Why should anybody outside the USA care about the attempt to reorganize the Disability Determination Service (DDS) of the Social Security Administration (SSA)? Part of the answer to this question has to do with the assumptions and approaches which were used. In fact, the attempt to reorganize DDS is one of the first well‐documented attempts to re‐engineer a major agency in the public sector. Given the excitement in the private sector about re‐engineering and its potential and possible cost, public managers everywhere should develop a better understanding of what re‐engineering is all about. The use of a case study seems to be a promising way for framing and illustrating some of the important questions about the use of re‐engineering in the public sector.
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