The Canadian Public Service: A Physiology of Government 1867-1970
Published: December 1973© 1973
382 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.00 in, figures, charts throughout
The Canadian Public Service is now so large that it employs over ten per cent of Canada's labour force, and among its many boards, commissions, and corporations there is a constant juggling of conventional departmental portfolios in an effort to keep pace with changing public priorities. As these bureaucracies penetrate our lives more and more, there is increasing need for a study which describes and explains them. This book is the first to offer the necessary clarification. It says nothing about public servants themselves; rather it focuses on the physiognomy and physiology of the structures in which they work and through which programmes are allocated, work distributed, and policy decisions made for all of Canada. It also examines the way in which environmental forces have helped to shape our so-called administrative culture, as well as the monumental difficulties that are involved in co-ordinating the administration of this vast country, three-quarters of whose public service concerns are located outside the capital.
It concludes that all of our public organizations, the public service has proven the most responsive to the forces of change, but that it has been so caught up in structural and managerial adaptation that its capacity to concern itself with substantive policy issues has been subverted.
'This is a rare achievement in Canadian political analysis ... What Hodgetts has presented is an essential base for any serious student of public policy and management in Canada ... Professor Hodgetts has also provided leads, and even beginnings, to a long list of issues which need exploration ..." Queen's Quarterly
'This volume, like Hodgetts' other works, will stand as a basic source for a long time to come. Recommended for all academic libraries.' Choice