Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Symposium on Behavioral Approaches to Bureaucratic Red Tape and Administrative Burden

Public Administration Review
Symposium Editors:
Christopher Carrigan, The George Washington University (https://tspppa.gwu.edu/christopher-carrigan; ccarrigan@gwu.edu)
Sanjay Pandey, The George Washington University (https://tspppa.gwu.edu/sanjay-k-pandey; skpandey@gwu.edu)
Gregg G. Van Ryzin, Rutgers University–Newark (https://spaa.newark.rutgers.edu/gregg-vanryzin; vanryzin@rutgers.edu)

Bureaucracy’s reliance on rules and procedures attracts support as well as mobilizes opposition.  Writing in the wake of the industrial revolution, Weber favorably compared bureaucracy with machines that had so remarkably revolutionized industrial production.  Bozeman (2000) describes bureaucracy as “the cod liver oil of social institutions,” reflecting the more modern experience that recognizes both the importance of and distaste for bureaucratic rules and procedures.

The bureaucratic red tape literature in public administration began exploring the dysfunctional effects of rules and procedures during the 1990s (see, e.g., Bozeman 1993; Bozeman and Feeney 2011; Pandey and Scott 2002), with recent work providing careful and richly-textured perspectives on rule dynamics (Dehart-Davis 2017).  This scholarship, however, typically looks inside the organization and, as a result, has not given adequate attention to how external stakeholders such as citizens and small businesses are affected (Pandey, Pandey, and Van Ryzin 2017).  An emerging literature on a closely related concept, administrative burden, rectifies this oversight by focusing on the impact of dysfunctional rules and regulations on citizens (see, e.g., Herd et al. 2013). Similarly, deep literatures studying rulemaking and the regulatory process have analyzed how rule design impacts whether regulated entities, such as firms, respond in ways which help achieve social goals (see, e.g., Carrigan and Coglianese 2011; Coglianese and Kagan 2007).

The emergence of behavioral public administration offers a compelling opportunity to deepen understandings of bureaucratic red tape, administrative burden, and government regulations (Grimmelikhuijsen et al. 2017).  Behavioral public administration (BPA) applies insights from behavioral economics and psychological science to many traditional topic areas within public administration.  It often uses Simon’s (1947/1997) seminal work on administrative behavior as a touchstone and focuses on phenomena such as bounded rationality, unconscious thought processes (so-called fast thinking), cognitive illusions, emotions, human choice, and various mental heuristics and biases. BPA also includes a commitment to experimental methods, including lab, survey and field experiments (James, Jilke, and Van Ryzin 2017).

Insights from BPA have important implications for understanding the origins and impacts of bureaucratic red tape, administrative burden, and government regulation. Not only do agency officials themselves suffer from behavioral impediments that can work to undermine effective policymaking, but they are also subject to the cognitive bounds of the political overseers, businesses, individuals, and communities with which they interact.  Indeed, it can be suggested that what makes a rule or regulation red tape or burdensome has much to do with how it establishes a perverse choice architecture that places cognitive and behavioral barriers in the way of rational action.  The complexity of a government form, for example, can prevent a taxpayer from making an accurate filing, a family from receiving needed benefits, a business from complying with an environmental regulation, and a public employee from being effective and efficient.

To overcome these barriers, governments have begun to experiment with nudge strategies—simple, low-cost improvements in the choice architecture created by government procedures (John, Smith, and Stoker 2009; Thaler and Sunstein 2008). For example, although economic market failure forms the traditional justification for regulatory intervention, contemporary rulemaking is increasingly focusing on whether and how regulations can be used to encourage citizens and businesses to make better choices in the context of cognitive limitations introduced by behavioral phenomena (Allcott and Sunstein 2015; Mannix and Dudley 2015).

In this call for papers, we welcome work that focuses on BPA, especially as it relates to contributing to a deeper understanding of the creation and consequences of bureaucratic red tape, administrative burden, and government regulations.  We are open to a broad range of contributions that advance knowledge in these areas, and although we see value in experimental methods, we are also interested in proposals that implement other methodological approaches as well.  We plan to organize guidance and feedback for authors in a variety of ways, including a one-day conference at The George Washington University that will bring together the prospective symposium authors and editors as well as practitioners steeped in behavioral approaches to public policy and public administration.  Potential paper proposals that would be welcome include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following themes:
  • Behavioral consequences of red tape and administrative burden
  • Behavioral justifications for regulatory action
  • Group decision making biases in bureaucratic settings
  • Behavioral dimensions of government responses to crises
  • Nudge strategies
  • Citizen-state interactions
  • Emotional responses to bureaucracy
  • Cognitive biases in decision making
  • Choice architecture of government rules and services
  • Relevant theoretical syntheses and conceptual analyses
Review Process and Timeline
15 November, 2017 – Paper proposal (maximum 1,000 words) should be submitted via e-mail to bpa_par@gwu.edu, copying the symposium co-editors.
15 December, 2017 – Decision on paper proposal communicated to authors.
Late Spring 2018 (exact date to be announced later) – One-day conference at The George Washington University (sponsored by the Trachtenberg School, George Washington University; Center for Experimental and Behavioral Public Administration, Rutgers University; and Regulatory Studies Center, George Washington University). Although authors of accepted proposals are strongly encouraged to participate, attendance is not mandatory.
31 August, 2018 – Complete manuscripts to be submitted to bpa_par@gwu.edu and the symposium co-editors for final screening and feedback.
31 October, 2018 – Manuscripts to be submitted to PAR’s online editorial system (par.edmgr.com). Manuscripts will undergo the journal’s normal peer review process as overseen by PAR Co-Editors-in-Chief, Jeremy Hall and Paul Battaglio.

Allcott, Hunt, and Cass R. Sunstein. 2015. “Regulating internalities.” Journal of policy analysis and management 34(3): 698-705.
Bozeman, Barry. 1993. “A theory of government ‘red tape’.” Journal of public administration research and theory 3(3): 273-304.
Bozeman, Barry. 2000. Bureaucracy and red tape. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Bozeman, Barry, and Mary K. Feeney. 2011. Rules and red tape: A prism for public administration theory and research. Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe.
Carrigan, Christopher, and Cary Coglianese. 2011. “The politics of regulation: From new institutionalism to new governance.” Annual review of political science 14: 107-129.
Coglianese, Cary, and Robert Kagan. 2007. Regulation and regulatory processes. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
DeHart-Davis, Leisha. 2017. Creating effective rules in public sector organizations. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Grimmelikhuijsen, Stephan, Sebastian Jilke, Asmus Leth Olsen, and Lars Tummers. 2017. “Behavioral public administration: Combining insights from public administration and psychology.” Public administration review 77(1): 45-56.
Herd, Pamela, Thomas DeLeire, Hope Harvey, and Donald P. Moynihan. 2013. “Shifting administrative burden to the state: The case of Medicaid take‐up.” Public administration review 73(S1): S69-S81.
James, Oliver, Sebastian Jilke, and Gregg Van Ryzin. 2017. Experiments in public administration research: Challenges and opportunities. New York: Cambridge University Press.
John, Peter, Graham Smith, and Gerry Stoker. 2009. “Nudge nudge, think think: Two strategies for changing civic behaviour.” The political quarterly 80(3): 361-370.
Mannix, Brian F., and Susan E. Dudley. 2015. “The limits of irrationality as a rationale for regulation.” Journal of policy analysis and management 34(3): 705-712.
Pandey, Sanjay K., Sheela Pandey, and Gregg Van Ryzin. 2017. “Prospects for experimental approaches to research on bureaucratic red tape.” In Experiments in public management research: Challenges and opportunities. Edited by Oliver James, Sebastian Jilke, and Gregg Van Ryzin, pp. 219-243. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Pandey, Sanjay K., and Patrick G. Scott. 2002. “Red tape: A review and assessment of concepts and measures.” Journal of public administration research and theory 12(4): 553-580.
Simon, Herbert A. 1947/1997 Administrative behavior. New York: The Free Press.
Thaler Richard, H., and Cass R. Sunstein. 2008. Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Non-Market Failure Justifications for Government Intervention

Non-Market Failure Justifications for Government Intervention
I. Sources and Acceptability of Preferences
A. Source
a) Exogenous preferences assumed by the market (i.e., people’s preferences for goods and service are fixed and generated outside of the market system)
b) Endogenous preferences (i.e., malleable and determined inside the market) – preferences are formed within market, there is no good measure of individual utility, and the notion of acting to maximize individual utility has no meaning.
Problem: If producers are able to tell consumers what they want, in what way are consumers rational actors in the free market? People will over-consume some goods and under consume others, to their detriment.
                Government Responses:
                - Advertising regulation
                - Regulate access to addictive substances           

B. Acceptability of Preferences: For one reason or another, the society deems some preferences unacceptable
a)  Moral Unacceptability: prostitution (supply or demand), drug use (supply or demand), dog fighting.
b)  Risk Unacceptability: speeding, driving without insurance, most violent crimes (to avoid risks of anarchy and loss of order).
Government Response:
                - Outlaw acting on preferences (criminalize behavior)
                - Use sanctions and incentives in attempting to change preferences

II. Intertemporal Resource Allocation
1. Concept: Social rate of time preference, or “the discount rate.” Everybody values things more in present than in the future.
2. Problem: This means that market also values goods and services more in the present than in the future.  Then in some point, saving both renewable and non-renewable resources for future generations makes no sense (forest, coral reefs, fish stocks, oil, species, etc.)
3. Government Responses: harvest limits, preserves, etc.

III. Efficiency v. Democracy
 Sometimes the rules of decision making or the process of decisions are more important than the efficiency of the outcomes. As a society, we value government policies as much for how they are made as for what they do.
Criminal Justice System: ‘Innocent until Proven Guilty’ standard
                - Very inefficient;
                - Since most suspects are guilty, this doesn’t really improve public safety;

Public Participation in Administrative Decisions
                - Very time consuming;
                - Since bureaucrats are experts, unlikely that public input will improve quality of decision.
                -Very costly
                - What if benevolent dictator with very sophisticated public opinion polling apparatus could make decisions consistent with public preferences – would we want this?

IV. Preserving Human Dignity and Improving Equality of Outcomes

-           Equal Access and Civil Rights
-          Minimum Standards of Living
-          Improving Equality of Outcomes:  may even increase overall social welfare if the poor benefit more from these programs than the wealthy are distressed (i.e., if we assume a single social welfare function where small additions to welfare mean more to the poor than they do to the rich.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Metropolitan Cooperation and Administration in Mexico

 The Role of Metropolitan Cooperation and Administrative Capacity in Subnational Debt Dynamics: Evidence From Municipal Mexico

First published: February 2017
DOI: 10.1111/pbaf.12155

Heidi Jane M. Smith (corresponding author) is at the Departamento de Economía [Economics Department], Universidad Iberoamericana, Prolongación Paseo de Reforma 880, Lomas de Santa Fe, México, 01219, Ciudad de México. She can be reached at heidi.smith@ibero.mx.
Allyson Lucinda Benton is at the División de Estudios Políticos [Political Studies Department], Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, AC (CIDE), Carretera México-Toluca 3655, Colonia Lomas de Santa Fé México, Ciudad de México 01210. She can be reached at allyson.benton@cide.edu.


Research on subnational capital markets in developing nations has tended to focus on designing regulatory frameworks that compensate for structural economic, fiscal, and political factors. However, research on public investment in the United States shows that functional factors, like administrative capacity and metropolitan cooperation, are also important. Using a panel dataset of Mexican municipal debt (2005–2012), the study examines whether metropolitan cooperation and administrative capacity affect subnational debt decisions in this developing nation. Cross-sectional time-series analysis of different types of municipal debt (public development bank loans, private commercial bank debt, bond emissions, and trust instruments) reveals that municipalities in metropolitan areas avoid costlier credits but that they do not cooperate to access cheaper loans. The research reveals that administrative capacity plays little to no role in municipal debt decisions.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Postmodern Theory

Postmodern public administration theory can be most easily understood as the antithesis of positivism and the logic of objective social science.
Organizational Humanism and Postpositivism
The core ideas in postmordern public administration
1.       Public administrators and public agencies are not and cannot be either neutral or objective.
2.       Technology is often dehumanizing
3.       Bureaucratic hierarchy is often ineffective as an organizational strategy.
4.       Bureaucratic tend toward goal displacement and survival
5.       Cooperation, consensus, and democratic administration are more likely than the simple exercise of administrative authority to result in organizational effectiveness.
6.       Modern concepts of public administration must be built on postbehavioral and postpositivist logic—more democratic, adaptable, and responsive to changing social, economic, and political circumstances.
Postpositivism is not thought to be primarily antipositivist. The positivist notion that the social world is orderly; that this order can be understood, described, and explained; and that accumulated knowledge thus attained can form the basis of theory is, in the view of most postpositivists, simply wrong.
Postmodern Perspectives in Public Administration
To attempt to understand postmodern public administration, one must begin with the postmodern characterization of modernity or high modernity:
×            To postmodernists, modern public administration based on enlightenment logic is simply misguided
×            Postmodernists describe modern life as hyperreality, a blurring of the real and the unreal.
×            Modernity is also characterized in postmodernity as particularly authoritarian and unjust
×            Modernity, in the postmodern perspective, is primarily concerned with objective knowledge and its development.
×            Farmer describes modernity as expressions of the limits of prticularism, scientism, technologism, and enterprise. Form the postmodern perspective, criticisms of modernist public administration include:
Its over reliance on the logic and epistemology of objective rational social science
The implicit support it gives to authoritarian, unfair, and unjust regimes
Its bias toward American particularism
The too great attachment it has to functional management and organization technologies
Its willingness to be overly influenced by the capitalist logic of enterprise
Looking for Postmodern Public Administration Theory
×            Postmodern public administration theory looks rather like a combination of the sense making logic described in Chapter 7 on decision making theory, many of the modern elements of institutional theory described in Chapter 4, and public management theory described in Chapter 5.
×            Following farmer, postmodern public administration can be understood to include dialectic, a return to imagination, the deconstruction of meaning, deterritorialization, and alterity.
Feminist Perspectives on Public Administration
×            The service or helping perspective of process approaches to bureaucratic functioning is thought to be feminine.
×            The feminist professional distinction: female reformers of the time developed their own understanding of science, one centered not around objectivity and rigor but around connectedness. The day-to-day work of the settlement involved an intimate understanding of the circumstances of others, sympathy and support, advocacy, and anything but disinterested neutrality
×            Feminists see leadership differently. The feminist perspective looks a lot like the logic of democratic administration found in postpositivist public administration—group decisionmaking, consensus, team work, deliberation, and discourse. In its most extreme form, it would favor the leaderless organization or the logic of leader rotation.
×            From the feminist perspective, the images of the public administrators as guardian, hero, or high-profile leader are masculine. The application of fairness, compassion, benevolence, and civic-mindedness are thought to be more feminine. The administrator as citizen rather than leader is also associated with feminist logic.
Postmodern Theory and Imagination
×            Postmodernists base their quest for greater imagination in public administration by rejecting rationality and rationalization.
×            Imagination is important to postmodern public administration theory because of the view that metaphor, images, allegory, stories, and parables play a central role in how people think. Gareth Morgan refers to imaginization as the art of creative management, which resembles the standard humanist management training/interventionist menu of improving abilities to see things differently, referred to as thinking outside the box, finding new ways to organize, encouraging personal empowerment, and finding new ways to self-organize.
×            A second version of the postmodern imagination perspective is associated with leadership and strategic management. This is the call for public administrators to improve their capacities to see around the corner, to have great vision, and to take risks
The Antistate Charactereristics of Postmodern Theory
×            The postmodernists are most attuned to the weakness of the nation-state and to an open and direct criticism of the state. Postmodern public administration theory comes the most closest to thoughtful perspectives on one of the most important contemporary issues facing the field: the declining salience of the state.
×            Postmodernists argue that in the modern world all the characteristics of the state are in play. The modern nation-state is “too remote to manage the problems of our daily life…and too constrained to confront the global problems that affect us”.
×            Public administration in the postnational world will move subtly away from the logic of state or nation building and the concentration of ever more economic capacity or sovereignty toward the search for multi-institutional compatibilities, attempts to find cross-jurisdictional convergence, and, above all, searches for procedures that will aid the development of generally acceptable decision processes and rules.
×            American approaches to postmodern public administration theory tend to be less bold, choosing to emphasize improved discourse and more humane and democratic administration.
×            Postmodern public administration theory emphasizes teamwork and conformity.
×            The postmodern condition is described as increasingly fragmented jurisdictionally, more and more small jurisdictions emerging.
Methodological Perspectives and the Contributions of Postmodern Approaches to the Field
×            Postmodern approach to field research
×            The methodological approach in operational naturalistic inquiry is as follows: natural setting; human interest; utilization of tacit knowledge; qualitative methods; purposive sampling; inductive data analysis; grounded theory; emergent design; negotiated outcome; case study reporting mode; ideographic interpretation; tentative application; focused-determined boundaries to the inquiry “on the basis of the emergent focus”; special criteria for trustworthiness.
×            Scholars working from the postmodern public administration theory perspective have provided thoughtful and provocative analyses of the problem of administrative responsibility, trust, gender, legitimacy and a wide range of other issues in the field.
×            Postmodern research and theory is highly influential among the members of the Law and Society Association.
×            The postmodern methodological perspective is associated with deterriorialization, an analytic approach that seeks to break down the structural territories found in all organizations.
×            The postmodern methodological perspective also includes the logic of alterity, or a forthright concern for the “moral other” on the part of public admin.

Theories of Public Management

Public management is taken to mean the formal and informal processes of guiding human interaction toward public organizational objectives. The units of analysis are processes of interaction between managers and workers and the effects of management behavior on workers and work outcomes.

Traditional Management Theory Thrust Forward
×            Traditional management theory has its origins with Frederick W. Taylor and his influential The Principles of Scientific Management.
×            Luther Gulick applied scientific management to government and introduced the most famous mnemonic in the field—POSDCORB, which represents his theory of the seven major functions of management: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting.
×            Based on field research, Chester Barnard, the Hawthorne experiments, and Douglas McGregor conducted behavioral work.
×            One important and different approach to management theory is the sociology of Max Weber, who founded the formal study of the large-scale complex organizations he labeled bureaucracy.

Middle-range theories
From the late 1950s through the mid-1980s, much of this work was in the so-called middle range theories, particularly group theory, role theory, and communications theory.
Group Theory
In group theory, the effective group will develop shared goals and values, norms of behavior, customs, and traditions. Effective management in the context of group theory nurtures, cultivates, and supports group goals and norms that are compatible with and supportive of institutional purposes and missions.
Role Theory
In role theory, each office or position is defined in its relationship to others and to the organization as a whole, and often to the organization’s purpose.
Henry Mintzberg used the concept of roles to identify the three primary managerial roles: interpersonal roles, informational roles, and managerial roles.
Communication Theory
The theory of communication argues that most downward communication emphasizes task directives and organizational policy and procedures, while often neglect the communication of agency mission and performance feedback, which result in the low morale, preoccupation with routine tasks, and indifference to agency performance.
New Public Management
×            The positivist decision-theory founded by Simon appears to have had little effect on the day-to-day practices of public management, and the language, arguments and influence of the principles of management in public organizations remain surprisingly “proverbial”.
×            As a way to distinguish between public management principles that are scientifically verifiable and principles that are simply understood and accepted, Hood and Jackson suggest that the principles are better understood as doctrines.
×            These doctrines have been name as “New Public Management”, and its principles are widely accepted in the modern practice of public administration.

Leadership as Public Management
×            Bureaucratic politics came to be a preferred way to theorize about the role of public managers in making policy, certainly preferable to theorizing about the day-to-day management of a bureau or an office. Bureaucrats, in high policy, are understood to be leaders, a very legitimating perspectives.
×            The study of management in the policy schools has come to be the study of what leaders do, rather than the study of management theories

Managing By Contract
×            Through the analysis of contracting for capital projects, large-scale projects and contracting of social service, the authors study the difference between contract management and ordinary public management.
×            By contracting out, governments exports some management issues such as day-to-day direction of activities, contracts with clients or customers, the organization of work, the motivation of workers, and the issues of leadership. Contracting redefines administrative discretion by delegating it to buyers. And contracting appears to decrease public management responsibility for orderly and reliable institutions and increase the long-range probability of instability.
×            How can government be an effective and smart buyer?
A smart-buying government must have more frontline bureaucrats trained, hired, and rewarded to do contract management. Governments should avoid contracting for core government functions, because contracting weakens a manager’s capacity to manage directly by delegating management.

Public Institutional Theory

Institutional Theory
×            The organization and management of contained and bounded public institutions, now generally comprehended by institutional theory.
×            Institutions include states and other governmental jurisdictions and subjurisdictions, parliaments, bureaucracies, shadow and contract bureaucracies, nongovernmental organizations, universities, and corporations or private companies having clear and distinct public purpose.
×            The “big tent theory of institutions”

The Basic Idea
×            Institutionalism could be said to account for how institutions behave and how they perform.
×            Institutionalism sees organizations as bounded social constructs of rules, roles, norms, and the expectations that constrain individual and group choices and behavior.
×            Institutionalism also includes core ideas about contemporary public administration: results, performance, outcomes, and purposefulness.
×            Institutionalism is not limited to formal governmental organizations, also concerns the full-range of “third sector” organization and fully recognizes the fuzzy distinctions between public and private institutions.
From Organizations to Institutions
×            Organizations in the private sector are not ordinarily thought of as institutions. Institutions that are also organizations, found primarily in the public sector.
×            Organization theory: emphasis on formal structure and management
×            Institutional theory: emphasis on patterns of collective behavior exogenous to the formal organization, and patterns of interaction between institutions and their broader social economic, and political contexts
×            Hierarchy is usually thought to be something that needs to be replaced with better forms of organizing.
×            The explanation of the persistence and no other alternatives is ,first, that work is organized by task, and tasks are increasingly complex and tend to separate into discrete categories of increasing complexity; and, second, the mental work of management increases in complexity and also separate into discrete categories.
Alternatives to Hierarchy
Transaction cost analysis; information asymmetry; principal agent theory; models of rational choice.
High-Reliable Systems
×            Features: tightly coupled physical technologies, fixed and rigid standard procedure, extensive and constant technological training, fund guarantee high efficiency, highly redundant, highly networked, high-functioning public-private partnership, error reporting is encouraged and not punished, hierarchical organization.
×            These failure-free systems reveal how remarkably effective modern public and private organizations can be if they have adequate resources and are well managed.
Comparing Institutional Forms
×            Scholars compared institutional and constitutional designs at the level of the nation-state. But national states are hard to compare. American cities are much easier to compare and they exhibit many of the same institutional design characteristics as national states.
×            The municipal reform movement was a remarkably success of institutional redesign for the purpose of changing the allocation of power and policy outcomes of American cities.
×            Reallocating power and changing institutional behavior was accomplished by changing the institutional rules and altering institutional roles.
System Fragmentation
×            Tiebout Thesis, an argument that multiple small jurisdictions in a metropolitan area aid market-like individual choice, competition, and public service both in separate jurisdictions and in entire metropolitan areas.
×            A systems fragmentation versus a consolidated systems argument
×            David Lowery’s critique of fragmentation theory: greater racial and income segregation; a spatial mismatch of need and fiscal capacity among poor and minorities and wealthy whites; policies that minimize sorting by race and income and maximize redistribution and generalized economic growth.
Garbage Cans and Rent Seeking
×            In the garbage cam one can finds order, but this order is neither sequential nor consequential and turns much of the rational logic of decision theory on its head.
×            Public problems in the garbage can seek solutions; at the same time, public institutions may be attracted to particular problems. Problems, solutions, can decisionmakers are temporal phenomena simultaneously available and can form a temporal order. “You often do not know what the public policy question is until you know the answer”. Rather than the answer to a particular public policy question, in the garbage can an appropriate answer is most likely
×            Rent can be thought as a surplus in a completely efficient public sector. While public sector institutions have to do with institutional structural factors that may be inefficient. Redistribution of goods and service can been used to seek the greatest social surplus.

The Diffusion of Innovation
×            Everett M. Rogers found that innovation or reforms spread in diffusions, which exhibit a common pattern: the S-curve.
×            Patterns of diffusion are explained by a series of attendant hypothesis:
The association between the presence of a perceived crisis and the propensity to adopt a change
The importance of the compatibility between the purposes of a change or reform and the dominant values in a social system
Spatial proximity is important in diffusion theory
The mass media play a crucial role in amplifying and editing the diffusion of collective action
Change agents are often the carriers of change, the agents of diffusions
Closely associated with the media and with diffusion change agents is the matter of fashion setting
Both individuals and institutions tend to change so as to acquire prestige, status and social standing

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