Probing the Bureaucratic Mind: About Canadian Federal Executives
by Ruth Hubbard and Gilles Paquet
The transformation of the environment and of the institutional order has created quite a challenge: maintaining some sort of adequacy between these
evolving realities and the frames of reference in use by public sector executives. Complexity is often nothing more than a name for a new order calling for
a new frame of reference, and the reluctance to abandon old conceptual frameworks is often responsible for fundamental learning disabilities.
Through a series of conversations with Canadian federal senior executives about more and more daunting problems – from coping with an evolving context, to
engaging intelligently with a new modus operandi, to trying to nudge and tweak programs in order to correct toxic pathologies, to reframing
perceptions and redesigning organizations to meet the new challenges – weaknesses of the capabilities of the Canadian federal executives to respond to
current challenges were revealed, and suggestions made about ways to kick start a process of refurbishment of these capabilities. This means having to gain
new knowledge about complex systems – something that calls for intellectual effort.
This volume draws mainly from extensive Chatham House style discussions on 24 different topics, with approximately 100 senior executives of the Canadian
federal government, although a number of interviews were conducted afterward with other senior Canadian federal executives on the same themes. APEX
provided a safe space for these Chatham House discussions and an opportunity for engaged senior executives to discuss daunting wicked policy problems,
challenging ideas and intriguing hypotheses, and to reveal how they and their colleagues think.
is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Governance of the University of Ottawa. She served for more than a decade as a federal deputy minister in the
Government of Canada.
is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Governance of the University of Ottawa, and Editor of www.optimumonline.ca. For more information, www.gouvernance.ca.
You can purchase a copy of this book through www.commonerspublishing.com or www.amazon.caand www.amazon.com.
On peut commander ce livre soit chez www.commonerspublishing.com ou chez www.amazon.ca etwww.amazon.com.