Management Analysis in Public Organizations: History, Concepts, and Techniques

By Ray C. Oman; Stephen L. Damours et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
An Analysis of a Sample of Large Management Analysis Studies

Not only is the role of the management analyst in improving organizations a rich source of information, but the studies they conduct as well are a fertile area for research. Studies normally are undertaken to meet the needs or perceived needs of a manager or decision maker. They may be defined as an organizational intervention normally conducted in response to a request from a manager to know more about an issue relevant to his or her organization or to address the need for action in response to a stimulus of some sort. Studies are initiated for as many reasons as there are managers' personalities, and may be initiated by a single decision maker or by a group consensus.

Formal studies lend themselves to examination more than many organization processes that are begun and concluded behind closed doors and therefore are a rich source of knowledge not only about MA but also about how organizations work. They are significant for a number of reasons. First, studies focus on a problem or opportunity that has been explicitly recognized by one or more decision makers. Second, they require the use of dollar and personnel resources, and often require much time on the part of the decision maker who initiated the effort or is the recipient of the study report. Last, because a written report with findings is usually produced, there is typically documentation of information, methods, and processes, and it is associated with the effort as an organizational intervention.

Our research included choosing one study for in-depth examination from each of the fifteen randomly selected management analysis offices in the federal government. 1 The research was designed to collect and analyze information about the nature and conduct of MA studies in as

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