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ERIC Number: ED374543
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-May
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Administrative Policy as Myth.
Macpherson, R. J. S.
This paper examines the proposition that administrative policy has the properties of a myth, with myth defined as a grand narrative of explanation and justification. It illustrates the proposition with an example of radical restructuring in a large education system, the Department of Education in New South Wales, Australia. It reviews the testimony of a significant policy maker in education, the Scott Report (1989), and the findings of international research that examined the restructuring of nine education systems. In terms of their attributes, administrative policies appear to be largely societal myths about social order and service, although many examples of identity, eschatological, death-of-god, and other myths were found. When these myths cohere with institutional rules, formal structures, and the external policy context, they appear to generate legitimacy, resources, stability, and the survival of institutionalized organization. Where they do not, the converse appears to be the case and could account for intervention. It is concluded that because myths mediate existential, structural, social, and political perspectives on the "best way to be organized," mythic analysis should be developed as a way of comprehending organization. Contains 41 references. (Author/LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia