Rational Explanation: Partnered Government

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Wesleyan University
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By definition, the partnered government is a term that refers to the merging up of different government agencies with each other, and also with various other sectors such as the non-private sector and the private sector (Gansler and Lucyshyn). In their article, Partnered Government: The Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of the Parts, Gansler and Lucyshyn contend that the relationships formed in a partnered government are primarily centered on a specific set of goals and objectives that are shared to give direction to the activities carried out by the members. This kind of partnership is also portrayed in Margot Lee Shetterlys novel, Hidden figures which tells the stories of hidden female heroes of NACAs early days. In this book, the author reveals the hidden factors in history, regarding the impeccable work performed by African American women amidst segregation and discrimination that saw the first American man being sent to space. More fundamentally, the author reveals about the contributions made to space flight by the cooperation of African American women who worked with the Langley Research Center during the medieval days of aeronautical research. Thus, although questions have been raised on whether Americas aerospace program serves as a successful model of partnered government, it is apparent that this programs success shows that cooperation between government and industry is essential because the government helps in the provision of a wide range of services to the industry.

Notably, as Margot Lee Shetterly recovers the history of the Black women mathematicians who pioneered the space race, she situates this history in the intersection of the Cold War, the Space Race, the quest for gender equality and the Civil Rights Movement, which are all deemed as the crucial movements of the American century. Particularly, at the beginning of the Second World War, women with math skills were hired in the renowned American aeronautical agency, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which was headquartered at Langley Research Laboratory in Virginia. According to the author, this era was characterized by a relatively slow pace in social progress especially on matters relating to gender inequality. In this regard, women were considered to be best suited for repetitive tasks and a girl would be paid significantly less than a man, completing the same task. Nonetheless, Shetterly points out that these African-American women substantially rose to prominence during the development of Americas wartime science and technology. More fundamentally, in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued two executive orders, Order 8802 and order 9346. Although the two orders were designed to bring to an end, racial segregation in government jobs, order 8802 mainly ended segregation in the defense industry while the latter was intended to form the Fair Employment in government jobs.

According to Shetterly, the unlike the early 40s, the late 1940s, and the 1950s were characterized by rapid development in the scientific progress carried out at the Langley Research Centre. Based on this context, Shetterly points out that the aerospace industry experienced huge growth during World War II, in which case, its achievements were crucial to Allied victory as the governmental and military success in the battlefield. As a result of the partnered government relationship, the industry was fortunate in the sense that it could operate without any kinds of air bombardment threats, military damage to factories and also without shortages of essential materials. More specifically, the successes of Americas Aerospace have reflected its achievements after the beginning of the Second World War. For instance, in the 1940s, the industry designed new combat aircrafts such as the B-29 Super-fortress, P-51 Mustang, and Bell X-1. P-51, for example, was designed as a result of a North American Aviation proposal for a newly developed plane with British specifications. The achievements of the industry culminated in the late 1960s (1969) with President Kennedys government challenge to put the first man on the moon. This challenge consisted of the Apollo 8 astronauts who used the first manned flight of the massive Saturn V rocket to land on the moon making this landing the ultimate achievement of partnered government in Americas aerospace program.

In conclusion, based on this discussion, Americas aerospace industry gives evidence that partnered government involves the coming together of different agencies to form a relationship that is centered on a specific set of goals and objectives. In this regard, the programs numerous successes since the World War 2 are all attributed to the cooperation between the program and different governments under different presidents. This, in essence, substantiates the premise that government and industry partnership is essential since the government steps in, in the provision of a wide range of services to the industry.

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