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Article

Pieter J. Beers, Marjolein B.A. van Asselt, Jan D. Vermunt and Paul A. Kirschner

To gain insight in how policy makers work and learn, in‐depth interviews were held with seven Dutch policy makers working on global sustainability issues. The focus of the…

Abstract

To gain insight in how policy makers work and learn, in‐depth interviews were held with seven Dutch policy makers working on global sustainability issues. The focus of the interview was on the information needs, information gathering practices, and working styles of the policy makers. Our results indicate that policy makers have a strong need for information on linkages between different policy problems, and on different cultural perspectives on those problems. Information gathering is marked by an emphasis on information filtering towards the policy issue at hand. Finally, policy makers appear to be predisposed to an application‐oriented working style. The combination of an application‐oriented working style with a policy‐driven search for information seems inadequate for satisfying policy makers’ information needs. Current learning practices among policy makers appear to be inadequate for coping with complexity.

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Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Book part

Jasmina Arifovic

This article describes an experiment in a Kydland/Prescott type of environment with cheap talk. Individual evolutionary learning (IEL) acts as a policy maker that makes…

Abstract

This article describes an experiment in a Kydland/Prescott type of environment with cheap talk. Individual evolutionary learning (IEL) acts as a policy maker that makes inflation announcements and decides on actual inflation rates. IEL evolves a set of strategies based on the evaluation of their counterfactual payoffs measured in terms of disutility of inflation and unemployment. Two types of private agents make inflation forecasts. Type 1 agents are automated and they set their forecast equal to the announced inflation rate. Type 2 agents are human subjects who submit their inflation forecast and are rewarded based on their forecast error. The fraction of each type evolves over time based on their performance. Experimental economies result in outcomes that are better than the Nash equilibrium. This article is the first to use an automated policy maker that changes and adapts its rules over time in response to the environment in which human subjects make choices.

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Experiments in Macroeconomics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-195-4

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Achieving Evidenceinformed Policy and Practice in Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-641-1

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Article

Robert Huggins, Brian Morgan and Nick Williams

Entrepreneurship is increasingly recognised as a crucial element in fostering economic development and growth, especially at the regional level. The purpose of this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Entrepreneurship is increasingly recognised as a crucial element in fostering economic development and growth, especially at the regional level. The purpose of this paper is to examine the evolution of regional enterprise policies and associated governance mechanisms in the UK to address the following questions: How are evolving systems of regional governance in the UK impacting on the capability of regional policy to foster entrepreneurship? To what extent does enterprise policy form a key part of the overall economic development strategy of regions? and are different forms of regional enterprise policy and priorities emerging?

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on a series of key interviews with policy makers across the regions of Wales, Scotland and England (using the case study of the Yorkshire and the Humber region). The approach adopted in this study facilitates an exploration of the perspectives of those responsible for the formulation and delivery of such support. The paper seeks to ascertain and analyse policy maker opinion on the nature of previous policy, as well as future requirements if policies are to become more effective. It focuses on the period from 1997, with the election of the Labour Government, and the period from 2010 to 2015 represented by the Conservative-Liberal Democratic Coalition Government.

Findings

The paper finds that regional entrepreneurship differentials emerge due to the spatial and place-based nature of three underlying factors: first, the nature of markets; second, the nature of innovation systems; and third, the nature of place-based cultures, communities and the institutions they establish. In the regions studied, failings and limitations in these factors suggest two potential requirements: first, the introduction of public policy in the form of a range of interventions and support mechanisms, second, the introduction of a system of policy governance to establish appropriate interventions and support mechanisms. In the case study regions, clear attempts have been made to address each of the three limiting factors through a range of policy and governance systems, but due to a complex range of issues these have often achieved limited success.

Originality/value

From an intellectual perspective, the paper positively points toward the establishment of governance and policy frameworks that have been both led and informed by the theory underpinning an explanation of regional differentials in entrepreneurial capacity and capability. However, from a more applied perspective it questions the effectiveness and strategic implementation of the policy frameworks and the sustainability of the associated governance mechanisms.

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Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article

Patrick Mapulanga, Jaya Raju and Thomas Matingwina

The purpose of this paper is to explore health researchers’ involvement of policy or decision makers in knowledge translation activities in Malawi.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore health researchers’ involvement of policy or decision makers in knowledge translation activities in Malawi.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study collected quantitative through questionnaire from health researchers from the University of Malawi. The study used inferential statistics for the analysis of the quantitative data. Pearson χ2 test was used to establish the relationship between categorical data and determine whether any observed difference between the data sets arose by chance. The Kruskal–Wallis H test was used to determine if there were statistically significant differences between independent variable and dependent variables. Data has been presented in a form of tables showing means, standard deviation and p-values.

Findings

Health researchers sometimes involve policy or decision makers in government-sponsored meetings (M=2.5, SD=1.17). They rarely involve policy or decision makers in expert committee or group meetings (M=2.4, SD=1.20). Researchers rarely involve policy or decision makers in conferences and workshops (M=2.4, SD=1.31). Rarely do researchers involve policy or decision makers in formal private or public networks (M=2.4, SD=1.17). In events organised by the colleges researchers rarely involve policy or decision makers (M=2.3, SD=1.11); and rarely share weblinks with policy or decision makers (M=2.0, SD=1,17). On average, health researchers occasionally conduct deliberate dialogues with key health policy makers and other stakeholders (M=2.5, SD=1.12). The researchers rarely established and maintained long-term partnerships policy or decision makers (M=2.2, SD=1.20). They rarely involve policy or decision makers in the overall direction of the health research conducted by themselves or the Colleges (M=2.1, SD=1.24).

Research limitations/implications

The study recommends that there should be deliberate efforts by health researchers and policy makers to formally engage each other. Individuals need technical skills, knowledge of the processes and structures for engaging with health research evidence to inform policy and decision making. At the institutional level, the use of research evidence should be embedded within support research engagement structures and linked persons.

Practical implications

Formal interactions in a form of expert meetings and technical working groups between researchers and policy makers can facilitate the use of health research evidence in policy formulation.

Social implications

In terms of framework there is need to put in place formal interaction frameworks between health researchers and policy makers within the knowledge translation and exchange.

Originality/value

There is dearth of literature on the levels of involvement and interaction between health researchers and health policy or decision makers in health policy, systems and services research in Malawi. This study seeks to bridge the gap with empirical evidence.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Achieving Evidenceinformed Policy and Practice in Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-641-1

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Article

Robert Prus

Although the particular policies that groups establish may serve to differentiate those groups from others in the broader community, policies are better envisioned as…

Abstract

Although the particular policies that groups establish may serve to differentiate those groups from others in the broader community, policies are better envisioned as aspects of group life in the making than as structures or rules that define the character or operations of the groups under consideration. Addressing instances of policy as humanly engaged ventures, this statement attempts to demystify policy by (a) examining organizational directives in process terms, (b) explicitly incorporating people into the study of the policy‐making process. This paper also addresses policy in ways that (c) are more amenable to ethnographic research on actual instances of policy and (d) contribute to a sustained, comparative analysis of “policy in the making”.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 23 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article

Martijn Poel, Linda Kool and Annelieke van der Giessen

ICT is everywhere, but information society policy cannot address all the sectors and policy issues in which ICT plays a role. This paper's aim is to develop an analytical

Abstract

Purpose

ICT is everywhere, but information society policy cannot address all the sectors and policy issues in which ICT plays a role. This paper's aim is to develop an analytical framework to assist policy makers in deciding on the priorities and coordination of information society policy.

Design/methodology/approach

The analytical framework is based on public management literature and innovation literature. The framework can be applied to individual ICT issues – when to lead, advise, explore or refrain from policy intervention. The framework consists of seven questions, including the rationale for intervention, stakeholders, the mandate of fellow policy makers (e.g. other ministries) and the costs, benefits and risks of intervention. The framework was applied in three cases.

Findings

A leading role for information society policy is most clear for e‐skills. For services innovation, several market failures and system failures appear to be relevant. This calls for a mix of policy instruments, with roles for several ministries. Policy coordination is crucial. For ICT in health sectors – and other public sectors – the conclusion is that information society policy can take the lead on cross‐cutting ICT issues such as privacy, standardisation and interoperability.

Originality/value

The article addresses one of the main challenges of information society policy: how to increase its scope, yet maintain effectiveness and coherence.

Details

info, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article

Mike Jenkins

This paper is concerned with strategic planning in the public services, in particular that sector where no market price exists and where the community expresses some…

Abstract

This paper is concerned with strategic planning in the public services, in particular that sector where no market price exists and where the community expresses some demands. The National Health Service, the Social Services, Education Authorities or Local Authorities are examples. Because the consumer does not directly pay for the service at the point of consumption, demand cannot be expressed in monetary terms. The supply of services is some reflection of community need tempered by its willingness to provide the resources of people, equipment, facilities and money to satisfy that need. Strategic planning or policy making is a complex not to say emotive process, because no obvious measure of success or of community satisfaction exists. It is often difficult to measure satisfaction of a single need, let alone define a policy which “best” satisfies the conglomerate of often conflicting community needs. Nevertheless, this is the task confronting policy makers in the public sector services. The quantity and allocation of these services are not usually directly determined by the community itself but by some section of the community; commonly politicians, economists, planners and occasionally representatives of the community. Within these planning bodies each individual conception of the “best” policy is in conflict with all others. It is not possible to resolve this conflict by deriving a policy which maximises the satisfaction and, hence, minimising the regret of the policy making body. Yet a compromise, or at least a single, policy must be reached. The aim of this paper is to suggest a method of arriving at the most acceptable single policy without making assumptions or deriving definitions of where that compromise ought to lie given the initial postures of the policy makers. The paper is in two sections. The first describes the method in general terms. The second demonstrates, through a small model of the maternity services, its use in practice. The community or surrogate of the community is referred to throughout as the decision makers, policy makers or planning body.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article

Brendan McSweeney and Sheila Duncan

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…

Abstract

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 policymakers; policymakers 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.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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