By Jong S. Jun

Demanding situations the constraints of contemporary public management theories.

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Extra resources for The Social Construction of Public Administration: Interpretive And Critical Perspectives (S U N Y Series in Public Administration)

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1 is a modification of a list developed by Willis W. Harman. He argues that unanticipated consequences that are negative are ultimately unsolvable within our present worldview because their origin and accumulation lie in the very success of that worldview (1974). 1 (continued) Successes Unanticipated Consequences of Success Satisfaction of basic needs Worldwide revolutions of “rising expectations”; rebellion against no meaningful work; desire for freedom and full participation in society; demand for individual rights Expanded wealth of developed nations Increased gap between “have” and “have-not” nations; Frustration of the “revolution of rising expectations” Centralized rational planning Implementation problems locally; expert dominance; lack of citizen input; lack of trust Globalization and economic growth Growth without job in highly industrialized countries Professionalization of management Excessive reliance on rational analysis; lack of citizen participation; passivity of citizens; Specialization and compartmentalization; individual competition The unanticipated consequences listed in the right column relate to societal successes in medical science, the physical sciences, industrial technology, improved production systems, economic development, and management.

Major changes were brought about not only through the active role of government—although there The Changing Context of Public Administration 23 were many side effects of government intervention—but also through the collaboration of the people in the construction of socially viable alternatives. Many centralized projects, such as the New Deal programs during the 1930s and the War on Poverty programs in the 1960s in the United States and many developmental projects in industrializing countries, are examples of how projects can be implemented under the guidance of the national government, in cooperation with multiple actors representing different levels of society.

More important, the connectedness between citizens and government and among people globally through economic exchanges, media, the Internet, e-government, and networking has greatly increased, allowing people to choose from a wider variety of options. Face-to-face interaction and collaboration among people, however, has not improved; thus the social constructionist approach aims to help people develop relationships in order to share their experiences and interests, learn from one another, and work together on common agendas.

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