Making Public Management a Design-Oriented Science
26 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2007
Date Written: April 3, 2007
An age-old issue is how inquiry and action can reciprocally contribute to transforming existing into preferred conditions. Leading scholars of a recent generation repeatedly addressed this general issue in human affairs. Herbert Simon's major proposal was to develop design-oriented sciences or, equivalently, sciences of the artificial. In public management, the take-up of this proposal has been patchy. In this essay, we identify a recent attempt to construct foundations of a design-oriented science for public management, focusing on work by Eugene Bardach. In order to perceive its significance, we place Bardach's design-oriented approach within the compass of Simon's "sciences of the artificial" as well as other recent attempts to achieve intellectual control over practical thinking and action about public management. Finally, we catalogue unfinished business that must be completed for Bardach's design-oriented approach to achieve acceptance and reach.
Keywords: Herbert Simon, Eugene Bardach, relational mechanisms, mechanism design, processes. narrative positivism, practice, evidence-based management
JEL Classification: B40, D23, D73
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation