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Explain the three ways a president can organize his or her personal staff?

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The Pyramid structure, the Circle structure, and the Ad Hoc structure.

The Pyramid structure uses a hierarchy system in which the president is the head. The Chief of Staff collects information from the White House staff and then reports it to the president. The president is generally open to the press in this model and is not overburdened with processing a large amount of information. However, the president only hears what the Chief of Staff tells him, which allows for accidental or purposeful withholding of information. Examples include Presidents Eisenhower and Reagan.

The Circle structure, or the wheel-and-spoke structure, keeps the president at the center of processing information. The structure demands strong leadership from the president as he deals with everyday staff. The Chief of Staff plays a smaller role in this structure. Although the president has more control, the time and effort of going through a plethora of information can be overwhelming and the president may loose sight of the big picture. Examples include Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Kennedy.

The Ad Hoc structure is one that is often used in businesses. The president acts like a CEO, employing committees and special advisers to sift through information and advise on policy. The president may then make educated decisions on his policy agenda. This structure is similar to the Pyramid structure in the flow of information except that the there are multiple sources, not just the Chief of Staff. The information is still based on the discretion of advisers, though, and is not always unbiased. Examples include Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.
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