Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science


Political Science




United States, Bonneville Power Administration, Attitude (Psychology)



Physical Description

1 online resource (102 p.)


The question is asked whether or not background, education, and training of middle and upper level bureaucratic personnel affects policy outcomes. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) serves as the agency examined. A written questionnaire sent to a random sample of BPA executives sought data on background variables with the intent of making comparisons. Most BPA executives are found to share very similar education and training backgrounds – namely, engineering studies at Northwest state universities. Also, attitudes measured are found to be more similar than different on most issues for the agency as a whole. This phenomenon is explained in terms of a self-selection process whereby individuals of similar persuasions, skills, and values seek out educational and career opportunities with which they are comfortable and which attract others of similar perspectives. The individual is seen to narrow his viewpoint while reinforcing his existing values. At BPA, the dominant perspective is that of the engineer. The effect of this engineering perspective is seen in policy outcomes in energy matters relating to growth, efficiency, environment, and economy.


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A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements fro the degree of Master of Arts in Political Science

Persistent Identifier