Defining the Implementation Problem: Organizational Management versus Cooperation

Cline, Kurt D.
July 2000
Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory;Jul2000, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p551
Academic Journal
The purpose of this article is to determine which definition of the implementation problem, organizational management or cooperation, provides the best understanding of the implementation process. In order to do this, I will compare models of the implementation process that use different conceptions of the problem. The models that are used in this analysis are (1) Goggin et al's. communications model of intergovernmental policy implementation (CM) and (2; implementation regime framework (IRF). The CM conceives of the implementation problem as one of organizational management; the IRF conceives of the implementation problem as achieving cooperation. These models are evaluated using four criteria: the treatment of both the top-down and bottom-up approaches; the role of communication in the implementation process; the level of conflict/cooperation in the implementation process and applicability to the concept of networks. The results of this analysis reveal that Stoker's IRF, which defines the implementation problem as achieving cooperation, provides a better understanding of the implementation process. The CM, which is based on the organizational management perspective, is much more limited. The implications this analysis has for future research of the implementation process are also discussed.


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