By Maurice Kogan
*Penetration of commonly inaccessible strategies of presidency
*Close-grained empirical examine of government-science interaction
*New conceptualisation of key procedures and relationships
*Testing theories of technology and executive via specific fieldwork
*Illumination of problems with challenge to present study policymakers in lots of systems
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Additional info for Government and Research: Thirty Years of Evolution (Higher Education Dynamics)
Anxiety about the effectiveness of evaluative research in policy programmes erupted amongst policy-makers and researchers in the United States following the huge investment in independent research appraisal of the poverty programme of the 1960s. Marris and Rein (1974) described the problems entailed in reconciling the aims and methods of researchers and programme directors. The precise clarification of aims, consistency of intervention and the time required for researchers to achieve rigour, objectivity and authoritativeness pulled against the indeterminacy and evolution of aims, flexibility of intervention and Chapter 2 34 immediate feedback required by the programme participants.
It assumes that issues that require the sorting out and weighting of complex values take the administrator outside the areas of specialist and into generalist knowledge and skills. But there is more than one kind of specialisation. Some specialists must also be generalists. There is specialisation by skills and by organisation. Organisational specialisation rests upon Weberian assumptions about the need to allocate responsibility in a logical and hierarchical structure (Burns and Stalker,1966).
Decision-makers thus receive demands from outside themselves. They reduce interests, they act as gatekeepers who refine, or allow, or obstruct the traffic of demands up and down a system. This view fits well the traditional view of the British civil service which enables, limits and formalises by presenting constraints to ministers who wish to introduce or implement policies, and marshals into logical and resource frameworks the demands put up by external pressure groups. The systems metaphor is useful because it directs attention to the way in which values are located and held, and how policy-making, and actions resulting from them, require interests to be heard, and then reduced to manageable proportions.