Subjectivity and organisational politics in policy analysis

Jones, Sue and Eden, Colin and Sims, David (1979) Subjectivity and organisational politics in policy analysis. Policy and Politics, 7 (2). pp. 145-164. ISSN 0305-5736 (

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Traditionally the content of policy models has been dominated by the objectivated, 'factual' and particularly rational-analytic aspects of a policy issue. Using examples derived from a current project within a UK local government authority, this paper describes a significantly different approach to policy-modelling. Adopting a deliberate client orientation we have sought to construct for the policy maker client models which are representations of the world as he sees it. They explicitly reflect the policy maker's subjective, qualitative, idiosyncratic values and beliefs, including those theories and concerns he has about his internal political environment as an individual seeking to influence the outcome of policy decisions. The approach we will describe is founded on our own belief, derived from theory and practice, that many of the problems surrounding interest, commitment and implementation of the work of policy analysts are a consequence precisely of a failure to pay attention to the images of the world that are relevant to the client of policy analysis, rather than the 'rational' world of the analyst.