Social structures and the flow of scientific information in public agencies: an ideal design

Barry Boezman, Kenneth Roering, E. Allen Slusher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Despite widespread dissatisfaction with the quality of scientific information employed in planning and policy-making in public agencies, relatively little is known about the scientific information acquisition behaviors of public managers. The purpose of this paper is to facilitate research on scientific information acquisition in public agencies by suggesting that: (1) planning and policy-making are 'policy technologies' and share certain attributes with more traditional technologies; (2) many propositions developed in the literature on information flows in R&D labs are, therefore, helpful in structuring thinking about information flows in public agencies; and (3) it may be possible self-consciously to design social and organizational structures so as to enhance informal flows of scientific information. After gleaning some of the propositions concerning scientific information flows from the R&D management literature, an 'ideal design' approach is employed to develop a model in which the social and organizational structures of a public agency optimize scientific information flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-405
Number of pages22
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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