Organizational Decision: Mechanisms in an Architectural Competition

Kristian Kreiner

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Competitions celebrate meritocratic values. Letting the best man or woman win leaves little room for human choice, since presumably the result follows from ascertaining the fact that someone did better than the rest. But in architectural competitions, appointing a winner involves human choice. An in-depth empirical investigation demonstrates that such human choice has the character of intuition and judgment. The choice of the winner preceded the process by which the winning design proposal was established as being better than the other proposals. We discuss the role of intuitive choices in architectural competitions and claim that they reflect necessity more than vice. They are ways around the fundamental incommensurability of the alternative design proposals. The garbage can model is used as a framework for making sense of the observed counterintuitive ways of decision making. Its attempt to theorize alternative forms of orderliness proves helpful, but on certain points our observations also suggest modifications to the model.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Garbage Can Model of Organizational Choice : Looking Forward at Forty
EditorsAlessandro Lomi, J. Richard Harrison
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
Publication date2012
ISBN (Print)9781780527123
ISBN (Electronic)9781780527130
Publication statusPublished - 2012
SeriesResearch in the Sociology of Organizations

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