Rational Choise and Policy Implementation; Implications for Interorganizational Network Management

Laurence J. O'Toole

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Research on interorganizational policy implementation continues to be characterized by diverse theoretical approaches. It is perhaps surprising to observe, however, that formal and especially rational-choice approaches have been essentially neglected in the study of policy implementation processes. This article focuses on this matter and reaches mixed conclusions. An examination of how rational-choice approaches such as game theory might contribute to the enhancement of interorganizational management shows that serious limitations constrain what may be possible theoretically through the formal rational-choice representation and analysis of many interorganizational implementation settings. Nevertheless, and somewhat paradoxically, exploring these qualifications suggests a set of practical implications for the actual conduct of management in policy network settings.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)43-57
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican review of public administration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • METIS-100629
  • IR-2503

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