Six Important Directions for Research in Public Policy Choice


This document introduces six interconnected directions of research of significance to public policy choice and public policy design. Each of these research areas emerged as significant during the formative years of IOR’s planning processes group which, working from a programme office in Coventry between the late 1960’s and the early 1980’s, conducted a succession of research and development projects for UK government departments and national research councils. Prominent among the outcomes of this programme was the development of the decision-focused approach to communicative planning that became known as the Strategic Choice Approach. This document reviews six further related directions of research into aspects of public planning and policy which became significant in the development of this programme. In most cases these areas are more familiar to those directly involved in complex fields of public policy choice than to students of the management sciences. The six directions are: A: Inter-organisational Linkage; B. Mapping Public Policy Landscapes; C. inter-organisational Linkage; D. Design of Public Policy Dialogues; E. Design of Public Policy Engagements; F. Negotiated Project Engagements. In each case, references will be given to published books and papers in policy or planning journals which will help future students who become engaged in further research in these important directions.


John Friend

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