The Relationship between Short-Term Political Appointments and Bureaucratic Performance: The Case of Recess Appointments in the United States

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Within the bureaucratic performance literature, a growing body of work focuses on the relationship between the character of an administrator's selection - career administrators versus different types of appointees - and bureaucratic performance, finding that programs managed by political appointees are associated with lower performance scores than programs managed by career professionals. One aspect of administrators' selection that has not been considered in connection with bureaucratic performance is whether the appointee was installed via recess appointment. Because their limited and uncertain tenures may cause administrative problems and because the unilateral nature of their selection may lead executives to prioritize other characteristics over competency, I theorize that recess appointees will be associated with lower program performance than non-recess appointees and careerists. Using Program Assessment Rating Tool scores from the George W. Bush administration, I find support for this expectation. This article contributes to our understanding of the ways in which staffing through recess appointments may shape government administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-796
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Relationship between Short-Term Political Appointments and Bureaucratic Performance: The Case of Recess Appointments in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this