Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation: New Approaches in Management Analysis
The nature and rapidity of environmental change confronted by many organizations today means management analysis (MA) needs to go well beyond the traditional efforts concerned with improving operational efficiency. In facing their new environments, many organizations must reassess their very mission and way of doing business. These "bigger picture" problems and opportunities are both complex and ambiguous and require flexible yet powerful approaches and techniques. The paragraphs that follow dealing with policy analysis and program evaluation describe two of these approaches.
Policy analysis and program evaluation are two of the more modern and more powerful approaches in MA. They are tools for the analyst to use in assisting managers in making complex decisions and in setting policies. Usually, policy analysis is future oriented in that it is concerned with a future decision. In contrast, program evaluation is past oriented in that it is concerned with evaluating the past performance of a program or policy.
Policy analysis and program evaluation share the common perspective that government problems and issues can be addressed through quantitative means. Quantification is an approach that many researchers in public administration have selected because of their belief that it could improve understanding, predictability, and, ultimately, public decision making. Prediction in physics or chemistry, based on the interaction of nonconscious entities, is, on the whole, more accurate and reliable than are models or paradigms in public administration, which must involve the interactions of people. However, it is the author's view that an answer obtained by quantitative methods in public admin