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Journal cover: Journal of Management History (Archive)

Journal of Management History (Archive)

ISSN: 1355-252X
Merged into: Management Decision

Online from: 1995

Subject Area: Management Science/Management Studies

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Rationality and implementation analysis

Document Information:
Title:Rationality and implementation analysis
Author(s):Neal Ryan, (School of Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Citation:Neal Ryan, (1999) "Rationality and implementation analysis", Journal of Management History (Archive), Vol. 5 Iss: 1, pp.36 - 52
Keywords:Administration, Implementation, Policy
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/13552529910249832 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:This paper examines the prospects of developing rational policy processes. The approach taken is to examine two components of policy processes. First, the paper analyses the way in which rationality has been applied to three different models, or modes of public administration: Weberian bureaucracy; market or rational actor political behaviour; and managerialism. The analysis suggests that “rational” approaches to public administration are inherently value-laden, emphasising norms such as institutional integrity, representation or efficiency. Second, analysis is undertaken of policy implementation which is one phase of the policy process. The paper examines “top-down”, “bottom-up”, institutional and statutory-coherence approaches to policy implementation. Contrasts amongst these competing models of policy implementation reinforce previous findings that there appears to be little prospect of achieving policy rationality because of the inability of the current approaches to policy analysis to enable reconciliation of fundamental normative assumptions underpinning the approaches. The current methods utilised by policy analysts do not appear to be able to provide either the tools or the structures required to achieve instrumental rationality in policy sciences.

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