the role of government is being changed fundamentally as more and more organizations adapt. The old command and control model of doing business of the past century is no longer adequate for our needs. As we move further into the information age, we are experiencing polar opposite conditions from the command and control model created by the progressive/liberal era in our various institutions including government. The speed of technological advance is faster in the information era that in the progressive/liberal era. The major source of new jobs in society has shifted from manufacturing to service and knowledge industries. Organizations are beginning to change their structures from top down hierarchical to networks and webs working in coordinated partnerships. In the past the key to economic success was mass marketing and now it is in the global market with specialty niches. Finally, even our social structures are shifting from strong neighborhood and family units to isolated individuals and fragmented communities often with dysfunctional family units.

    This article explains the shifting role of budgeting caused by the change from one era to another. The first section of the article reviews Schick’s functions of budgeting and the importance of the budget format in achieving each of the functions. The second section explains the revised functions of budgeting in the information era. The third section explains why there has been a fundamental shift from the progressive/liberal to the information era and the implications of that shift to government and budgeting in particular. the final sections presents the conclusion of the article.

    International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior Vo. 3 Numbers 3 & 4

    Public Virtual Organizations

    Thomas D. Lynch
    Public Administration Institute
    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803

    Cynthia E. Lynch
    Department of Public Administration
    Southern University
    Baton Rogue, Louisiana 70803


    Richard D. White, Jr.
    Public Administration Institute
    Louisiana State University
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803


    This article argues that the virtual organization model (also called web-enterprises by the former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich in The Work of Nations) can meet the challenge for our new age. This model is already in place in the U.S. federal government in the form of Cooperative Administrative Support Units (CASU’s). These organizations bear a close resemblance to Reich’s model and have documented significant successes. The article also argues that the implications and applications of the CASU in public administration are far reaching. This creative and innovative approach to responsible government warrants expanded use into new and diverse areas. Organizational designers should not restrict its use simply to rote administrative activities.

    Internation Journual of Public Administration Vol 19 Number 9

    Public Administration Implications of the North American Free Trade Agreement

    Thomas D. Lynch
    Jered B. Carr
    Florida Atlantic University
    College of Urban and Public Affairs
    University Tower, 220 S.E. 2nd Avenue
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301-0091


    The emerging North America trade bloc presents both challenges and opportunities for Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Free trade among disparate partners is a complex undertaking. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will bring important benefits to all three countries, but it will also raise many important issues. The sharp differences in wage rates, worker productivity, and education levels among the partners has fueled fears of job losses on both sides of the border.
    Disparity among NAFTA nations on labor practices, health and occupational safety laws and regulations are also sources of conflict. Effective dispute resolution mechanisms must exist for both trade and non-trade issues. Practical guidance, in this regard, can come from the experience of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and the European Economic
    community (EEC; European Union since 1993). New political and administration mechanisms will be required to deal with each of these challenging issues.