Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Transformation of governmental organizations: The case of the California Integrated Waste Management Board
by Eowan, George T., Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2009, 224; 3355412
Abstract (Summary)

The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) underwent a radical change that transformed its mission, critical tasks, organizational structure and decision making processes. This research responds to a gap in the professional literature by examining this rare case of governmental agency transformation.

Political and organizational events converged over time to make the transformation of the CIWMB possible. These events provide historical context for the series of actions that occurred over an eighteen year period.

Three phases of the transformation are identified: Phase 1, the organization in a state of equilibrium; Phase 2, the punctuated equilibrium of the organization; and Phase 3, the transformation process.

Utilizing the grounded theory method and through structured and open-ended interviews of key participants eight themes are identified that occurred during the three phases of the transformation. These themes were: Industry-Oriented - "Old Board," Timing of the Change, Radical Mission Change, Key Policy Components of AB 939, Organization Structure, Administration, New Critical Tasks, Public Process and Dialogue. The historical record, legislative initiatives, budgets and personnel documents and periodicals corroborate the themes derived from the interviews.

This research into the transformation of the CIWMB provides an additional perspective on how a full-time board may be more likely to stay focused and committed to policy implementation as opposed to classical bureaucratic organizations where the initial excitement of new programs wanes and is replaced by mundane routines. The full-time board structure of the CIWMB created a different context where the bulk of the agency’s bureaucratic routines were left to the Executive Director.

Secondly, CIWMB board members served limited fixed-term appointments and were appointed by diverse authorities (executive and legislative) which created a dynamic tension amongst Board members that sharpened the focus of the debates in the public arena over directions to policy priorities. Additionally, the board members were required to cast their policy votes publicly amidst the eyes and ears of observant stakeholders representing a wide array of interests. The constant involvement of these diverse stakeholders added to the dynamic tension of the board policy process and enhanced its probability of remaining actively committed and engaged.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Myrtle, Robert C.
Commitee: Cummings, Thomas G., Musso, Juliet
School: University of Southern California
Department: Public Administration
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Public administration, Organizational behavior
Keywords: California Integrated Waste Management Board, Government organizations, Organization change, Organization learning, Organization transformation, Policy implementation, Public deliberation, Public policy, Public policy implementation
Publication Number: 3355412
ISBN: 9781109139655
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