The Nature and Acceptance of Study Recommendations
The purpose of management analysis studies is to assist managers in making useful decisions. Thus the analyst is an extension of the management official and provides a product in the form of a report and a service in the form of information recommendations to managers. The purpose of the MA study, as opposed to research, is not to expand theory or knowledge but to provide solutions to problems or recommendations to achieve comparative advantage. One measure of the value of these studies is the degree to which they are accepted by management officials; a study in which many of the recommendations are accepted by the decision maker is likely to be more valuable than a study in which none or just a few are accepted.
The acceptance of study findings is a concern to analysts and evaluators of all kinds, including external and internal consultants, industrial engineers, management analysts, and program evaluators. A review of the literature about factors affecting the acceptance of study findings revealed four subject areas containing relevant sources. These areas are program evaluation, management science, applied behavioral science, and organization theory, the first three of which are most closely related to the MA function in the federal government.
Since the mid- 1970s, the field of program evaluation has been concerned with the use of findings, usually called "utilization" in the evaluation literature. Utilization is a special concern because of the