In reviewing the New York City experience with mayoral control, one of the most problematic issues has been implementation. Academics interested in managing change have written widely on the subject (see, for example, Pfeffer 1992; Stone et al. 2001; Nye 2004). Their focus, as will be mine here and in the concluding chapter, is how the style of implementation affects leaders’ capacity to put together coalitions needed to sustain the reforms introduced.
Four Implementation Options
Systemic vs. incremental
Phased-in rapidly vs. gradually
Closed vs. open decision-making
Top-down vs. participatory
Making choices on these dimensions involves trade-offs. Maintaining some balance may be the most effective way to get needed change, but there are few precise guidelines for how to proceed. Furthermore, there are compelling arguments in support of each polarized alternative.