2001 volume 33(3) pages 509 – 532

Cite as:
Sager T, 2001, "Planning style and agency properties" Environment and Planning A 33(3) 509 – 532

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Planning style and agency properties

Tore Sager

Received 30 September 2000; in revised form 19 December 2000

Abstract. It is assumed here that planning style and the organisational properties of the agency are loosely coupled. A number of such properties are discussed in order to construct four agency profiles corresponding to the values and basic ideas of synoptic, incremental, communicative, and advocacy planning. The four identified configurations of style and structure can (1) be theoretical reference points when analysing constellations of planning style and agency characteristics found in practice, and (2) be used for forming hypotheses about such empirical constellations. The analysis responds to the critique raised against procedural planning theories for being abstract and context free and thus unfit to guide planning in real societies where public planning is embedded in particular organisations and institutions. Most of the organisational features dealt with here have been studied in the economic theory of organisation, and this facilitates the construction of consistent and coherent agency profiles.

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