The creation of rules that govern processes or behavior is essential to any organization, but these rules are often maligned for creating inefficiencies. This book provides the first comprehensive portrait of rules in public organizations and seeks to find the balance between rules that create red tape and rules that help public organizations function effectively, what the author calls “green tape.”
Drawing on a decade of original research and interdisciplinary scholarship, Leisha DeHart-Davis builds a framework of three perspectives on rules: the organizational perspective, which sees rules as a tool for achieving managerial goals and organizational functions; the individual perspective, which examines how rule design and implementation affect employees; and the behavioral perspective, which explores human responses to the intersection of the first two perspectives. The book then considers the effectiveness of rules, applying these perspectives to a case study of employee grievance policies in North Carolina local government. Finally, the book concludes by outlining five attributes of effective rules—green tape—to guide future rule creation in public organizations. It applies green tape principles to the Five-Second Rule, a crowd control policy Missouri police implemented in the wake of protests following the Michael Brown shooting. Government managers and scholars of public administration will benefit from DeHart-Davis’s investigation and guidance.