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The Environmental Protection Agency

Structuring Motivation in a Green Bureaucracy
The Conflict between Regulatory Style and Cultural Identity

Robert McMahon is Head of Politics at Radley College, Abingdon and a member of the Department of Politics at the University of Oxford. He holds an MA and M.Phil. from New College, Oxford and a D.Phil. from Nuffield College, Oxford. Rob worked as a Policy Analyst at HM Treasury from 1999 to 2001 dealing with transport spending and then poverty analysis. He now teaches courses on US and UK government, political sociology and comparative government.

Presents a comprehensive account of the centrality of motivation to understanding the relative achievements of two green bureaucracies in particular, and of public-sector organizations in general

Essential reading to all those concerned with environmental regulation and those charged with creating – and reforming – public-sector bureaucracies.

Covers issues of organizational design, comparative public policy, and management and organizational studies.

By utilizing the lenses of institutions and culture – examining the relationship between regulator and regulated, dominant regulatory style, and interaction with the institutions of government – this book challenges the contemporary wisdom that recommends holistic and integrated institutional forms that result in the decimation of existing cultural identifications. No sense of bureaucratic mission can be established where cultural identifications have been destroyed, regardless of the ingenuity of the institutional form adopted. The absence of such bureaucratic mission results in green bureaucracies that are likely to fail in the pursuit of organizational goals. Examining motivations shows why cultural identifications within an organization must be congruent with institutional structures so that these identifications can be established.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-903900-69-7
Hardback Price: £55.00 / $69.50
Release Date: January 2006
Page Extent / Format: 252 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Explaining Motivations in Two Green Bureaucracies
Motivation and the Achievement of Organizational Goals
The EPA and the EA: Structures and Cultures
Organizational Design
Institutional Approaches
Cultural Explanations
Two Green Bureaucracies
The Structure of the Book

1The EPA – The Historical and Political Context
The Creation of the EPA
The EPA: Goals and Motivations

2 The Institutional Structure of the EPA
Institutional Analyses
Institutional Divisions Within the EPA

3 The Cultural Schism Within the EPA
Culture Mission

4 The Reinvention of the EPA
Motivations in Washington Headquarters: The Institutional
Effects of Reinvention
The Cultural Effects of Reinvention
Motivations in Region III: An Overview

5 Creating the Environment Agency
The Development of Environmental Regulation in Britain
Environmental Regulation in Britain: the 1980s
to the Present
The Creation of the Environment Agency
Mission in the Environment Agency

6 The Institutional Structure of the Environment Agency

7 Culture Clash in the Environment Agency

Appendix A
– The Interviews
Appendix B – The Use of Case Studies

The Environmental Protection Agency
is an important book. Drawing on a wealth of original research including primary sources and extensive interviews, Robert McMahon provides the first comprehensive comparative study of the American and British environmental protection agencies with accounts of how they were established, their distinctive institutional and organizational features and their effectiveness. However, McMahon does more than simply analytically narrate these agencies’ origins and work: he develops and persuasively defends a distinct theoretical analysis about these green bureaucracies as types of organizations shaped by their institutional design and internal cultural norms. The result is an original and impressive book which will be of interest of scholars and students of bureaucracy, the environment, and British and American politics. I recommend The Environmental Protection Agency highly.
Desmond King, Mellon Professor of American Government, Oxford University

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