The Emerging Federal Quasi Government: Issues of Management and Accountability



There has been a growing trend in the federal government toward reliance on organizations that commingle legal attributes of the government and private sectors. These hybrid organizations now constitute a quasi government that occasions both interest and concern by political leaders, practitioners, and scholars alike because these organizations touch the very heart of democratic governance: To whom are these hybrids accountable? How well is the public interest being protected against the interests of private parties?

In this article, the author seeks to define the quasi government and place these hybrid entities into manageable categories from which legal and behavioral generalizations may be drawn. Are hybrid organizations a problem or a solution? Looking critically at this question, the author suggests the answer may depend in large measure on which of two management paradigms the reader accepts: the constitutionalist management paradigm or the entrepreneurial management paradigm, both of which are defined and discussed. The author concludes that the increasin reliance on hybrid organizations constitutes a threat not only to accountable management within the government, but to the fundamental values of democratic governance as well.