Wichita Case Study Essay

1413 Words Mar 7th, 2011 6 Pages

Date: 13th October, 2008

Subject: In what ways did the Wichita case study illustrate some of the characteristics and dilemmas of modern intergovernmental relations?

In many cases intergovernmental intervention is only needed in niche or what Conklin, J. (2001) calls “wicked problems”. The problem of pollution is this case study, can be classed as a “wicked problem’ as it touched upon several arenas and considerations simultaneously required governmental responses that involve multiple jurisdictions and departments for effective resolution.
However several aspects of the landscape of public sector over the twenty first century has changed or evolved that has contributed to the context of
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2.1 Dilemmas in Networking
Generally the networking has its own quandary; there are different agencies with different ideologies and political agenda that may create a conflict and non congenial environment for many actors to perform to their expectations. This is further reflected by the Policy Administration dichotomy or the continuum (Etzioni, 1961 cited Frederickson and Kevin, 2003) and principal agent theory (Wood and Waterman, 1994 cited Frederickson, Kevin, 2003). In the policy administration continuum there is a varied level of influence the policy makers and the administrators have. In networking this level of influence may either synergize positively or negatively. Wood and Waterman (1994) state that there is some sort of contract between the elected leaders (principal) and the bureaucratic (agents) - in the provision of service. Hence due to this contract during intergovernmental networking these agents maybe reluctant to effectively participate in the decision making or may have to compromise.

3.0 Complexity
A third characteristic of intergovernmental relation, that is co- related to networking is complexity. Laurence (2006) outlines complexity as “intergovernmental network is large and differentiated; no one participating government can consistently posses enough information about its components and dynamics to make rational decisions on its own

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