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Towards sustainable consumption: an ethnographic study of knowledge work and organisational action in public policy development and implementation

Marvulli, Lorenzo 2017. Towards sustainable consumption: an ethnographic study of knowledge work and organisational action in public policy development and implementation. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis is an empirical investigation of public policy-making and government action in the UK. It presents the findings of an ethnographic study of the work practices of a team of middle-ranking civil servants in DEFRA, the UK government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Analysis relies on data generated over a period of one year of research placement in the Department's headquarters in London, during which the author witnessed, and to an extent participated to, the everyday activities of policy officers. The inquiry is framed around the problem of establishing empirical grounds for the study of public policy-making. The methodology the study uses combines elements of traditional ethnographic studies of work in organisations with the more recent theoretical background informing workplace studies. The interest is first and foremost micro-sociological, with a view of capturing language, discursive practices and practical reasoning and analyse them as local, ongoing accomplishment of office work. An objective of the inquiry is to detail the status of 'sustainable consumption' policies in the United Kingdom during the period of participant observation (2011-2012). The analysis clarifies upon which formal or informal sources of knowledge policymakers drew in designing policies and interventions, and it describes the tasks and the work associated with policy development. Through the analysis of this ‘policy work’, the thesis also provides a larger picture of the ways policies and policy options are progressed or dismissed by the government through the work of Departments. Practices of project management, risk management and knowledge brokerage are considered and examined.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 October 2017
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2023 01:44

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