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POL 601: Public Management

September 7: Bounded Rationality, Goals, and Organizational Choice

This is a deeper dive into Carnegie School than in POL 602.
Here is what ChatGPT has to say about it:
The Carnegie School’s behavioral theory of organizational decision making is a rich and influential perspective that has shaped many fields of social science. It is based on the idea that
organizations are composed of boundedly rational individuals who make decisions in complex and uncertain environments, and that these decisions are influenced by the organizational context, such as goals, rules, routines, norms, and networks. Some of the most important research questions regarding this theory are:

  1. How do organizational goals emerge, change, and affect decision making? The Carnegie School recognized that organizations often have multiple and conflicting goals, and that these goals are not given but rather constructed by the actors involved. How do individuals and groups negotiate, prioritize, and align their goals within and across organizations? How do goals shape the search for alternatives, the evaluation of outcomes, and the learning from feedback? How do goals evolve over time in response to environmental changes and organizational performance?
  2. How do organizational rules and routines shape decision making? The Carnegie School proposed that organizations rely on rules and routines to reduce uncertainty and complexity, and to coordinate the actions of multiple actors. How do rules and routines emerge, diffuse, and change in organizations? How do they affect the information processing, problem solving, and innovation capabilities of individuals and groups? How do they enable or constrain adaptation and learning in dynamic environments?
  3. How do organizational networks affect decision making? The Carnegie School emphasized the importance of social relations and communication for decision making in organizations. How do networks of individuals and groups form, evolve, and influence the flow of information, knowledge, and resources in organizations? How do networks affect the diversity, quality, and acceptance of decisions? How do networks enable or hinder collaboration, coordination, and conflict resolution in organizations?

Application to Public Policy and Administration