Interactive decision making has become a recurrent practice across countries, policy sectors and tiers of government. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how organizational arrangements, i.e. the way the interactive process is designed, influence its outcomes.
The research is carried out through a multiple case study. Four cases of interactive decision making are analyzed using a qualitative framework.
Findings can contribute to shed light on the organizational underpinnings of the outcomes of interactive decision making. Accessibility, in particular meant as process openness, i.e. the intensity of the decision-making powers that are devolved to the public, seems to represent the key factor in producing positive outcomes, especially if associated to less-formalized arrangements.
On the practice oriented side, findings provide decision makers with insights about how to design interactive mechanisms to improve the chances they would “work.” Specifically, finding suggest to launch interactive initiatives only when the public’s expectations in terms of process openness can be satisfied.
The way organizational arrangements influence outcomes is likely to be affected by context-specific factors interacting with the formers in generating the latters. Therefore, in order to reach meaningful research results it might be necessary to systematically factor context-specific features in the analysis. Here lies the relative novelty of the paper: although the relation between arrangements and outcomes of interactive decision making has been already investigated by other contributions, the present analysis purposefully focusses on cases occurred in the same policy sector, in one homogeneous geographical location and characterized by the same administrative tradition in order to discount the influence of these factors.
The preparation of this paper has benefited by a grant attributed by the Province of Gorizia, Italy. The paper is the result of the joint work of the three authors. Nevertheless, in the final version, Paolo Fedele wrote the paragraphs “Introduction and research question” and “Theoretical background and analytical framework”; Luca Brusati wrote the paragraph “Discussion and conclusions” and the appendix; Mario Ianniello wrote the paragraphs “Methodological choices” and “case studies.”
Fedele, P., Brusati, L. and Ianniello, M. (2016), "Organizational underpinnings of interactive decision making: an empirical inquiry", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 310-326. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPSM-08-2015-0155Download as .RIS
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