Digital Garden of Paul

Perspectives on rationalities

Hartwig displayed for public administration different perspectives on organising. According to the author this has originates from different perspectives on rationality. Rationality meaning the quality of being based or according with reason and logic.

An economic would look at a problem from a economic perspective, while an engineer looks at it with a technical rationality. These different rationalities lead to different takes on a problem and their appropriate solution.

Five rationalities are mentioned by Hartwig, each with its own criteria and science.

TechnicalUse of material resources to reach an effect: efficiencyengineering
EconomicEffect in relationship with costEconomics
PoliticalDecisiveness, supportPolitical science, sociology
SocialSocial integration, meaningSociology, social psychology

The theory shows that various paradigms of organising can relate to various rationalities which lead to tension. As such it correlates well with the Competing Values Framework.

[hartwig1978ration] Hartwig, R. (1978). Rationality and the problems of administrative theory. Public administration, 56(2), 159-179.

Perspectives on rationalities