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Agenda Setting, Capital Punishment, Bureaucracy

1. Compare and contrast agenda setting from the bottom up with agenda setting from the top down. Use examples to explain your views.

2. Capital punishment has been the subject of considerable debate, both in the U.S. and elsewhere. From a public policy perspective, outline the pros and cons of capital punishment.

3. As governmental organizations grow in size and bureaucracy, the average citizen often feels that his voice cannot be heard. What are some of the tactics that local governments use to help their constituents feel heard? Do you think these tactics are effective or are they mostly intended to placate?

4. In addition to elected policy makers, there is a considerable role for appointed officials in the policy making process. Explain this statement. What are the benefits and problems associated with a bureaucracy that has both, decision-making and discretional powers?

Solution Preview

Hi,

1. Compare and contrast agenda setting from the bottom up with agenda setting from the top down. Use examples to explain your views.

Bottom up agenda setting allows those who are on the staff level to assist with setting the agenda for the organization on a strategic level. This promotes buy in and a sense of value among employees as well as allows leadership the ability to understand how those items on the agenda might actually be achieved. For example, if an organization is going to create a strategy for introducing new system to handle performance management, they might ask managers and staff to submit their ideas, make them members of the project team and perhaps, do focus groups to gain their input. The ideas, concerns, and discussions that result from these practices generate a sense of ownership for the managers and staff regarding the process.

The top down agenda setting approach is one that comes directly from the upper leadership team. This involves the leadership looking at the company from a strategic level and in what ways the bottom line can be improved. This level of leadership often has a bird's eye view into the overall organization and how different pieces work together so they may have more insight into how making strategic changes may affect the entire company. However, this strategy does not always promote buy in from the middle managers and staff. They often feel as though they are handed rules and did not have any part in communicating how these new strategies might affect them. For example, with the introduction of the new performance management system, the upper leadership might decide what type of system, how it will be used, and who will need to use it to support their ...

Solution Summary

Exploring agenda setting from the top down and bottom up approaches, capital punishment and its pros and cons, effective tactics to engage individuals in their local governments, and the difference between decision making and discretional powers. Over 1000 words, 3 references.

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