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Institutional memory as storytelling: how networked government remembers

Corbett, J, Grube, DC, Lovell, H ORCID: 0000-0003-1164-0356 and Scott, RJ 2020 , Institutional memory as storytelling: how networked government remembers , Cambridge Elements: Elements in Public and Nonprofit Administration , Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom.

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How do bureaucracies remember? The conventional view isthat institutional memory is static and singular, the sum of recordedfiles and learned procedures. There is a growing body of scholarshipthat suggests contemporary bureaucracies are failing at this core task.This Element argues that this diagnosis misses that memories areessentially dynamic stories. They reside with people and are thusdispersed across the array of actors that make up the differentiatedpolity. Drawing on four policy examples from four sectors (housing,energy, family violence and justice) in three countries (the UK, Australiaand New Zealand), this Element argues that treating the wayinstitutions remember as storytelling is both empirically salient andnormatively desirable. It is concluded that the currentconceptualisation of institutional memory needs to be recalibrated tofit the types of policy learning practices required by moderncollaborative governance.

Item Type: Book
Authors/Creators:Corbett, J and Grube, DC and Lovell, H and Scott, RJ
Keywords: policy change, institutional memory, narrative, networked governance, policy learning, storytelling
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
DOI / ID Number: 10.1017/9781108780001
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 the authors

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