Voluntary Retrenchment of Park and Recreation Services: Opportunities and Problems


  • John L. Crompton


retrenchment, resistance to change, clientele opposition, recreation services, parks.


The paper discusses the opportunities and problems associated with voluntarily implementing a formal procedure aimed at retrenching or terminating relatively unproductive services. Four major benefits are likely to emerge from retrenchment: (I) resources can be redirected to the most important offerings; (2) managerial overload is alleviated; (3) new services have a greater probability of being successful; and (4) the agency is in a stronger position to face the future.Despite these virtues, obsolete services often demonstrate a remarkable ability to survive. The major sources of resistance are discussed since some understanding of these barriers is essential if strategies to surmount them are to be developed. Four internal sources of resistance which frequently encourage retrenchment inaction are: sense of personal failure, unawareness of a service's status, staff opposition, and inadequate cost savings. Three types of resistance which may emanate from sources external to the agency are: clientele opposition, legal constraints, and political expediency.





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