Public Organization Review

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 193–196 | Cite as

Linda J. Bilmes, and W. Scott Gould, eds. (2009). The People Factor: Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service

Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. 359 pp. Paperback US $ 22.95, ISBN 978-0-8157-0141-5
  • Genevieve Enid Meyers
Book Review

The quest for civil service reform has been an on-going endeavor in American public administration dating as far back as the Pendleton Act of 1883. Indeed, numerous books have been written about the topic (see for instance Caiden 1969; Shafritz 1975; Osborne and Gaebler 1992; Ingraham and Rosenbloom 1992; Kettl 1996; Donahue and Nye 2003). In addition, both republican and democrat governments have undertaken reform efforts. Many of such endeavors have resulted in laws and regulations and others have defined new ways of reinvigorating the federal administrative system. Bilmes and Gould acknowledge that in spite of this attention, the American civil service remains highly hierarchical, rigid, and based on an archaic organizational structure. It continues to be largely unprepared to deal with dynamic technological changes that characterize the modern times and is increasingly under strain to provide intricate services to the citizenry.

According to Bilmes and Gould, the most critical...


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  2. Donahue, J. D., & Nye, J., Jr. (2003). For the People: Can we Fix Public Service? Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  3. Ingraham, P. W., & Rosenbloom, D. (Eds.). (1992). The Promise and Paradox of Civil Service Reform. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburg Press.Google Scholar
  4. Kettl, D. F. (1996). Civil Service Reform: Building a Government that Works. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  5. Osborne, D., & Gaebler, T. (1992). Reinventing Government. New York: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  6. Shafritz, J. M. (1975). Public Personnel Management: The Heritage of Civil Service Reform. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceMarshall UniversityHuntingtonUSA

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