Karen M. Hult is professor of political science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Since the expansion of public programs in the 1960s, charges of bureaucratic inefficiency, unresponsiveness, and “red tape” have been rampant. The response has often been extensive reorganization in an effort to change the source of control, carry out specific missions, and to achieve greater inter-agency cooperation. Karen M. Hult examines why these restructurings often fail, through three case studies: the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Design (HUD); the Minnesota Department of Energy, Planning, and Development; and the Minneapolis Community Development Agency. Hult's study assesses the usefulness of mergers and reorganizations as a policy tool, and offers a valuable contribution to the study of public management and organization design.