Social Science Information and Public Policy Making
He examines patterns in the actual use of survey data by agency officials and explores key organizational factors, such as the compatibility of information with various bureaucratic interests. He discusses the preoccupation of public officials with bureaucratic issues regarding the ownership and control of information, identifies the incentives that prompt bureaucrats to pass along new information and the government officials' difficulties in developing policies and programs for meeting national needs. Rich notes that studies of knowledge inquiry systems, found in the research literature of many social science disciplines have been dominated by a "rationalistic bias." This "bias" is expressed in terms of the belief that the act of acquiring information will automatically lead to its use, in turn, automatically leading to improved policy or decisions. He contends that empirical studies of how information is actually used do not support the assumptions of rational choice theory. The new chapter also discusses types of information, knowledge, and use; prospects for the development of learning organizations in government; and the politics of expertise.
This book will be of interest to social scientists and public policy makers. Robert F. Rich is professor of law and political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also professor in the Institute of Government and Public Affairs, and was the director of that Institute from 1986-1997. He is the founding editor of Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization (now Science Communication).
- Paperback | 230 pages
- 151.9 x 228.1 x 14.7mm | 340.2g
- 01 Oct 2001
- Taylor & Francis Inc
- Transaction Publishers
- Somerset, United Kingdom
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