On the History of the Form of Administrative Decisions: How Decisions Begin to Desire Uncertainty

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    Abstract

    In management and organization history, the concept of the decision has often been understood as an ahistorical phenomenon. The changing contexts, technologies, and subjects of decision-making have been thoroughly studied, but decision itself is rarely made an object of historical investigation. Addressing the question of how the very form of the decision changes in the course of history, this article studies the Danish public administration from the late nineteenth century to today. We argue that, over time, public administration reacts to self-produced complexity by developing higher and higher orders of decision-making resulting in a form of decision-making that deconstructs the very difference between decision premises and decision. We conclude that public administration has undergone a development where decision-making is increasingly used not to absorb uncertainty, but to create uncertainty in order to create new possibilities for public administration itself.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftManagement & Organizational History
    Vol/bind12
    Udgave nummer2
    Sider (fra-til)119-141
    Antal sider23
    ISSN1744-9359
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - 2017

    Bibliografisk note

    Published online: 16. May 2017

    Emneord

    • Public administration
    • decision-making
    • Luhmann
    • Denmark
    • Temporality
    • Potentialization
    • Conceptual history

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