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Title: Lost in translation? : an examination of the implementation of problem-oriented projects
Author: Bullock, Karen Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2674 3478
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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Problem-oriented policing is an approach to policing within which primacy is attached to preventing the recurrence of problem behaviours which fall within the remit of the police rather than merely reacting to individual calls for service as and when they occur. This study was born of weaknesses in existing accounts of the delivery of problem-oriented projects. Framed almost entirely in top-down conceptions of project implementation, existing studies tend to neglect the behavioural features that shape what projects deliver and the links between the behavioural and structural features of them. This study will examine the legitimacy of the dominant top-down approach to studying patterns of implementation and whether top-down and bottom-up approaches are sufficient to explain the implementation of problem-oriented projects. Drawing on evidence from in-depth case studies of two problem-oriented projects, it identifies the factors that shaped their execution. Top-down features of leadership, resources, theory, guidance, accountability and management all played a role in shaping what the projects achieved but bottom-up features of practitioner re-negotiation of aims, values, routines and conflict were also present. The study concludes that neither approach is sufficient for explaining the delivery of problem-oriented projects. Both top-down and bottom-up factors play a role and there are strong dependencies and relationships between them. An alternative approach to conceiving implementation is proposed, drawing on a broad theoretical framework developed by Giddens (1984). First, it is contended that the structural and behavioural features of projects are mutually dependent. Project structures both transform and are transformed by their interaction and reproduction by practitioners. Second, it is suggested that there may be limits to the nature of constraint in project settings as formal systems of project management may have limited authority unless they are sanctioned and mobilized by the very people they are trying to monitor and control. Third, projects are inserted into organisational contexts where there are existing taken-for-granted sets of routinely understood organisational processes and practices. New project structures interact with these and are likely to transform and be transformed by interaction with them. As such they are not likely to be implemented in a straightforward manner. Fourth, project structures change over time as they are re-negotiated by practitioners and are influenced by unanticipated events and unintended consequences of actions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available