Paradigms of Government Lecture Notes

Paradigms of Government
What is a Government?
• The image of the leaders?
• The collective image of the Citizens of the
• A collection of institutions?
What is the Paradigm of the
Paradigm of a Government?
• Business Organizations
– Appropriate?
– Assumptions
• Homo economis
– What is the Rational Actor Model?
– What is Comprehensive Rationality?
Simon’s answer
• Comprehensive Rationality is not possible
because the problems are too large.
Make the problem smaller
Search for the first acceptable alternative
Avoid uncertainty
Develop repertoires of action programs
Allison’s answer
• 3 factors in organizations
– Goals, Expectations and Choice
• His paradigm for institutional response:
– Quasi resolution of conflict
– Uncertainty avoidance
– Problemistic Search (first alternative that meets
the goals)
– Organizational learning
Returning to the top…
• What is the product of Government? / What is the
organizational objective of Government?
– Action (or inaction)
• Who / What are the actors?
– Institutions ? / Individuals
• How do they act?
– Standard Operating Practices (SOP)
• What is the most difficult thing to do in Government?
– Change the routine / SOP
The Simple Paradigm
• Structural Functional Analysis
– Developed in the ’50s and early ’60s and out of
favor by the late ’60s
• BUT…
– Answers the question. “If this is what the
organizations mandate / goal / objective is
(function), is the institutional structure capable
of accomplishing these goals?”
Innovation (Wilson)
• What makes for innovative institutions?
– Diversity in the organization innovation
– Small organizations
– Big organizations
innovation and proposals
acceptance of innovation
Lee, Ball and Tabors on Energy
• Technology, not resource
depletion, is the driving force
for substitution
• The consequences of poor
strategies can be enormous and
• Most forecasts are wrong,
therefore robustness is a
critical planning requirement
• The task of analysts is to lay
out the options, not to tell the
decision makers what to do
• Measure the right thing
• Do not confuse the systems
approach with systems analysis
• Understand technologies and
manage them accordingly
• Quality pays and cleaner is
• Don’t overemphasize science
and de-emphasize engineering
• Government Sponsored R&D
projects in areas where the
government is not the user of
the results are usually