Problems of rational planning in public organizations: An empirical assessment of the conventional wisdom

George A. Boyne*, Julian S. Gould-Williams, Jennifer Law, Richard M. Walker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rational planning is widely regarded as difficult because of the technical problems of obtaining and interpreting relevant data and the political problems of rivalry between planners and service deliverers. Provided here is the first empirical test of these traditional hypotheses on the problems of rational planning in public agencies. The context of the empirical analysis is a recent attempt by UK local authorities to introduce a new planning system. The statistical results suggest that the problems of rational planning are largely technical (lack of resources and expertise) rather than political. Potential explanations for these results are identified, and the implications for theories of rational planning are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-350
Number of pages23
JournalAdministration and Society
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004

Keywords

  • Empirical analysis
  • Public agencies
  • Rational planning
  • Technical and political variables

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