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

By Ray C. Oman; Stephen L. Damours et al. | Go to book overview
The collection of information was handled solely by analysts in most cases.
Decisions about data collection and analysis were usually made solely by analysts.
Although analysts were responsible for developing conclusions and recommendations, the process frequently involved consulting with the client or decision maker.
The client or decision maker appears to be involved in the beginning and closing phases of management studies (problem definition and development of conclusions and recommendations), while data collection and analysis and interpretation phases are handled solely by the analysts.

The analysis of MA studies also provides a number of broader conclusions. First, MA is sometimes perceived as almost exclusively associated with administrative questions. The studies examined in this research suggest that management analyses are often of important program, policy, and management issues and that MA often has influence outside the administrative arena. MA units appear to provide important analytical services associated with the agency mission.

A second conclusion pertains to the size of studies conducted. The scope, depth, and staff time devoted to studies were greater than the researcher anticipated. Several of the studies required more than one staff year of analysts' time. Further, several of the studies involved inter-unit study teams and had the deep involvement of top management. Considering the time of analysts, decision makers, personnel who provided information for the studies, and administrative and clerical support personnel, the total effort devoted to these studies was very substantial.

Overall, the methods used in the studies were in accord with the researcher's expectations. The studies made extensive use of interviews and existing narrative and statistical reports with little use of quantitative experimental designs. The methods of data analysis were straightforward and suitable for communicating with managers. The study methods used, in general, reflect the purpose of management analysis: to help decision makers solve management problems.


NOTE
1.
Oman Ray C., "The Nature, Conduct, and Acceptance of Management Analysis Studies in Civilian Federal Agencies," unpublished doctoral dissertation, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., 1983.

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