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It is not uncommon for a sitting President to experience turnover in Cabinet-level appointments during the mid-term. Presidential administrations go through stages and resignations/replacements sometimes follow mid-term elections, when voters indicate their approval or disapproval of policies enacted. What is a bit unusual is that the present administration is seeing considerable turnover in advance of the mid-term election. This is perhaps an indication of the volatile nature of politics at the national level. These resignations, and the decisions for replacements, provide an excellent opportunity to consider organizational structure.


M1. Review the three traditional organization structures. Which structural arrangement best describes the President’s Cabinet? Why does this structure make sense?

M2. Think for a moment about your reaction when you hear the word “bureaucracy.” Now examine the definitions for “organizing” and “bureaucracy” found in the text. Would you characterize the bureaucratic nature of our government as a positive or negative? Why?

M3. Is the structure of the federal government mechanistic or organic? Why is this design appropriate?

SOURCE: J. Weisman & A. Entous, “More Change at White House,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at

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