Policy networks – A threat to procedural and expert-based decision making and the quality of public risk decisions?. Johansson, V. International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection.
Policy networks – A threat to procedural and expert-based decision making and the quality of public risk decisions? [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
This paper focuses on how risk management practices and decision making in a government agency are affected when a high-ranking policy network is activated during the planning process of a major road construction project. The policy network studied in this paper comprised Volvo, Ericsson, SAAB, the Gothenburg Municipal Executive Committee Chairman and the Swedish Transport Administration Director General, among others. The network worked to incorporate an experimental fifth lane on the E45 roadway. The experimental lane was presented as an investment that would create business opportunities – companies from around the world could use the E45 to test new car models, safety devices and technical and environmental measures. During the months before the experimental road lane project was terminated by the National Road Administration, road officials at the street level prepared two design plans, one with the experimental road lane and the other without the lane. The principal assignment for the officials was to initiate and make decisions on the basis of risk analysis. The four risk themes considered during the planning process were localization, road solution, publicity and legality. The experimental road lane case study demonstrates that policy networks (i.e., lobbying groups) operating within a network governance structure can negatively affect risk assessment and risk management. The groups can override procedural and expert-based decision making rules when they have access to public decision making powers at the appropriate level. In such situations, public officials responsible for risk management at the street level risk losing control and decision making power. The empirical findings stress the importance of taking measures that guarantee risk management in situations where the individuals responsible for risk management (i.e., public bureaucrats) lose authority and discretion. Deep knowledge of statutory and ethical obligations can endow officials with an enhanced ability to make high-quality public risk decisions and, thereby, advance critical infrastructure protection efforts. The study presented in this paper was inspired by network governance, implementation and decision making theories; the empirical data was collected through passive participatory observations and from interviews and relevant documents.
@article{johansson_policy_????,
	title = {Policy networks – {A} threat to procedural and expert-based decision making and the quality of public risk decisions?},
	issn = {1874-5482},
	url = {http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1874548215000219},
	doi = {10.1016/j.ijcip.2015.02.003},
	abstract = {This paper focuses on how risk management practices and decision making in a government agency are affected when a high-ranking policy network is activated during the planning process of a major road construction project. The policy network studied in this paper comprised Volvo, Ericsson, SAAB, the Gothenburg Municipal Executive Committee Chairman and the Swedish Transport Administration Director General, among others. The network worked to incorporate an experimental fifth lane on the E45 roadway. The experimental lane was presented as an investment that would create business opportunities – companies from around the world could use the E45 to test new car models, safety devices and technical and environmental measures. During the months before the experimental road lane project was terminated by the National Road Administration, road officials at the street level prepared two design plans, one with the experimental road lane and the other without the lane. The principal assignment for the officials was to initiate and make decisions on the basis of risk analysis. The four risk themes considered during the planning process were localization, road solution, publicity and legality.

The experimental road lane case study demonstrates that policy networks (i.e., lobbying groups) operating within a network governance structure can negatively affect risk assessment and risk management. The groups can override procedural and expert-based decision making rules when they have access to public decision making powers at the appropriate level. In such situations, public officials responsible for risk management at the street level risk losing control and decision making power. The empirical findings stress the importance of taking measures that guarantee risk management in situations where the individuals responsible for risk management (i.e., public bureaucrats) lose authority and discretion. Deep knowledge of statutory and ethical obligations can endow officials with an enhanced ability to make high-quality public risk decisions and, thereby, advance critical infrastructure protection efforts. The study presented in this paper was inspired by network governance, implementation and decision making theories; the empirical data was collected through passive participatory observations and from interviews and relevant documents.},
	urldate = {2015-03-06},
	journal = {International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection},
	author = {Johansson, Vicki},
	keywords = {Decision making, policy networks, Public bureaucrats, risk management, Road construction},
	file = {ScienceDirect Full Text PDF:files/51008/Johansson - Policy networks – A threat to procedural and exper.pdf:application/pdf;ScienceDirect Snapshot:files/51009/S1874548215000219.html:text/html}
}
Downloads: 0