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Dissertation Information for Martha S. Feldman

- Martha S. Feldman

- Ph.D.

- Public Administration

- Stanford University (USA) (1983)

- None

- None

MPACT Status: Incomplete - Not_Inspected


Abstract: "Recent advances in information processing capabilities have increased the possibilities for systematic information use in decision making. The reality has not always matched the vision, however. Students of organizations and politics have learned that the use of information is not a straightforward process. It is influenced by the people who handle it and the organizational structure in which they work. Thus, to understand the implications for using information in organizational settings, it is important to learn about the systematic interactions between context and information.

This is a study of information processing behavior of staff members in the policy office of the U.S. Department of Energy. It is based on one and one half years of participant observation in this organization. The data come from field observations made during that period as well as data gathered at the end of the period using more structured and intrusive techniques. These data about the behavior and attitudes of individuals are examined in an effort to understand how the processes of gathering, producing, communicating, and interpreting information may effect the operation of the organization as a whole.

The four major sections of the study deal with four aspects of life as a staff member in a policy office. The first explores the process of report writing. It relies on data from field notes. The second examines conversations in the work place. Thirty-six staff members recorded information about their conversations in the work place for a week to provide the data for this section. The third section deals with the staff member as s/he fits into a role in the organization and as s/he develops an interpretation of his or her responsibilities and authority. This section is based on reports over a twelve week period of the staff members in one division of the policy office. Each person chose one issue for which s/he had responsibility and reported what had happened concerning that issue each week. The fourth section explores the staff members' attitudes about work and the work place. This section relies primarily on interview data.

The four sections together provide a sketch of life as a staff member in this organization. They illustrate the development and use of routines as a way of making sense out of and dealing with an environment of considerable uncertainty and irregularity. They portray the way in which a position in an organization provides a setting for substantive interests, professional concerns and personal alliances."

MPACT Scores for Martha S. Feldman

A = 0
C = 1
A+C = 1
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:29:49

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Students under Martha S. Feldman

- None

- Mark Handel - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2004)