Decision making is an important function of governments. The pursuit of effective decision making is as old as the history of governments. Yet, its process and dynamics continue evolving. Some earlier writings suggested that such terms as the “black box,” the “bounded rationality” (Simon 1947), or as Stone (1997) termed, the “paradox,” are often associated with decision making in general and government decisions in particular. A more recent interesting angle, with increasing prevalence, is the role of networks in policy decision making and management (O’Toole 1997: 45–52; Provan and Milward 2001: 414– 423; Romzek, LeRoux, and Blackmar 2012: 442–453; Agranoff and McGuire 2003). Networks are “structures of interdependence involving multiple organizations or parts thereof, where one unit is not merely the formal subordinate of the others in some larger hierarchical arrange” (O’Toole 1997: 45–52, p. 45). In that same article, O’Toole suggested several descriptive tasks that require sustained efforts, and one of the tasks is “exploring the array of networks in a broadly comparative perspective” (1997: 48). In Provan and Lemaire’s recent work (2012: 638–648), this task, however, is still identified as one of the obvious areas where research is very much needed.
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