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Academic & Professional Books  Habitats & Ecosystems  Forests & Wetlands

The Forest Ranger A Study in Administrative Behavior

By: Herbert Kaufman
248 pages, no illustrations
The Forest Ranger
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  • The Forest Ranger ISBN: 9781933115276 Paperback Jan 2006 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1 week
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About this book

It is the rare book that remains in print for nearly fifty years, earning wide acclaim as a classic. "The Forest Ranger" has been essential reading for generations of professionals and scholars in forestry, public administration, and organizational behavior who are interested in the administration of public lands and how the top managers of a large, dispersed organization with multiple objectives like the Forest Service shape the behavior of its field officers into a coherent, unified program. Published as a special reprint in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Forest Service,

"The Forest Ranger" is as relevant and timely today as when it was first issued in 1960. This special reprint of "The Forest Ranger" includes two new forewords and an afterword. The first foreword, by Harold K. (Pete) Steen, former president of the Forest History Society, considers the book's impact on the forestry community and explains its continued relevance in light of changes in today's Forest Service. The second, by Richard P. Nathan, codirector of the Rockefeller Institute of Government, considers the book's contribution to our understanding of administrative and organizational behavior. The new afterword by author Herbert Kaufman describes how his landmark study came into being and offers a candid assessment of how his theories about the agency's operations and its future have held up over time.

In 1960, the Forest Service had a well-deserved reputation for excellence, and "The Forest Ranger" was a seminal analysis of the hows and whys of its success. Kaufman also warned, however, that an organization so unified and well adapted to its environment would have difficulties navigating social change. He was right: the environmental, civil rights, and women's movements have all presented challenges to the character and purpose of the Forest Service, ultimately changing the organization in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Now, as then, "The Forest Ranger" is a striking and prescient case study of how a complex organization operates and evolves over time.


INTRODUCTION Chapter I: Subject and Approach The Rangers and Their Districts Method of Study The Plan of the Book PART ONE: Tendencies Toward Fragmentation Chapter II: The Size and Complexity of the Forest Service Job A Profile of the Forest Service The Pivotal Role of the Rangers: Executives, Planners, and Woodsmen The Thrust toward Disunity Chapter III: Challenges to Unity Problems of Internal Communication Behavioral Norms of Face-to-Face Work Groups 'Capture' of Field Officers by Local Populations Personal Preferences of Field Officers The Ideology of Decentralization Conclusion: The Impulse toward Disintegration PART TWO: Techniques of Integration Chapter IV: Procedural Devices for Preforming Decisions Authorization, Direction, and Prohibition Clearance and Dispute Settlement Financial and Workload Planning The Problem of Deviation from Preformed Decisions Chapter V: Detecting and Discouraging Deviation Reporting Official Diaries Furnishing Overhead Services Inspection Hearing Appeals by the Public Movement of Personnel Sanctions Feedback and Correction Chapter VI: Developing the Will and Capacity of Conform Selecting Men Who Fit Post-entry Training Building Identification with the Forest Service The Result: Voluntary Conformity CONCLUSION Chapter VII: Attainments and Dilemmas The Conquest of Centrifugal Tendencies The Strategies of Conquest The Hazards of Managerial Success Fragmentation, Integration, and the Study of Administration

Customer Reviews


Herbert Kaufman, now retired, was a professor of political science at Yale University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His other books include The Administrative Behavior of Federal Bureau Chiefs; Red Tape: Its Origins, Uses, and Abuses; Are Government Organizations Immortal?; and The Limits of Organizational Change.
By: Herbert Kaufman
248 pages, no illustrations
Media reviews
'The best single account of forestry management remains Herbert Kaufmani? s The Forest Ranger: A Study in Administrative Behavior.' John J. DiIulio, Jr., University of Pennsylvania
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