Affiliated Organization

Proceedings of JAIS Theory Development Workshop


The relationship between technological expertise and organisational decision making has always been complex and moving this to the public sector only increases the complexity. This paper uses a longitudinal case study to present four critical incidents about the implementation of one such scheme in the UK and analyses these to determine the nature of this relationship in the public sector. By drawing on insights from science and technology studies about the nature of scientific and technological expertise it argues that the parliamentary debate and decision making about the technological aspects of the proposed policy was based on a misplaced confidence espoused as technological certainty rather than confidence in the underlying policy proposals. This misplaced confidence led to many problems in the implementation of the Scheme and, this paper argues, could have been avoided had a clearer understanding of the relationship between technological expertise, certainty and organisational decision making been found.