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Research in this area has lead to a schism between those who argue that it is possible to have reliable management techniques and safely manage complex technologies and others who contend that such control is difficult at best. In this book C. F. Larry Heimann advances an important solution to this problem by developing a general theory of organizational reliability and agency decision making. The book looks at both external and internal influences on reliability in agency decision making. It then tests theoretical propositions developed in a comparative case study of two agencies involved with the handling of risky technologies: NASA and the manned space flight program and the FDA's handling of pharmaceuticals--particularly new AIDS therapies.
Drawing on concepts from engineering, organizational theory, political science, and decision theory, this book will be of interest to those interested in science and technology policy, bureaucratic management and reform, as well as those interested in health and space policy.
C. F. Larry Heimann is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University.
|Figures and Tables|
|Ch. 1||Understanding Agency Failure||1|
|Ch. 2||Reliable Decision Making and the Influence of Political Incentives||17|
|Ch. 3||Shifting Political Incentives at NASA and the FDA||37|
|Ch. 4||Organizational Structure and the Design of Reliable Systems||71|
|Ch. 5||Subordinate Expertise and Reliable Organizations||101|
|Ch. 6||Systems versus Components: Seeking Greater Reliability at NASA and the FDA||129|
|Ch. 7||Acceptable Risks||163|