following matrix provides a comparison between the challenges faced by
government managers and those encountered by their private sector
|Budgets are tight at bottom of business cycle, but
decisions can be flexible and rational based on the circumstances at any
||Budget process starts 2 years in advance. Very
inflexible; difficult to reallocate resources or obtain additional
||Managers can hire new staff quickly if business cycle
dictates they need more personnel.
||It can take 1-2 years to create and encumber a new
position and several months to fill an existing position that has become
vacant. In many agencies, managers are only allowed to interview
the top 3 applicants (who are selected by OPM).
||Anyone can be fired at any time; severance packages are
a cost of doing business. Non-producers can be fired.
||Separation for poor performance requires extensive
documentation over a long period of time.
||While bureaucracies exist in most large
organizations, corporate bureaucracies tend to be smaller and less
tradition-bound than those in government.
||Job security, stability, and sheer size of
organizations tend to foster strong
bureaucratic attitudes and resistance to
||Companies can buy what they need, when they
need it--provided they can afford it or obtain credit.
||Government procurement rules have been
streamlined in recent years for small purchases, but larger
acquisitions/contracts must usually be put up for competitive bid.
This tends to slow the procurement and/or contracting process