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Executive Politics and Governance

The Blind Spots of Public Bureaucracy and the Politics of Non‐Coordination

Editors: Bach, Tobias, Wegrich, Kai (Eds.)

  • Provides important theoretical insights into the organizational underpinnings of successful coordination
  • Identifies causes of supposedly irrational or dysfunctional behaviour of public organizations
  • Discusses implications for institutional design, indiciating how to deal with inherent biases in organizational decision making
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eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76672-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76671-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

How to better coordinate policies and public services across public sector organizations has been a major topic of public administration research for decades. However, few attempts have been made to connect these concerns with the growing body of research on biases and blind spots in decision-making. This book attempts to make that connection. It explores how day-to-day decision-making in public sector organizations is subject to different types of organizational attention biases that may lead to a variety of coordination problems in and between organizations, and sometimes also to major blunders and disasters. The contributions address those biases and their effects for various types of public organizations in different policy sectors and national contexts. In particular, it elaborates on blind spots, or ‘not seeing the not seeing’, and different forms of bureaucratic politics as theoretical explanations for seemingly irrational organizational behaviour. The book’s theoretical tools and empirical insights address conditions for effective coordination and problem-solving by public bureaucracies using an organizational perspective.

About the authors

Tobias Bach is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Administration at the Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, Norway.
Kai Wegrich is Professor of Public Administration and Public Policy at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Reviews

“This volume sheds fresh light on the shortcomings of the evergreen phantasm of synoptic rationality in and across public organizations that still inform expectations to public decision makers. The book is a valuable reminder that in times of information overload, critical awareness of the perspective through which both knowledge, action and analysis are conceived is more important than ever.” (Lotte Jensen, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)

“This book is a treasure trove for those interested in getting fresh, intelligent, and thought provoking accounts of some of the most important recurrent and debilitating pathologies of public administration: attention biases, blind spots, and a chronic failure to operate in a collaborative and coordinated fashion. Leading scholars cast fresh eyes on classic and emerging frameworks such as bureaucratic reputation, collaborative governance and institutional leadership. These highly readable essays also offer us glimmers of hope that if we better understand these mechanisms, we can make them work for rather than against the smart and reliable government that citizens expect and deserve.” (Paul ‘t Hart, Utrecht University, The Netherlands)


Table of contents (12 chapters)

  • Blind Spots, Biased Attention, and the Politics of Non-coordination

    Bach, Tobias (et al.)

    Pages 3-28

  • Accounting for Blind Spots

    Lodge, Martin

    Pages 29-48

  • Blind Spots: Organizational and Institutional Biases in Intra- and Inter-organizational Contexts

    Christensen, Tom

    Pages 49-67

  • Professional Integrity and Leadership in Public Administration

    Seibel, Wolfgang

    Pages 71-86

  • The Alarms That Were Sent, but Never Received: Attention Bias in a Novel Setting

    Renå, Helge

    Pages 87-109

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76672-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76671-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Blind Spots of Public Bureaucracy and the Politics of Non‐Coordination
Editors
  • Tobias Bach
  • Kai Wegrich
Series Title
Executive Politics and Governance
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-76672-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-76672-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-76671-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 269
Number of Illustrations
11 b/w illustrations
Topics