Two Logics of Indirect Governance: Delegation and Orchestration

11 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2014 Last revised: 19 Oct 2014

See all articles by Kenneth W. Abbott

Kenneth W. Abbott

Arizona State University

Philipp Genschel

European University Institute

Duncan Snidal

Nuffield College, University of Oxford

Bernhard Zangl

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Date Written: October 7, 2014

Abstract

Most governance is indirect, carried out through intermediaries. Governors do not govern targets directly, but bring in third parties to increase efficiency, effectiveness or legitimacy. Sometimes these third parties are "internal" to the governor, as in the case of government bureaucracies, but often they are "external", operating at some distance from the governor. It has become common to treat indirect governance as a process of delegation to be analyzed through Principal-Agent theory (the P-A approach). We agree that much indirect governance can be understood in this way. Yet not all indirect governance can be properly understood as P-A delegation. Governors do not always have hard control over their agents. Often they lack the authority or power to grant or rescind third parties’ authority (at acceptable cost), and rely instead on soft inducements to mobilize intermediaries and keep them in line. In a recent book (Abbott et al. 2014a), we develop Orchestrator-Intermediary theory (O-I theory) to analyze soft, indirect forms of governance. Here we introduce O-I theory and contrast it to P-A theory. We highlight the commonalities and differences between orchestration and delegation, discuss the governor’s calculus of choice between them, and consider the relative effectiveness of orchestration.

Keywords: delegation, principal-agent, orchestration, governance

JEL Classification: D71, D73, K20

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Kenneth Wayne and Genschel, Philipp and Snidal, Duncan and Zangl, Bernhard, Two Logics of Indirect Governance: Delegation and Orchestration (October 7, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2506796 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2506796

Kenneth Wayne Abbott (Contact Author)

Arizona State University ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-5917 (Phone)

Philipp Genschel

European University Institute ( email )

Villa Schifanoia
133 via Bocaccio
Firenze (Florence), Tuscany 50014
Italy
+39 055 4685 735 (Phone)

Duncan Snidal

Nuffield College, University of Oxford ( email )

New Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 1NF
United Kingdom

Bernhard Zangl

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, Bavaria 80539
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
215
Abstract Views
1,171
rank
140,136
PlumX Metrics