Considers why different explanations of the same event can be produced and discusses the characteristics of a good explanation. It identifies and analyses a wide range of different published explanations of a seminal public administration policy‐change. It separates those accounts of that event into families of explanations and describes their common underlying presuppositions. These shared presuppositions are used to construct four models of public policy‐making: sovereign policy‐makers; policy‐makers as relays; policy‐making as the personal; and the discursive construction of policy. Each explanation (and its conceptual model) is challenged by historically grounded counter‐evidence. Based on this analysis the paper suggest ways in which analysis of public management changes might be more fruitfully orientated.
McSweeney, B. and Duncan, S. (1998), "Structure or agency? Discourse or meta‐narrative? Explaining the emergence of the financial management initiative", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 332-361. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513579810224536Download as .RIS
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