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Download Time, Policy, Management: Governing with the Past by Christopher Pollitt PDF

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By Christopher Pollitt

During this very important new booklet, Christopher Pollitt, one of many major researchers in public coverage and administration, argues that we're responsible of neglecting a primary size of either the perform and learn of latest public policymaking and administration: that of time.

Pollitt strains the nature of, and the explanations for, this overlook in his wide-ranging learn. He considers the theoretical suggestions for addressing time in a extra refined means, and applies those views either to his personal examine and that of many others. ultimately he appears on the implications for practitioners.

Pollitt's research attracts on a very wide variety of labor from many fields, sectors, and international locations. it really is wealthy in examples, recommendations, and techniques. It poses basic questions on a few principal traits in twenty first century policymaking, and opens up a brand new path for educational research.

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Example text

In making this selection I have been guided by a preference for perspectives and concepts that have sometimes been applied—even if rarely—to public sector organizations, and which come from disciplines or fields which have some sort of active frontier or interchange with mainstream public policy and public management. In short, the choice has been for neighbours who at least occasionally stray onto ‘our patch’. I have therefore excluded (to take just two examples) the interesting thoughts of physicists on the nature of time and most (but not quite all) the immense work of psychologists on memory and cognition.

They simply point out causes that increased the probability of its occurrence. Nor do explanations which refer to people’s reasons for acting always show that an action was rational. Sometimes the reasons are poor ones, and the action rather stupid. Finally, people do not always behave as their culture dictates. Some rebel against it, and find original ways of responding to situations. Historians operating in this middle ground may well make use of social science theories or concepts, but will not raise these to the status of laws or place the ‘testing’ of such abstractions ahead of the construction of an accurate and detailed narrative.

Fundamental organizational restructuring. Of course in some countries—especially the UK—such restructuring can be announced and formally put in place very quickly. But getting the new structure to ‘settle down’ and work as well as it is capable of is usually a matter of years rather than months (Pollitt 1984). Staff have to be appointed and need time to learn their new roles. New relationships have to be formed. New standard operating procedures must be formulated, and so on. The kind of constant, hectic restructuring that we witnessed in, say, UK social services departments during the 1990s, or in the NHS since 1989, is almost certain to produce short term losses of efficiency and day to day focus, if not worse (Pollitt 2007).

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