The main task of scholars is to help good ideas forged by their predecessors find a new life in the imaginations of their successors. In this essay, we consider some…
The main task of scholars is to help good ideas forged by their predecessors find a new life in the imaginations of their successors. In this essay, we consider some aspects of this process from our experience with garbage can ideas of organizational decision making. We record our memories of initial encounters with them, impressions of their current condition, and some thoughts on convolutions they may experience in the years ahead.
While Norway, Sweden, and Denmark share many historic, political, and cultural features, their state systems and public administration exhibit important differences…
While Norway, Sweden, and Denmark share many historic, political, and cultural features, their state systems and public administration exhibit important differences. Likewise, Nordic administrative sciences reflect a significant degree of ethnocentric diversity. Although as a whole, since the 1960s, Scandinavian academic public administration has witnessed rapid growth, an emphasis on local–regional government, and highly sophisticated scientific-empirical research, as opposed to professional training or narrow application of technical–legal methodologies.
“Rational planning models” emerged in the early 1970's as a means by which to plan more effectively and efficiently in educational organizations. One of the most well known and widely distributed of these models was developed by Phi Delta Kappa, the educational fraternity. This paper describes a field study conducted in five Vermont schools that were “early users” of the Phi Delta Kappa material. The outcomes reveal many discrepancies between the theory and the reality of planning in public schools. In addition to the Vermont research, other research is cited that supports many of the findings and relates them to planning in schools in general. The article concludes by linking the study outcomes to recent works by other authors on the emerging concepts of loosely coupled systems, garbage can organizations, and organized anarchies and implications these concepts hold for alternative approaches to planning in educational settings.
Interest in developing institutional explanations of political and economic behavior has blossomed among social scientists since the early 1980s. Three intellectual perspectives are now prevalent: rational choice theory, historical institutionalism and a new school of organizational analysis. This paper summarizes, compares and contrasts these views and suggests ways in which cross‐fertilization may be achieved. Particular attention is paid to how the insights of organizational analysis and historical institutionalism can be blended to provide fruitful avenues of research and theorizing, especially with regard to the production, adoption, and mobilization of ideas by decision makers.
The purpose of this paper is to propose an analytical approach that allows capturing a variety of outcomes of health care reforms. Specifically, by means of employing…
The purpose of this paper is to propose an analytical approach that allows capturing a variety of outcomes of health care reforms. Specifically, by means of employing neo-institutional perspective, it is suggested that scholars need to take a step back and analyze the interrelation between regulatory, organizational and professional norms (dimensions). This approach improves our understanding of the complex outcomes of health care reforms. To illustrate this point, the case of coordination reform in Norway is discussed. This reform has been one of the most complex health care reforms with ambitious goals of achieving perfectly integrated care between hospitals and municipalities. The analysis through the three sets of institutional norms (dimensions) provides more comprehensive understanding of the various outcomes of the reform. The conclusion is that in order to understand the vast complexity of the outcomes of different health care reforms, we need to carefully study the institutional characteristics of rules, clinical codes of conduct, organizational characteristics as well as interplay between them. Analysis based on the three dimensions, shows that the neo-institutional approach, is of highest relevance to understand the outcomes of the complex health reforms.
Discussion in this paper is inspired by author’s PhD dissertation that comprised a study of juridification, understood as legal regulation, in treatment practice in the field of specialized health services. Three dimensions described in this paper are derived from the analysis of two types of empirical material: legal regulations and administrative guidelines in the area of patients’ rights interviews with psychiatrists and psychologists in the region of Western Norway about how they practice the regulations. The aim of this empirical study was to explore the implications the new regulations have had for clinical practice after the patients’ rights regulations became binding for clinical reasoning in Norway. This paper presents a viewpoint that applies the three dimensions derived from the empirical analysis to the discussion about the outcomes of one of the most complex Norwegian health reforms, i.e. coordination re-form. It is argued that the observations can be relevant for the analysis of the implication of health reforms in general.
The observations presented in the discussion of the possible implications of regulations of coordination reform indicate the complexity and sometimes contradictory outcomes of health regulations. There is a complex interplay between the different kinds of regulatory tools, which might have different implications at different levels. The same regulations can both strengthen and weaken established institutional order. Implications of such processes need to be empirically explored and neo-institutional approach still is of highest relevance in helping scholars understand the complex outcomes of health regulations.
Outcomes of regulations will depend on the balance between regulations and other institutional dimensions. The significant aspect of it is that this balance between the dimensions is not a zero sum equation, which means that all dimensions can be strengthened or weakened simultaneously.
The institutional dimensions can be in different balance relation with each other. The point of departure in this paper is that the legal regulations have been strengthened, i.e. expanded with regard to the coordination in health services. This development has been called juridification. The outcomes of it will depend on the balance between regulations and other institutional dimensions at work. The significant aspect of it is that this balance is not a zero sum equation, which means that all dimensions can be strengthened or weakened simultaneously.
The circumstances for the emergence of new ideas in organizational theory have previously been explored from several viewpoints. Researchers trace the origins of new ideas…
The circumstances for the emergence of new ideas in organizational theory have previously been explored from several viewpoints. Researchers trace the origins of new ideas to previous literature or compare ideas across continents and countries. The author takes another point of departure. Following Merton (1957, 1963), she focuses on “multiple discoveries” in science, studying the independent, simultaneous (re-)discovery of certain aspects of institutional theory in organizational theory. Specifically, she follows the circumstances under which two pairs of researchers proffered similar explanations for the phenomena they encountered (Jönsson & Lundin, 1977; Meyer & Rowan, 1977). Without ever having met, they suggested an analogous way of understanding the concept of organizing, though their research used different frames of reference and field material and was published in different outlets. The author’s analysis of the circumstances surrounding the two papers led her to explore elements in the emergence of new ideas: the Zeitgeist – the spirit of the times – international networks, and collegial work. When these factors are in play, physical meetings do not seem to be required, but scholars must be involved in networks in which their colleagues provide judgment and advice.
It is still not completely understood what speeds up or slows down the decision‐making process. The duration of decision making may range from a month to four years, but usually takes about 12 months. Most processes run into disruptions and interruptions, which lengthen the time taken. Measuring decision making is difficult since it is virtually impossible to define the beginning and end of the process. The evidence for this comes from an extensive study of how top managers and administrators in the public and private sectors move towards a conclusion. A database was established of 150 cases of strategic decision making obtained by interviewing. Six cases were traced back by intensive case study methods. Short, medium and long decision processes are examined using case examples. One of the curious features of decision making is what happens before the deliberation process starts. Impediments and delays are discussed and whether committees slow the process.
Competitions celebrate meritocratic values. Letting the best man or woman win leaves little room for human choice, since presumably the result follows from ascertaining…
Competitions celebrate meritocratic values. Letting the best man or woman win leaves little room for human choice, since presumably the result follows from ascertaining the fact that someone did better than the rest. But in architectural competitions, appointing a winner involves human choice. An in-depth empirical investigation demonstrates that such human choice has the character of intuition and judgment. The choice of the winner preceded the process by which the winning design proposal was established as being better than the other proposals. We discuss the role of intuitive choices in architectural competitions and claim that they reflect necessity more than vice. They are ways around the fundamental incommensurability of the alternative design proposals. The garbage can model is used as a framework for making sense of the observed counterintuitive ways of decision making. Its attempt to theorize alternative forms of orderliness proves helpful, but on certain points our observations also suggest modifications to the model.