By Christopher Pollitt, Colin Talbot, Janice Caulfield, Amanda Smullen (auth.)
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Extra info for Agencies: How Governments Do Things Through Semi-Autonomous Organizations
These are what we separate out as ‘disaggregation’ and ‘autonomization’. Traditional public sector Boards were often highly disaggregated, and even quite independent about some policy and strategy issues, while at the same time being tightly regulated by external government actors on a range of personnel, financial, purchasing and other matters (Carpenter, 2001; Graham and Roberts, 2004). Indiscriminate use of concepts like ‘independence’ or ‘autonomy’ tends to elide these important differences.
4. To distance senior civil servants from boring, routine (but possible risk-prone) operational work and leave them with more high status ‘policy’ and ‘strategy’ work. 5. To massage civil service numbers so as to make it look as though downsizing/economies are being made. 6. To gain legitimacy by imitating an organizational fashion which is seen to be associated with modernization (in Powell and DiMaggio’s terms, mimetic isomorphism). 7. To create islands of income generation which can be ‘milked’ for various purposes (Talbot and Caulfield, 2002).
Unusually for a cultural analyst, he actually quantifies his variables, using six principle dimensional measures. There is no space to go into them all here, but suffice it to say that some are of considerable significance for inter- and intraorganizational relations. For example, Hofstede’s first measure is a power distance index, which concerns norms about boss–subordinate relations, and the extent to which inequality is accepted (‘the boss is the boss’). Another of his measures is individualism versus collectivism, where ‘individualism stands for a society in which the ties between individuals are loose … Collectivism stands for a society in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, which throughout people’s lifetimes continue to protect them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty’ (Hofstede, 2001, p.
Agencies: How Governments Do Things Through Semi-Autonomous Organizations by Christopher Pollitt, Colin Talbot, Janice Caulfield, Amanda Smullen (auth.)