Is the State Department ready for this brave new world?
The ranking member on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar writes a piece for Foreign Policy on “How the U.S. State Department should enable and encourage social-networking sites in the global fight for freedom (FP | Argument | January 6). Excerpts below:
In 1975, Donald Warwick of Harvard University wrote "A Theory of Public Bureaucracy" a 252-page book on thePolitics, Personality and Organization in the State Department where he says:
The motivational mix in federal agencies varies, but in most cases includes heavy emphasis on security. The rewards are job tenure, regular promotions, adequate salaries, a clean work place, and better-than-average retirement benefits. Many positions, particularly at higher levels, involve inherently interesting work and offer the employee ample opportunities to express his talents. But in most established agencies, there is little call for entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation and risk-taking. These qualities are neither solicited nor rewarded, and may be punished.
The book, by the way, is an excellent study on theoldest executive department in the union. Although written over 30 years ago, many of the problems and organizational issues that he talks about in the book are familiar as day.
... The pressures to avoid rocking the boat, to avoid dress and behavior which depart from the norms of the group, to avoid expression of controversial views are of the subtle, unspoken kind which are hard to document. But we have the testimony of a broad cross section of the officers whose views we sought that they are a powerful, all pervasive influence. Such pressures, of course, are the death of the creative impulse (U.S. State Department, 1970, p.310).
control of the message and 2) nimbleness, flexibility and innovation in engagement. Both points are still kind of "foreign objects" in the State Department's galaxy.
Senator Lugar in his piece makes two important points in this new engagement: 1) less