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The public planning agency and public participation : an organizational approach Sorensen, Carl Vernon 1981

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THE PUBLIC PLANNING AGENCY AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: AN ORGANIZATIONAL APPROACH by CARL VERNON SORENSEN B . S c , The U n i v e r s i t y of A l b e r t a , 1964 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Community and Regional Planning) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the re q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 1981 C a r l Vernon Sorensen, 1981 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. School of Community and Regional Planning The University of British Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 i i THE PUBLIC PLANNING AGENCY AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: AN ORGANIZATIONAL APPROACH ABSTRACT Public planning agencies i n democratic p o l i t i c a l systems are faced by a demand from the public for the opportunity to have an influence on > decision-making processes. Evidence suggests that t h i s demand for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i l l not decline. The t y p i c a l planning agency response to t h i s demand r e s u l t s from common perceptions of the arguments i n favour of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The l i t e r a t u r e suggests that t h i s response has been a reluctant and marginal i n c l u s i o n of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n decision-making processes, i n reaction to forces external to the agency. The usual arguments for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n planning are based i n democratic p o l i t i c a l theory, and are arguments which have to do with the benefits of p a r t i c i p a t i o n for the public or the p o l i t i c a l system. These arguments are themselves not conclusive, for there are d i f f e r e n t schools of democratic theory which ascribe d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of s i g n i f i c a n c e to p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Public p a r t i c i p a t i o n approached from the basis of t h i s p o l i t i c a l theory does not lead to a concept of i t being of s i g n i f i c a n t benefit to the planning agency's organizational needs, except i n s o f a r as engaging i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n may make the agency conform to p o l i t i c a l requirements. An a l t e r n a t i v e approach, based on organizational theory, considers public p a r t i c i p a t i o n from the viewpoint of how i t may serve organizational needs of the public planning agency. The current Open Systems view of organizations provides such a means for undertaking an organizational approach to public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . I t considers an organization's communication with i t s external environment to be a c r i t i c a l element i n i t s functioning. i i i An examination of the p r i n c i p l e s and concepts of the Open Systems view of organizations demonstrates that they are applicable to public p a r t i c i p a t i o n and the public planning agency. The Open Systems view can be integrated with a model of a public planning agency developed according to current planning theory, and with p o l i t i c a l systems theory as the l a t t e r pertains to a planning agency's i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s with i t s environment. When t h i s i n t e g r a t i o n i s done within the context of the manner i n which the representative democratic system functions, the r e s u l t suggests that p u b l i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n a s s i s t s i n meeting c e r t a i n "organizational" needs of the public planning agency. This "organizational approach" to public p a r t i c i p a t i o n provides a r a t i o n a l e for a planning agency's p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e towards public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , since i t i s an approach which considers the benefits to the planning agency as an organization. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENT v i i CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1 A. The Hypothesis 1 B. Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n as a Public Issue 3 1. An Understanding of the Public Issue . 3 2. Development of the Public Issue 5 3. The Future of the Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n Issue 9 4. Planning Agency Response to the Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n Issue 15 C. An Organizational Approach to Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n 18 1. The Need f o r a P o s i t i v e Approach 18 2. A P o s i t i v e Approach i n the Open System View 23 CHAPTER I I : SCOPE, LIMITATIONS, AND METHODOLOGY 25 A. General Scope and Limitations 25 B. S p e c i f i c Assumptions and Limitations 26 C. Methodology 32 CHAPTER I I I : THE OPEN SYSTEMS VIEW OF ORGANIZATIONS 34 A. Open Systems Theory 34 1. Relevance to the Hypothesis 34 2. Description of Open Systems Theory 34 3. The Boundary Question 36 4. The Open - Closed Continuum 37 5. Environmental C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s 38 B. External Communications and the Open System 41 1. The C e n t r a l i t y of Communication 41 2. Communication - The Link with the Environment 43 3. External Communication and the Boundary Question 45 4. Some Important Communication Concepts 46 Senders and Receivers Communication Di r e c t i o n Message, Meaning, and Channel Formal or Informal C. A Summary Statement 53 V CHAPTER IV: RELEVANT CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PUBLIC PLANNING AGENCY AND ITS CONTEXT 54 A. The Public Planning Agency as an Open System 54 1. Recognition of Contingencies 54 2. The Environment 56 3. Communication with the Environment: The Reason for Special Attention 62 4. Attention to Concepts 67 5. A Concluding Statement 67 B. The Organizational Context 68 1. An Understanding of Context ' 68 2. Formal Political Structure 69 The Basis of Municipal Government The Service Orientation of Local Government The Official Representative Process General Authority Norms 3. Bureaucracy 75 Pervasiveness Characteristics and Assumptions of Bureaucracy Bureaucracy in Government 4. Administration 81 Administrative Principles Administrative Reality C. Planning Theory, and an Operational Model of Planning 88 1. Why Bring in Planning Theory? 88 2. Procedural Planning Theory 88 3. An Operational Model 98 CHAPTER V: THE NEED FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AS EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION 107 A. The Political System Framework of Analysis 107 1. Public Planning is Political 107 2. System Persistence 108 3. System Inputs . 109 4. System Outputs 117 5. System Feedback 117 vi B. Public Participation as Feedback 120 1. Conventional Feedback 120 2. The "Second Circuit" Feedback Loop 123 Feedback Channel Alternatives The Hypothesis in Terms of a Feedback Channel Alternative The First Proposition The Second Proposition C. Public Participation in Relation to Established Agency Norms 150 1. Professional Theory 150 2. Administrative Norms 151 3. Bureaucratic Principles 154 D. Some Operational Implications 157 1. The City of Edmonton's Public Participation Proposal 157 2. Planned Participation 158 3. Internal Requisites 161 4. Political Sanction 164 5. Groups Versus Individuals 167 6. The Communication Techniques of Public Participation . 172 7. The Decentralization Issue 174 CHAPTER VI: SUMMARY 179 REFERENCES 183 APPENDIX: THE CITY OF EDMONTON DISTRICT PLANNING AND CITIZEN PARTICIPATION PROCESS 195 A. Introduction 195 B. Basic Characteristics 197 C. The Overall Process 201 D. The Process within the Political System 207 v i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to acknowledge, f i r s t l y , the support and decisions of the City of Edmonton, p a r t i c u l a r l y from the Planning Department and the Board of Commissioners, r e s u l t i n g i n my being granted educational leave from my p o s i t i o n with the Ci t y . This led to me being able to undertake and complete a programme of graduate studies at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia School of Community and Regional Planning. Secondly, I wish to acknowledge the encouragement and support of my wife, Joanne, both i n my taking advantage of t h i s opportunity and, more importantly, i n persevering through the work and s a c r i f i c e s of personal time involved. L i f e i s made easier by people such as her. Thir d l y , I wish to acknowledge the support, encouragement, and stimulation of people with whom I associated while at the School of Community and Regional Planning. Of these I sin g l e out Brahm Wiesman (whose i n t e r e s t was personal as well as professional) and Jamie Wallin, my advisers, and Walter Hardwick and Peter Oberlander. They and others, including fellow 'students, made my return to student l i f e a great experience. I recommend such an experience to anyone. Carl V. Sorensen CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION A. The Hypothesis "Organization theory as represented by the Open Systems view of organizations supports the urban public planning agency's engagement i n a process of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n planning." The objective i n examining t h i s hypothesis i s to demonstrate that current organization theory represented by the Open Systems view provides a functionally-based organizational framework for a p o s i t i v e approach to public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n planning. Such a framework supports public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n v planning i n two respects: 1. i t complements the current p r o f e s s i o n a l theory to which the planning profession subscribes; and 2. i t asserts an organizational need for external communication, which for a public planning agency i s f u l f i l l e d by public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . " ' The Open Systems view of organizations, when applied to a public planning agency, provides a r a t i o n a l e f o r public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n planning which does not have i t s source i n the p r e s c r i p t i o n s of democratic or planning theory. Both of these bodies of theory address the issue of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n terms of p o l i t i c a l and pr o f e s s i o n a l norms which are imposed on a p u b l i c planning agency by v i r t u e of i t s being a part of a p a r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l system, on the one hand, and i t s being a part of a p a r t i c u l a r profession, on the other. The organizational approach, through the Open Systems view, provides a r a t i o n a l e which has as i t s source a body of theory which i s fundamentally free of norms associated with democratic or planning theory. The organizational approach i s therefore neutral with respect to the democratic or professional context of the agency. / The Open System organizational approach to public p a r t i c i p a t i o n examines the public planning agency as an e n t i t y with environment-shaped - 2 -requirements and constraints which are i n t r i n s i c to i t as an organization. These requirements and constraints i n turn shape i t s organizational needs for external communication. The hypothesis postulates that for a public planning agency these requirements and constraints are such that a process of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n f u l f i l l s external communication needs. However, the organizational approach which leads to t h i s a s s e rtion involves an examination o f the public planning agency's s i t u a t i o n . While democratic and planning theory do not provide the fundamental r a t i o n a l e for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s organizational approach, the p o l i t i c a l and pro f e s s i o n a l context of the agency shapes i t s environment. Therefore p o l i t i c a l and professional norms, through the means of the organizational approach, a f f e c t the agency's need for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . They must be taken into account i n the organizational approach. - 3 -B. Public Participation as a Public Issue 1. An Understanding of the Public Issue The subject of "participation" is currently the object of a great deal of debate within liberal democratic societies. This debate is not exclu-sively an academic or intellectual one, nor is i t exclusively political. It involves "ordinary people", as well as politicians, industrial workers, and bureaucrats. Participation, especially "public participation", has become a public issue. The reason for this derives from an understanding of partici-pation as "the extent to which groups and individuals have an effect on the decision-making process" (Alford, 1969:21). The debate over participation involves some groups and individuals striving to achieve more direct and substantive participation in the decision-making processes with which they are involved, while others strive to contain or limit i t within defined limits. The most common decision-making context in which participation is discussed and debated is that of politics and government. The issue in this context is labelled as "public participation", "citizen participation", "participatory democracy", or similar terms. There is a great deal of literature representing the thinking of scholars of society and democratic political processes, both for and against public participation (Walker, 1966; Pateman, 1970; Benello and Roussopoulos, 1971; and Langton, 1978, to name only a few examples). In the context of democratic governmental processes the issue involves many aspects which are broader than the seemingly straightforward one of governmental decision-making. It involves, for example, the whole area of - l i -the relationship of participation in governmental decision-making to parti-cipation in a variety of other decision-making processes within society within which individuals and groups find themselves (Pateman, 1970). However, the issue is most obvious in recent public demands for increased participation in government. In its purest form, without getting enmeshed,in definitional pro-blems of democracy, the issue there is based on the values of our political culture. In the Canadian context, says one writer, i t can be taken as fact that Canadians perceive the political system as largely democratic, and i t can therefore be assumed that one of the values of Canadian political culture is participation in the governmental process, at whatever level (Higgins, 1977:195). It may well be that individuals do not see the issue in terms of values which they identify as political values; for many the issue is seen simply in terms of being able to have an effect on decision-making processes which affect them; in this case governmental processes. Whether or not their concern is explicitly political or is prompted by an explicitly-held theoretical position, the practical effect is the same. The issue of public participation addressed by the hypothesis is concerned with some general public involvement in day-to-day governmental pro-cesses such that "groups and individuals have an effect on the decision-making process". It is "some activity through which the citizen interacts with his or her political environment" (Meadow, 1980:71), but more specifically interaction activities which go beyond the formal electoral process and activities associated with i t . Citizens (i.e. the public) are no longer willing to participate in government only through the electoral process, or indirectly by way of persuading and influencing elected officials between elections. The public i s attempting to p a r t i c i p a t e i n government functions by communicating more d i r e c t l y and con t i n u a l l y with any public agency which i s perceived to have a s i g n i f i c a n t part i n governmental decision-making, i n order to have an e f f e c t on the decision-making process. No agency which has any part i n governmental processes i s unaffected by the issue. Any such agency i s subject to demands for increased public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , whether i t i s elected or appointed, or con-cerned with policy-making or administrative decisions. Urban public planning agencies are p a r t i c u l a r l y susceptible to fin d i n g themselves involved i n the issue of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Planning has to do with matters which a f f e c t the public i n i t s day-to-day r e a l i t y as well i n a long-term sense, whether i n d i r e c t or i n d i r e c t s o c i a l or economic terms. The pub l i c therefore expects urban planning agencies to respond to i t s values, perceptions, and needs. At the same time, planning agencies are expected to provide highly p r o f e s s i o n a l and t e c h n i c a l advice and decisions. The com-bination of planning with the democratic p o l i t i c a l process makes public planning agencies a major target of demands for increased public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n planning. 2. Development of the Public Issue P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n governmental decision-making i s not a new phenomenon. There have always been, i n democratic p o l i t i c a l systems, those i n d i v i d u a l s and groups within the "p u b l i c " who by v i r t u e of p o s i t i o n , wealth, or other means of exercising influence or power, have been able to demand and be accorded a p a r t i c i p a t o r y r o l e i n government and i t s agencies. In the case of planning up to the early 1960's, for example, the planner acknowledged and - 6 -responded to the influence of community leaders. "The planner responded to e l i t e s , f o r pragmatic reasons, that i s , to achieve acceptance of planning goals" (Burke, 1979:66). P a r t i c i p a t i o n of t h i s type occurred not so much because i t served organizational communication needs as because of the fact that i t served the purpose of having planning agencies' decisions accepted. Beyond t h i s type of p a r t i c i p a t i o n by elements of the public, widespread p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p o l i t i c a l processes occurred almost i n v a r i a b l y only through the e l e c t o r a l process. But more recently, the nature of what i s understood as public p a r t i -c i p a t i o n i n government has changed. Through the 1960's and 1970*s, p a r t i -c i p a t i o n began to take the form of a gathering of i n d i v i d u a l s other than community leaders around a common cause - a substantive issue (Burke, 1979:72), and of demands by such i n d i v i d u a l s to be more d i r e c t l y and personally involved i n the decision-making respecting such substantive issues. In other words, what i s now understood by public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n governmental decision-making i s an e f f e c t on the decision-making process which i s not l i m i t e d to the e l e c t o r a l process. At the same time another s i g n i f i c a n t change took place respecting where, within the public, the demand for p a r t i c i p a t i o n was coming from, i . e . the i n d i v i d u a l s other than community leaders .who were grouping around a common cause. Fish says that the early demands for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n meant p a r t i -c i p a t i o n by the under-privileged of society, but that i t has spread to a l l kinds of neighbourhoods and socio-economic groups (Fish, 1976:179-180). Sewell and Coppock support t h i s i n t h e i r contention that the pressure for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n has been e s p e c i a l l y acute i n matters which a f f e c t m i n o r i t i e s , but now involves issues which concern a large part of the population of p a r t i c u l a r - 7 -areas (Sewell and Coppock, 1977:1). I t i s recognized that these changes noted are very unevenly d i s t r i b u t e d within Canadian society, but as a broad ge n e r a l i z a t i o n they have occurred. What are the reasons for t h i s development? Some writers have sug-gested that, within urban municipal government, i t i s because of the f a c t that the pace and timing of urbanization has brought to the forefront a v a r i e t y of problems associated with population concentration. What were formerly non-c o n t r o v e r s i a l and t e c h n i c a l issues have become c o n t r o v e r s i a l p o l i c y and value-rel a t e d issues, "based on c o n f l i c t i n g competitive views...over the purpose, nature, and form of c i t i e s " (Higgins, 1977:198-199). Plunkett states: The p r i n c i p a l concerns of Canadian c i t y dwellers currently extend beyond the p r o v i s i o n of e s s e n t i a l community house-keeping ser v i c e s . These now include such matters as the s o c i a l d i s l o c a t i o n caused by urban re-development, the pro-v i s i o n and l o c a t i o n of public housing, the protection of c i t y neighbourhoods with a p a r t i c u l a r l i f e - s t y l e and the r e s o l u t i o n of c o n f l i c t between the expansion of expressways for the movement of v e h i c l e s and mass t r a n s i t emphasizing the movement of people (Plunkett, 1976:331). These types of issues have become matters of everyday l i f e f o r which i n d i v i d u a l s have a personal concern, and "on matters of the p o l i t i c s of everyday l i f e , c i t i z e n s know what they want" (Margolis, 1979:88). Both Higgins and Plunkett suggest, furthermore, that these now c o n t r o v e r s i a l issues have been thrust upon a p o l i t i c a l and administrative system designed to meet the needs of stable communities and to deal with non-controversial and t e c h n i c a l issues, "a sort of trusteeship r o l e for the p r o v i s i o n of e s s e n t i a l community se r v i c e s " (Plunkett, 1976:331). One r e s u l t of these two factors has been a greater demand by the public- for an enlarged p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the issues with which municipal govern-ments are concerned. - 8 -Others point to the •fact that "administrative o f f i c i a l s have accumulated vast powers to influence p o l i c y decisions and to e f f e c t the i n d i v i d u a l and c o l l e c t i v e r i g h t s of the c i t i z e n r y " (Kernaghan, 1973:573)- They agree that c i v i l servants are "independent actors i n the p o l i c y process rather than simply administrators of decisions formulated by t h e i r p o l i t i c a l masters" (Brodie and McNaughton, 1980:242). These o f f i c i a l s are secure i n t h e i r agencies and impervious to change. As a r e s u l t , there has a r i s e n an i n t e r e s t i n and demand for d i r e c t c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n bureaucratic agencies with the hope that d i r e c t p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i l l make i t possible to a f f e c t agency programmes and performance (David, 1973:61) An a n a l y s i s by Kaufman provides a s i m i l a r view. He describes ( i n the American s i t u a t i o n , but with a p p l i c a b i l i t y to Canada) a succession of s h i f t s i n society's values respecting government among three values: representativeness, p o l i t i c a l l y n e u t ral competence, and executive (non-neutral) leadership (Kaufman, 1978:462). The emphasis on any one of these over a period of time brings about a s h i f t to the one following. In h i s analysis, the period up to the recent has been one with l e s s emphasis on the representative value, as evidenced by the b u i l d i n g of p r o f e s s i o n a l bureaucracies and executive leadership. The r e s u l t i s that i n recent years many people have come to have a f e e l i n g that they as i n d i v i d u a l s cannot e f f e c t i v e l y r e g i s t e r t h e i r own preferences on the decisions emanating from the organs of government. These people have begun to demand redress of the balance among the three values, with s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n to the d e f i c i e n c i e s i n representativeness (Kaufman, 1978:463). He contends that a f t e r a period of more emphasis on representativeness ( p o l i t i c i z i n g , reorganization, and d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of administration), there w i l l once again be a return to values expressed by the demand for n e u t r a l i t y and independence of the c i v i l s ervice (Kaufman, 1978:473). - 9 -3. The Future of the Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n Issue The question may properly be raised as to whether or not the current issue of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n governmental decision-making i s one which w i l l p e r s i s t over time. Is i t a "fad", or does i t have any l a s t i n g s i g n i f i c a n c e f or a public planning agency? Although the hypothesis implies that these questions r are i r r e l e v a n t , i n that the agency should be concerned with public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n any event, the p r a c t i c a l i t i e s of agency operations suggest that the questions are important. Individuals and organizations do not always make changes or adopt a new approach unless they are forced to, even i f the changes and new approach would be to t h e i r long-term b e n e f i t . One would expect to f i n d an answer to the question of the issue's persistence i n e i t h e r the body of theory which considers p a r t i c i p a t i o n within the context of p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y , or i n conclusions drawn from empirical evidence. The body of p o l i t i c a l theory which addresses the issue i s democratic theory, and within that theory the subject of p a r t i c i p a t i o n has a c e n t r a l r o l e (Pateman, 1970). But within t h i s p o l i t i c a l theory, the subject of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s represented by two main schools of thought: the behaviouralists, who argue that the d e f i n i t i o n of democracy should be revised to recognize the l i m i t e d r o l e of the general public to e s s e n t i a l l y approving or disapproving decisions or policy-making by leadership groups and e l i t e s ; and the post-behaviouralists, who argue that instead of such a r e d e f i n i t i o n of democracy, p o l i t i c a l systems should be changed to allow for the r e a l i z a t i o n of the c l a s s i c a l democratic i d e a l s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n (Bureau of Municipal Research, 1975:7-8). The behaviouralist p o s i t i o n would therefore suggest that i n theory public p a r t i -c i p a t i o n should not increase and the question should not be resolved i n favour - 10 -of participation. The post-behaviouralist position would suggest that in theory the question must be resolved in favour of public participation and its increase. Among the empirical observers, some suggest that public participation and demands for i t will increase. They tend to suggest this will be because of a greater participative experience and sophistication on the part of the public. Inglehart, for example, is of the opinion that such factors as emerging cultural values emphasizing spontaneity and. self-expression, and the expansion of education, mean that political and organizational skills are no longer concentrated among the holders of official roles, and that an increasingly articulate and politically sophisticated public will "demand participation in making major decisions, not just a voice in selecting their decision-makers" (Inglehart, 1977:15-16, 22, 293). Participation will be more and more on the basis of issue-specific ad hoc organizations (Inglehart, 1977:302). Within a planning context, Burke says that "once citizens are permitted to participate in a community activity, they tend to demand increased influence. It is safe to predict, therefore, that citizens will exert more rather than less influence in future community planning activities" (Burke, 1979:27). On the other hand, there are observers who are of the opinion that the demand will decline and the issue will no longer be as significant. Higgins, for example, suggests with respect to the "wave of group activism" in Canada that "there are some signs of i t waning in those cities (such as Toronto) where i t hit earliest" (Higgins, 1977:197). Sewell and Coppock hold the view that the movement towards public participation may be on the wane, and may soon r - 11 -die out because of public apathy and lack of willingness to bear the personal costs, and because of the resistance of o f f i c i a l s (Sewell and Coppock, 1977:6). The Bureau of Municipal Research exemplifies an intermediate p o s i t i o n , as a r e s u l t of i t s studies. L i k e l y the climate can be favourable to " p a r t i a l " p a r t i c i p a t i o n (Pateman's d e f i n i t i o n ) , but "no matter how c a r e f u l l y designed the p a r t i c i p a t i v e structure might be i n terms of providing for meaningful c i t i z e n involvement, the p o l i t i c a l climate must be favourable i f i t i s to be su c c e s s f u l " (Bureau of Municipal Research, 1975:53). There seems to be no compelling base i n p o l i t i c a l theory and no overwhelming empirical evidence suggesting an answer to the question of whether the issue of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i l l decline or w i l l continue to be of concern to s o c i e t y . However, there i s another approach to the question which provides some i n s i g h t . This approach i s provided by Downs's "issue-attention c y c l e " (Downs, 1972), and has been p a r t i a l l y applied to the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n issue i n the context of planning by Sewell and Coppock (1977). This issue - attention cycle as described by Downs (1972) o f f e r s a way of looking into the future. Downs has said that any one domestic issue r a r e l y remains long i n American public attention, "even i f i t involves a continuing problem of c r u c i a l importance to so c i e t y " (38). Public a t t i t u d e s and behaviour respecting any issue go through an issue-attention cycle where problems which have gained prominence gradually fade from public attention, even though s t i l l l a r g e l y unresolved. The f i v e stages of the cycle are: 1. the pre-problem stage, 2. alarmed discovery and euphoric enthusiasm, 3. r e a l i z i n g the cost of s i g n i f i c a n t progress, 4. gradual decline of intense public i n t e r e s t , and 5. the post-problem stage. - 12 -At Stage 2 the public suddenly becomes aware of and alarmed by an issue, and responds with euphoric enthusiasm about society's ability to deal with i t within a relatively short time without any fundamental re-ordering of society itself. At Stage 3 there is a realization of the cost of dealing with the issue, not only in terms of money but also in terms of major sacrifices by large groups of the population. There is also a realization that the issue results from arrange-ments which provide significant benefits to some (and often many) members of society. In Stage 4 the feelings of discouragement by some groups and individuals, by others of being threatened, and by others of sheer boredom result in a decline of general public interest and attention. Thus the issue arrives at Stage 5, which is one of lesser attention to i t or of only periodic recurrence of interest in i t . Sewell and Coppock suggest that the public participation issue is now passing from Stage 2 to Stage 3 of the cycle (Sewell and Coppock, 1977:6). This seems reasonably valid, in terms of the empirical .evidence discussed above. However, Sewell and Coppock say nothing with respect to whether, or when, the issue will pass to the later stages. Downs's thinking respecting Stages 4 and 5 provides two obser-vations relevant to public participation as an urban issue. First, Downs says that even though an issue goes through Stage 5, i t has a different place in public attention than i t did in the pre-problem stage. Likely during the cycle new institutions, programmes, and policies will have been created relating to the issue, and these will persist. In his words, "problems that have gone through the cycle almost always receive a higher level of attention, public effort, and general concern than those s t i l l in the pre-discovery stage" - 13 -(41). Second, Downs acknowledges that not a l l major issues (social problems) go through this cycle; those that do have some specific characteristics. But even for those which do go through the cycle, there may be characteristics of the issue which either prolong i t or delay its eventual moving into Stages 4 and 5. This may occur i f the issue is visible and has some degree of widespread effect, i f the blame can be fixed to a small group of "villains" who are seen to have wealth or power and the capability to change the situation, i f the costs of solution can be hidden, and i f the issue is ambiguous. Should a delay occur, then i t may be possible for proponents of solutions to accomplish significant changes i f they work fast. In the first case, Downs's description of the expected post-problem Stage leads one to conclude that there will likely be a persistence of higher levels of public participation than had previously been the case, i f one assumes that to be the "solution". In the second case, the public participation issue may indeed have the characteristics which lead to the cycle being prolonged or delayed. The issue remains visible in urban areas because of the substantive concerns with which urban government must deal, and because of the public's personal interest in how these concerns and their solutions affect them. The participation issue does now have a more widespread effect than i t did pre-viously, since those concerned are now not just various ethnic or economic minority groups but include whole neighbourhoods and communities of people of heterogeneous character. The "blame" for the problem can be fixed to public agencies and administrators, who are seen to be those groups whose acquiesence would allow greater participation; and the financial costs can be hidden in public agency expenditures where they are not directly borne by those benefiting. - 14 -Here we may note that even Kaufman, who was discussed e a r l i e r as having a c y c l i c a l view of society's values such that eventually there would again be support for a neutral and independent c i v i l service, provides some support for Downs's proposition regarding the s i t u a t i o n at Stage 5. He states: / It should not be i n f e r r e d that the process i s f r u i t l e s s because the cycle of values i s r e p e t i t i v e . Wheels turning on t h e i r own axles do advance. Each time the balance among values i s redressed, only to require redress again, some new accommodation among the myriad i n t e r e s t s i n the society i s reached (Kaufman, 1978:473). This analysis of the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n issue i n terms of Downs's issue-attention cycle leads to the conclusion that at least for the foreseeable future the i s s u e - w i l l remain one with a r e l a t i v e l y high p r o f i l e i n urban areas. Even i n the long-term, the issue i s l i k e l y to r e s u l t i n a greater emphasis on p u b l i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n than was previously the case. Moreover, Downs's analysis suggests that public administrative agencies such as planning agencies w i l l be at the focus of the issue. As -Kaufman says, the quest for representativeness i n t h i s generation centers p r i m a r i l y on administrative agencies. Since administrative agencies have grown dramatically i n s i z e , function, and authority i n the middle t h i r d of t h i s century, t h i s i s hardly s u r p r i s i n g . Chief executives, l e g i s l a t u r e s , and courts make more decisions of sweeping e f f e c t , but the agencies make a far greater number of decisions a f f e c t i n g > i n d i v i d u a l c i t i z e n s i n intimate ways. In them l i e s the source of much present unrest; i n them, therefore, the remedies are sought (Kaufman, 1978:464). Public planning agencies are therefore confronted by long-term demands for increased public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and cannot ignore the issue i n the expectation that i t w i l l become i n s i g n i f i c a n t . - 15 -4. Planning Agency Response to the Public Participation Issue The foregoing section examined the development of the public parti-cipation issue, its current focus, and the liklihood that i t will persist. The conclusion is that public planning agencies, together with other public agencies, are confronted by long-term demands for increased public participation. They cannot ignore the issue in the expectation that i t will become insignificant. Given this conclusion, i t is enlightening to review the response of planners to demands for increased public participation. In some instances an enlarged public role in planning and policy-making has been both accepted and encouraged by government officials (and politicians). But Sewell and Coppock, writing with respect to the Canadian experience, say "the experience, however, has not been universally good and there has been a steady stream of reports by participants, administrators and observers pointing to negative results" (Sewell and Coppock, 1977:5). Greater interaction with the public has been welcomed by planners and administrators where this has seemed to be a means of more accurately assessing public views, of obtaining additional expertise, or of furnishing greater opportunities to gain public understanding of proposed policies. But Sewell and Coppock go on to say: On the whole, however, a generally cautious view seems to have been adopted, resulting in rather small, incremental changes in existing mechanisms for involving the public. The reasons given include the fact that greater involvement inevitably means that more time is taken in reaching a decision, and that the costs of planning increase (especially where long, drawn-out public hearings are involved). Perhaps there is also an underlying concern that increased public participation will result in a reduction of power and prestige for the planner; the administrator, or the politician (Sewell and Coppock, 1977:6). - 1 6 -An i n t e r e s t i n g counter-position, at l e a s t i n terms of the a t t i t u d e s of planners i n two Canadian c i t i e s , i s provided by the Bureau of Municipal Research. The Bureau conducted a survey of c i t y planners and other appointed o f f i c i a l s respecting t h e i r concepts of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The Bureau pro-posed four concepts, ranked as an hierarchy ranging from minimum to maximum p a r t i c i p a t i o n , c o n s i s t i n g ' of information, consultation, partnership, and c i t i z e n c o n t r o l . Almost three-quarters ( 7 1 . 4 / 6 ) of the c i t y planners considered p a r t i c i p a t i o n to be "partnership" and " c i t i z e n c o n t r o l " , where partnership was defined as shared planning and decision-making power, and c i t i z e n c o n t r o l was defined as c i t i z e n s having a d i r e c t and c o n t r o l l i n g influence on the elected representative, who serves as a delegate. None of them considered i t to be "information". In contrast to t h i s , S0% of other c i t y o f f i c i a l s considered p a r t i c i p a t i o n to be "information" and "consultation", where information was defined as creating a more informed electorate but not promoting shared decision-making, and consultation was defined as c i t i z e n s obtaining information and responding, and helping to develop a l t e r n a t i v e solutions (Bureau of Municipal Research, 1 9 7 5 : 4 6 ) . These r e s u l t s seem to ind i c a t e that c i t y planners may have a favourable d i s p o s i t i o n toward some form of " s i g n i f i c a n t " public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , c e r t a i n l y more so than other appointed o f f i c i a l s . However, even 60% of other o f f i c i a l s perceived of p a r t i c i p a t i o n as being at l e a s t consultation. Perhaps t h i s survey indicates that while planners' are favourable to public p a r t i c i p a t i o n they work i n a s i t u a t i o n where other appointed o f f i c i a l s do not o f f e r them much encouragement to promote i t . One writer has taken a very pessimistic view of the prospects for public participation, laying the blame with the ruling elites and the emphasis on "expertise" characteristic of the technocratic society. Non-participation is perpetuated by the elites' and technocrats' use of a vocabulary filled with.nebulous quantities of things that have every appearance of precise calibration, and decorated with vaguely mechanistic-mechanical terms like 'parameters,' 'structures,' 'variables,1 'inputs and outputs,* 'correlations,' 'inventories, ' 'maximizations,' and .'optimization.* The terminology derives from involuted statistical procedures and methodological mysteries to which only graduate education gives access (Roszak, 1969:142-143). Possibly this pessimistic evaluation, stated in 1969, reflects an extreme dis-appointment resulting from the combination of hopefulness and setbacks surrounding the early stages of public participation. - 18 -C. An Organizational Approach to' Public Participation 1. The Need for a Positive Approach While i t may be that public participation in various forms has become common in some planning activities, Burke observes "this is not to say that i t is widely or amicably accepted" (Burke, 1979:13). The response of public planning agencies has been essentially reactive, directed at meeting the needs or demands of individuals or groups external to the agency. Public agencies generally take the position that public participation is an intrusion in their legitimate roles and duties, and is disruptive of traditional processes of organizational authority and responsibility (including those leading to elected superiors). When public agencies do attempt to accommodate forms of public participation, they often do so in a manner which seeks to mold i t in accord with their own concepts. One writer has observed in this connection that: the dominant tendency among bureaucracies in response to outside threats....is to seek to change the environment rather than to modify internal structures to accord with external changes (Schmandt, 1973:29). Although the literature suggest that planning agencies have made some attempts to adapt to public participation as an "outside threat", such adaptation is essentially a reactive accommodation. It happens because agencies are forced to respond, and i t happens in a form which assumes that the requirement for i t is external. The adaptation has therefore not been based, except in a purely survival sense, on an analysis of whether and how public participation can be of positive benefit to the agency itself as i t attempts to f u l f i l l its function in a responsible and legitimate way. Such an analysis would proceed from the assumption that there is an essential internal requirement for i t (Alford, 1969:21). - 19 -The reason for this typical public agency response lies in the framework of theories and principles by which public administration has traditionally functioned and been structured. Functional processes and structure have been established from the perspectives . of representative democratic theory, scientific management theory, and administrative principles. These either exclude the concept of public participation or, at best, give i t only a very limited role. Moreover, these theories and principles essentially complement each other, by fixing the public agency in a neutral role responsible to the public through a hierarchical structure via the electoral process. The alternative theory which deals with public participation is perceived to be the body of "classical" democratic theory, which espouses the inherent legitimacy of public participation in political and other social pro-cesses (Pateman, 1970: Chap. II). However, i t is largely ignored by public agencies, in part because i t is not itself the dominant theory of democracy, and in part because i t does not complement scientific management theory and accepted administrative principles. But i t is this very classical theory which is the theoretical stimulus to the public participation issue. The result is summed up in Self's statement: The study of administration could be viewed as a battle-ground between the contending perspectives of the political scientist and the organisation or management theorists; but the potential contestants are on such different wave-lengths that the battle is rarely joined. In theory, political scientists are neutral over values, although much interested in the analysis of value conflicts. In practice, many of them, at least in democracies, are concerned with realising or protecting the values of democratic control over administration. On the other hand, management theorists and experts are usually concerned to promote some concept of administrative efficiency, and organisational analysis is seen mainly as a prelude to suitable prescriptions (Self, 1972:14-15). i - 20 -The public planning agency's response to the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n issue i s generally characterized by the s i t u a t i o n described above. However, i t s s i t u a t i o n i s complicated by the fa c t that i t s p r o f essional theory base i t s e l f addresses the issue of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and does so i n a p o s i t i v e manner. The conceptual base of planning as c o n s i s t i n g of procedural theory rather than p r i m a r i l y substantive theory has gained the increasing attention of t h e o r i s t s and scholars i n the f i e l d (Smith, 1970; Connor, 1972; Friedman and Hudson, 1974; and Galloway and Mahayni, 1977). This procedural planning theory, e s p e c i a l l y i n i t s " transactive" and "advocacy" variants, i s concerned with the matter of p r o f e s s i o n a l / c l i e n t i n t e r a c t i o n i n the planning process, and the r o l e s of the p r o f e s s i o n a l ( i . e . planner) and the c l i e n t i n t h i s i n t e r a c t i o n process. Where the c l i e n t i s understood to be elected decision-making bodies, procedural planning theory can s t i l l be argued to be complementary to the representative democracy, s c i e n t i f i c management, and administrative p r i n c i p l e s which public agencies have t r a d i t i o n a l l y drawn on. But where the c l i e n t i s understood to be the public i t s e l f , i n addition to or apart from elected representative bodies, then procedural planning theory comes into some c o n f l i c t with these other t r a d i t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e s . Certain aspects of pro-cedural theory, as w i l l be discussed l a t e r , point to the public as c l i e n t . This has led to the propounding of various "typologies" of c i t i z e n or public p a r t i -c i p a t i o n i n planning (Arnstein, 1969; Bureau of Municipal Research, 1975:46; Van Loon and Whittington, 1976:109; and Burke, 1979:74-76), each developing a hierarchy of the degrees of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The various typologies have two elements i n common: the involvement of non-elected members of the community, and some degree of the public's impact on decision-making which goes beyond the e l e c t o r a l process. - 21 -The public planning agency, i f i t subscribes to i t s own pro-fession's current theory with the public as c l i e n t , would presumably welcome and c u l t i v a t e at l e a s t some forms of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . But i f i t subscribes to t h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l theory, the agency i s placed i n a s i t u a t i o n of c o n f l i c t between that theory and the other theories or p r i n c i p l e s to which i t subscribes or i s expected to subscribe. There are two parts to t h i s c o n f l i c t : f i r s t , some element of c o n f l i c t with representative democratic theory; and second, an apparently obvious c o n f l i c t with s c i e n t i f i c management and administrative p r i n c i p l e s . Speaking generally, the evidence suggests that to a large degree public administration tends to s t i l l r e l y on t r a d i t i o n a l theory as described above, e s p e c i a l l y on the management and administrative side. I t therefore r e s i s t s increased public p a r t i c i p a t i o n and serious re-consideration of c l a s s i c a l democratic theory. Public planning agencies are, with some exceptions, cast i n t h i s mold. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , such public planning agencies ignore i n p r a c t i c e s i g n i f i c a n t aspects of t h e i r own current professional theory. ' Faced with concern f o r the maintenance or r e v i t a l i z a t i o n of p a r t i c i p a t o r y democracy, with actual public demands for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and with i t s own pr o f e s s i o n a l theory, the public planning agency cannot ignore the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n issue. I t must seek ways to take a p o s i t i v e approach to public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . In doing so i t w i l l maintain i t s own v a l i d i t y , i t w i l l a l i g n i t s e l f more fi r m l y with i t s own body of professional theory, and i t w i l l be able to d i r e c t i t s resources to c r i t i c a l substantive planning issues. One way for the planning agency to do t h i s i s to f i n d support for public - 22 -p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n terms of i t s functioning as an organization. This d i f f e r s from the more common approach, which i s from the perspective of democratic theory and which r e s u l t s i n the c o n f l i c t s described above. The suggestion i s not that t h i s more common approach i s wrong, but that the planning agency w i l l be more responsive to public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i f i t i s convinced of the benefits to i t s e l f as an organization. Conover, i n looking at the case for p a r t i c i p a t o r y management i n business (a rela t e d issue with s i m i l a r elements of c o n f l i c t and resistance) takes a s i m i l a r approach, which he acknowledges "may s t r i k e some readers as a mercenary way" to deal with a subject which has deep and profound implications f o r democracy (Conover, 1978:197). But, he says, "more progress w i l l be made i f the argument for change i s presented i n the best l i g h t to those whose support i s most important to e f f e c t the change" (Conover, 1978:197). Since the support of the planning agency as an organization obviously i s necessary for t h i s p o s i t i v e approach, i t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important to convince the agency that i t s own in t e r e s t s w i l l be served by engaging i n public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . This approach i s what i s meant by an "organizational approach". I t i s e s s e n t i a l l y proactive and organization-directed, i n contrast to the more usual reactive, other-directed approaches. The approach i s admittedly com-p l i c a t e d by unavoidable fundamental e t h i c a l and normative p o l i t i c a l concerns. They are unavoidable because "by i t s very nature, public administration i s more intimately involved with basic issues of p o l i t i c a l theory than any other body of organized knowledge "(Dimock and Dimock, 1969:6). In fac t , as w i l l be shown, the arguments i n support of an organizational approach to public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , i n the case of a public planning agency, are i n large measure s i m i l a r to the arguments i n support of a democratic theory approach. - 2 3 -2. A Positive Approach in the Open System View The Open Systems view of organizations provides the public planning agency with a framework for a positive organizational approach to public participation. While this view is relevant for a l l organizations, i t is particularly applicable to the public planning agency. The Open Systems view takes' the position that organizations perform the functions of sub-systems within society, the larger social system (Ullrich and Wieland, 1980:31). Organizations are open systems which are "affected by changes in their environments, the so-called external variables "(Ullrich and Wieland, 1980:25). This environment is potentially without bounds and includes many unknown and uncontrollable variables. In effect what this means is that a l l organizations are more or less open organizations. A critical function of an open organization must therefore be its adaptation to the environment. It must develop and maintain an effective system of communication with its environment in order to both understand and adapt to i t . This is "external communication", which serves both the organization and its environment in a two-way process. The importance of external communication depends on the degree to which the organization is affected by external variables. Hence i t depends on the organization itself (its inputs, processes, and outputs) and its environment. The Open Systems view of organizations is highly relevant for public agency organizations. Not only are they affected by external variables for the same reasons as any other organization, but the external environment is more important because i t is the "owner" of the organization through the political process (Thompson, 1975:11). The public agency is established to - 24 -serve the public, i . e . the environment. External communication of one form or another i s e s s e n t i a l , whether d i r e c t l y with the public as the environment, or through the intermediary r o l e of elected o f f i c i a l s . •' This brings us to the relevance of the Open Systems view i n the hypothesis. Given the nature of the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n issue as described i n the previous section, together with the nature of current planning theory, public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s by d e f i n i t i o n one form of external communication for a pub l i c planning agency. I t i s one form of communication between the agency and i t s environment. The importance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n for the agency there-fore depends f i r s t l y , on the extent of the agency's need f o r external communication, i . e . the extent to which i t i s or should be an open organization, and secondly, on the extent to which public p a r t i c i p a t i o n f u l f i l l s external communication needs. The answer to both of these l i e s i n : 1) the o v e r a l l s i t u a t i o n i n which the planning agency finds i t s e l f ; 2) the processes by which the planning agency functions; and 3) the planning agency's inputs and outputs. Support for the hypothesis i s developed by an examination of these f a c t o r s . To the extent that such support i s found, democratic norms are ) served as w e l l . - 25 -CHAPTER I I : SCOPE, LIMITATIONS, AND METHODOLOGY A. General Scope and Limitations The t i t l e of t h i s study, and the discussion up to t h i s point, suggests i t s scope and some of i t s l i m i t a t i o n s . I t i s concerned with public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the context of an organization, the planning public agency. This defines the scope as follows: 1) p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s examined i n r e l a t i o n to the planning function as car r i e d out by an organization, not i n r e l a t i o n to planning c generally' or to planners as individuals'; 2) the organization of i n t e r e s t i s a public planning agency, not planning agencies generally; and 3) the use of the word "p u b l i c " i s taken to mean a l l people within the j u r i s d i c t i o n of a p a r t i c u l a r governmental unit, whether as groups or i n d i v i d u a l s and i r r e s p e c t i v e of allegiance or r i g h t s . / - 26 -B. S p e c i f i c Assumptions and Limitations In addition to the general scope and l i m i t a t i o n s of t h i s study as described above, there are a s e r i e s of s p e c i f i c assumptions made which impose l i m i t a t i o n s on i t . These are l i s t e d here, together with a b r i e f review of the major implications of each. Assumption #1: The p o l i t i c a l system within which the public planning agency e x i s t s i s a representative democratic one at the urban municipal government l e v e l . This assumption establishes, f i r s t l y , that the planning agency i s committed to the p r i n c i p l e that i t s actions and functions are e s s e n t i a l l y intended to be responsive to the needs and wishes of the public, however these are expressed. Secondly, the assumption establishes that ultimate decision-making i n the governmental process (short of the process of choosing or r e j e c t i n g repre-sentatives) i s the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of an elected e n t i t y of some sort - a c i t y c o u n c i l , or a c h i e f executive such as a mayor or reeve. The agency i s therefore accountable to such an elected e n t i t y . S i g n i f i c a n t departures from that a c c o u n t a b i l i t y would involve p o l i t i c a l changes of a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l nature, or could occur only with the express approval of the elected e n t i t y . T h i r d l y , t h i s assumption provides a l i m i t a t i o n on the extent to which public p a r t i c i p a t i o n provides a means for groups and i n d i v i d u a l s to have an e f f e c t on the decision-making process. Since t h i s implication i s c r i t i c a l to an understanding of what i s meant by public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , i t bears further elaboration at t h i s point. - 27 -The extent of public participation is the subject of widespread debate. On the one hand, for example, Benello and Roussopoulos in discussing parti-cipation in terms of participatory democracy, say that: In a participatory democracy, decision-making is the process whereby people propose, discuss, decide, plan, and implement those decisions that affect their lives. This requires that the decision-making be continuous and significant, direct rather than through representatives, and organized around issues instead of personalities. It requires that the decision-making process be set up in a functional manner, so that constituencies significantly affected by decisions are the ones that make them and elected delegates can be recalled instantly (Benello and Roussopoulos, 1971:5-6). On the other hand, Easton notes with respect to democractic political systems, Theoretically i t would be possible to envision a condition in which each decision was made and implemented by means uniquely extemporized for the occasion. In practice, the kinds of commitment involved compels every system to provide some members to care for the day-to-day activities related,to the making and execution of decisions. Even in the smallest group, we can expect to find that the power and responsibility of caring for recurring matters as well as crises tends to reside in the hands of the few (Easton, 1965b:205). In a similar vein, Pennock suggests that the rational man in a modern state would soon be driven to a representative form of democracy (Pennock, 1979:269). One writer goes back to early democratic theorists and observes that "even so ardent a liberal as John Stuart Mill recognized that only a minute proportion of any citizenry could participate directly in the activities of government" (Kornberg, 1980:1). For our purposes, the extent to which groups and individuals can have an effect on the governmental decision-making process is limited by the authority of individuals elected to representative decision-making positions. Continuous and direct public participation in decision-making does not exist by right; where i t does occur i t is permitted by elected officials and may be revoked. This study follows more after Oppenheimer, who suggests " i t is perhaps necessary to look at participatory democracy as a Utopia, in the sense that i t is not completely achievable" (Oppenheimer, 1971:280). While the classical ideal may not be attainable, i t can s t i l l remain a goal. Moreover, responsibility and accountability are undermined without an informed and involved public (Bureau of Municipal Research, 1975:8). Pateman, who makes a.strong case for " f u l l " participation defined as "process where each individual member of a decision-making body has equal power to determine the outcome of a decision" (Pateman, 1970:71), agrees that there may be some question as to the practicality of fu l l participation within a large national political system (Pateman, 1970-109). However, she also suggests that participation does not preclude a representative system, and vice-versa. One writer has stated that society has V "suffered from our excessive concern with the protection and maintenance of our political system" and that "the time has come to direct our attention to the infinitely more difficult task of involving larger and larger numbers of people in the process of government" (Walker, 1966:392). This assumption therefore means that the public participation we are concerned with is a form of participation which involves the "public" as one participant or communicator and the public planning agency as the other, but within the broad constraints of a representative political system. But while i t puts an "upper" limit on participation, the hypothesis also suggests that, for organizational purposes, participation involves more than a mere informing of the public. Its intent is to show that the "infinitely more difficult task of involving larger and larger numbers of people in the process of government", i.e., public participation, is to the public planning agency's benefit. It is - 29 -therefore consistent with the views of Oppenheimer, Pateman, and Walker as quoted above. Assumption #2: The planning agency i s assumed to be comprised of i n d i v i d u a l s who are a l t r u i s t i c , having no p r i v a t e motives other than discharging t h e i r functions as members of the agency operating under Assumption #1. This assumption establishes, f i r s t l y , that the i n d i v i d u a l members of the planning agency attempt to further i t s functions. They do not act contrary to these by consciously promoting t h e i r personal aggrandisement and well-being, or by promoting a c t i v i t i e s of the agency which are contrary to i t s concept of i t s s o c i a l function. Secondly, the members of the agency share with i t the general norms and values of a representative democratic p o l i t i c a l system respecting responsiveness and a c c o u n t a b i l i t y as described above. T h i r d l y , i n d i v i d u a l s within the agency are not manipulative or coercive, i n terms of u n f a i r l y using persons or s i t u a t i o n s s o l e l y to i t s advantage. This assumption may appear to be an u n r e a l i s t i c one on the basis of the evidence of how public planning agencies operate. However, without t h i s assumption the hypothesis would have to take into account the psychological make-up of i n d i v i d u a l s , together with the power struggles, s h i f t i n g a l l i a n c e s , status-seeking, and the l i k e which take place within an organization and which often have subversive or non-organizational purposes. Assumption #3: The public planning agency model i s one which may be broadly c a l l e d a " c i t y planning department", e x i s t i n g as a part of an urban municipal government structure. - 30 -Public planning agencies exist in a wide variety of representative democratic systems and sub-systems. Each of these has its own political and structural characteristics. These individual characteristics are in large part accompanied by individual characteristics of the respective environments, in terms of what comprises the environment and what i t expects of the particular sub-system. This in turn has implications for the external communication which the agency engages in. The public planning agency model selected for this study is what may broadly be called a "city planning department". The agency is therefore a part of a municipal (or local) government, where the formal political body consists of an elected council and a mayor or reeve. Aside from the methodological reason of selecting a particular form of political sub-system, in order to make the study manageable, there are two principle reasons for selecting a city planning department: 1. The issue of public participation in planning is especially relevant to the municipal government setting, which is traditionally one of the closest and most open to the public both physically and in terms of many day-to-day issues (Fish, 1976:179); hence municipal government planning agencies are especially subject \ to public participation demands and pressures; 2. Public planning agencies within urban municipal government are perhaps the most widespread and common forms of public planning. There are many types of municipal public planning agencies, but the one most commonly associated with "planning" is the land use planning agency. It serves our purpose to focus on such a planning agency where the specifics of the substantive area of agency involvement must be considered. However, the study w i l l be applicable to other substantive areas, as well as having some relevance to other governmental l e v e l s or sub-systems within which planning occurs. Assumption #U: The public planning agency i s not concerned d i r e c t l y with any i n t e r n a l organizational impacts of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , although the agency may be affected i n t e r n a l l y . It i s recognized that public p a r t i c i p a t i o n as external communication c l e a r l y may have a s i g n i f i c a n t impact on i n t e r n a l organizational concerns such as structure, processes, and i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s . However, the hypothesis focuses on the organizational need for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n terms of the organization's i n t e r a c t i o n with i t s environment. The fac t that public p a r t i -c i p a t i o n may have eit h e r p o s i t i v e or negative impacts on such things as i n t e r n a l communication, organizational development, "job enrichment", i n t e r n a l e f f i c i e n c y , and the l i k e , i s not of any concern. I t i s assumed that i n t e r n a l impacts are e s s e n t i a l l y neutral, and that i n t e r n a l adjustments necessitated by public p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i l l be made. - 32 -C. Methodology The study and presentation of evidence i n support of the hypothesis i s e s s e n t i a l l y t h e o r e t i c a l i n nature, based on theory and concepts relevant to i t . The hypothesis i s examined pr i m a r i l y by means of: 1. a review of the c r i t i c a l relevant l i t e r a t u r e p r i m a r i l y i n the areas of: the Open Systems view of organizations, c i t i z e n or public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , planning theory, democratic and p o l i t i c a l systems theory, and administrative and bureaucratic theory; 2. an in t e g r a t i o n of the external communication aspect of the Open Systems view- of organizations with ideas of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , within the context of planning agency located within a municipal democratic p o l i t i c a l structure; and 3. a discussion of some of the p r a c t i c a l implications of the organizational approach f or a public planning agency, using a current proposal for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n planning i n a Canadian c i t y as an example to i l l u s t r a t e these implications. The methodology followed consists of: 1. a) a presentation of the relevant Systems Theory and Open Systems concepts of organizations; and b) a review of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of external communication i n the Open Systems view; 2. a) an examination of the public planning agency to show that i t can be described as an Open System, together with an analysis of the public planning agency's environment to demonstrate the importance of external - 33 -communication to the agency because i t i s an Open System and a planning agency; and x b) 'a review of the "organizational context" of a municipal public planning agency, i . e . the s i t u a t i o n i n which the organization finds i t s e l f , under two main headings: p o l i t i c a l , and administrative/bureaucratic; 3.a) a review of current planning theory, i n order to provide an assumed operational model of a municipal public planning agency which establishes that agency's method of putting theory into p r a c t i c e ; and b) a d e s c r i p t i o n of how public p a r t i c i p a t i o n helps to f u l f i l l the public planning agency's need for external communication according to the assumed operational model; ' 4. a discussion of some of the functional implications for the public planning agency, i l l u s t r a t e d by the example of a currently proposed public p a r t i c i p a t i o n process; No new theory i s developed or suggested. E x p l i c a t i o n of the thesis r e s u l t s , i n simple terms, i n an a p p l i c a t i o n of current recognized organizational concepts to a current issue of public administration which i s p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant to the f i e l d of planning. The i n c l u s i o n by example of a current proposal i s not intended to prove or disprove the hypothesis. I t i s noted that the proposal, while a real-world proposal, i s subject to review and r e v i s i o n p r i o r to implementation. - 34 -CHAPTER III: THE OPEN SYSTEMS VIEW OF ORGANIZATIONS A. Open Systems Theory 1. Relevance to the Hypothesis The central concept in this study is embodied in what is referred to as the Open Systems view of organizations. From this concept comes a recognition of the importance of the organization-environment relationship, and hence the inescapable necessity for the organization to have external communication. It is from this, in turn, that the hypothesis proposes the usefulness of public participation as a form of external communication for the public planning agency. It is therefore essential to have an understanding of the Open Systems view of organizations before proceeding further. A brief description is therefore provided here. 2. Description of Open Systems Theory The study of organizations has, in recent years, paid attention to the subject of organizational communication in its own right as a determinant of organizational effectiveness. This interest is derived in large part from the Systems School of organizational behaviour (Rogers and Rogers, 1976:30-50). Research on organization-environment relationship has obtained a central place in present-day organization theory (Pennings and Tripathi, 1978:171). This large volume of research and writing on organizations and their environments is in itself a relatively recent development, since the utilization of the systems approach began gathering momentum in the early 1960's (Kast and Rosenzweig, 1972:449). The key concepts are derived from general systems theory as set forth by writers such as Kenneth Boulding, Walter Buckley, David Easton, Talcott - 35 -Parsons, and Ludwig von Bertalanffy (Kast and Rosenzweig, 1972:449). The thinking has progressed to the stage that theorists suggest most organizations have only a limited degree of freedom from environmental sources of influence, and one recent writer notes: Organization theorizing and research in the past decade has...gradually reduced the role of persons as significant decision makers in organizations. Various external constraints have been identified as sharply limiting the role that participants play in selecting an organization's structures and activities (Aldrich, 1979:136). This is in sharp contrast with the more traditional way of looking at organizations, by drawing a sharp distinction between an organization and its environment, seeing the organization's response to demands mainly in terms of the organization's attempts to protect its identity and established way of doing things. The organization is usually assumed to be an established identity, and the principal concern is with tracing decision processes within i t (Alford, 1969:19). The Systems School postulates that a l l organizational communication is crucial, in that i t holds the organization together, while the Open Systems aspect of i t in turn emphasizes the interrelationships and communication between the organization and its environment. In the Open Systems view, an organization is a social system, but as a social system i t does not have a structure which can be separated from its functioning (Katz and Kahn, 1966:31). The organization therefore consists of a structure of persons taken together with the relationships whereby they function. This includes relationships outside its boundaries, because any social system (the organization) exists within a larger social supra-system and has some interrelationship with the rest of i t (the environment). - 36 -Before the development of the Systems School (especially the Open Systems view), not a l l schools of thought and writers attached equal importance to the influence of external factors. While most schools, of organizational thought agree that external factors are numerous, the Open Systems view places greater emphasis on the qualitative significance of their influence. Whereas earlier Schools regarded external factors as being disturbances or discrepancy factors impinging in a relatively less significant manner on the major internal organizational processes, the Open Systems view holds that environmental influences are not to be considered simply as sources of "error-variance". Such influences are integrally related to the functioning of the system (Katz and Kahn, 1966:27). Therefore one cannot truly understand a social system (an organization, in our case) without a study of the external forces, which are in fact a part of i t . Moreover, these external influences are not just influences on the individuals who comprise the social system, for Systems Theory holds that the whole is not just equal to the sum of its parts. The system itself can be explained only as a totality (Kast and Rosenzweig, 1972:450); i t must be understood and examined as having its own existence as a total unit, a system (Downs, Berg, and Linkugel, 1977:19; and Rogers and Rogers, 1976:48-50). 3. The Boundary Question In a pure Open Systems view of organizations, an organization as a social system is not defined by any arbitrary, pre-determined, fixed, or formal boundary. The organizational "unit" is simply a system within which the components have more frequent communication or a greater degree of - 37 -i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p with each other than with other components of the larger supra-system. The boundary of an organization, and therefore what constitutes an organization as a system, i s f l e x i b l e . I t depends on the purpose for a n a l y s i s of the organization, such as goals, i n t e r n a l structure, i n t e r -organizational r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and the l i k e (Rogers and Rogers, 1976:62). It follows, from a pure Open Systems view, that the components which comprise an organizational u n i t for one purpose may not comprise the same organizational u n i t for another purpose. "Organizational boundaries are not f i r m l y fixed and may vary, depending on the s i t u a t i o n an organization faces", says A l d r i c h (1979:17). He goes even further, s t a t i n g that "often organizations have no d i s c r e t i o n i n the matter - e i t h e r boundaries change or s u r v i v a l becomes problematic" (1979:17). This v a r i a b l e boundary concept i s d i f f i c u l t to grasp, when one i s accustomed to thinking i n terms of formal organizations where an i n d i v i d u a l i s e i t h e r a member of the agency organization or i s not, regardless of the s i t u a t i o n . Again i n a pure sense, what t h i s means i s that the s i g n i f i c a n t organization boundary may not coincide with the formally s p e c i f i e d one, and what i s assumed to be external may not be external. 4. The Open-Closed Continuum Even with the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the Open Systems view of organizations as an approach to organizational behaviour i t i s now recognized that most s o c i a l organizations and t h e i r sub-systems are not completely open e i t h e r . They are p a r t i a l l y open and p a r t i a l l y closed, along a continuum from "open" to "closed" where open and closed are r e l a t i v e terms and a matter of degree. Organizations vary i n the amount of environmental uncertainty - 38 -encountered, and i n the number of external factors a f f e c t i n g them. On t h i s subject "there seems to be a widely held view (often more i m p l i c i t than e x p l i c i t ) that open-system thinking i s good and closed system thinking i s bad. We have not become s u f f i c i e n t l y sophisticated to recognize that both are appropriate under c e r t a i n conditions" (Kast and Rosenzweig, 1972:453-454). The conditions which vary among organizations, within an organization over time, and within an organization among i t s d i f f e r e n t parts are conditions which determine whether open or closed-system thinking i s appropriate. Not a l l parts of an organization need be highly responsive to external conditions (Mink, Shultz, and Mink, 1979:8). The organization may even have to use closed-systems concepts at c e r t a i n l e v e l s (e.g. a t e c h n i c a l core) to reduce uncertainty and to create more e f f e c t i v e performance (Kast and Rosenzweig, 1972:454). 5. Environmental C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Notwithstanding that openness i s a matter of degree, any organization w i l l be affected by some external variables beyond i t s immediate c o n t r o l . I f the environment i s stable, then the implication i s that the organization w i l l be able to develop f a i r l y f i xed sets of routines f o r dealing with i t , and to s e l e c t f a i r l y formalized structures ( A l d r i c h , 1979:67). However, most modern organizations " l i v e i n economic, p o l i t i c a l , and technological environments which are predictably unstable" (Argyris and Schon, 1978:9). In f a c t , many organization t h e o r i s t s suggest that organizational environments themselves are changing, and are more and more coming to be characterized by what i s referred to as "environmental turbulence" - 39 -(Emery and T r i s t , 1972:268). This i s the rate of inter-connection within the environment ( i . e . communication completely external to the organization, among the components of the environment). I t i s not the same as chaos i n the environ-ment, but i s an increasing causal inter-connection within the environment which leads to increasing environmental complexity. Environmental turbulence has a profound impact on an organization which i s r e l a t i v e l y open, for i t "renders environments obscure to l o c a l observers. The causal laws connecting external events become incomprehensible to persons having no f i r s t h a n d knowledge of the d i s t a n t forces at work" (A l d r i c h , 1979:69). Recent organization t h e o r i s t s have examined the requirements which environmental i n s t a b i l i t y and turbulence place on r e l a t i v e l y open organizations. Notable among these t h e o r i s t s are Argyris and Schon, who p o s i t that because of environmental turbulence, the "requirement for organizational learning i s not an occasional, sporadic phenomenon, but i s continuous and endemic to our s o c i e t y " (Argyris and Schon, 1978:9). They have developed a number of ideas regarding what they consider to be e s s e n t i a l organizational learning. One which i s worth noting i s that there must be both "single-loop and "double-loop" learning (1978:18-26). Single-loop learning i s learning within the framework of e x i s t i n g norms, goals, r u l e s , and the l i k e ( i . e . doing better what you already know must be done). The necesssity for single-loop learning i s f a i r l y obvious. Double-loop learning, on the other hand, i s not so obvious (or simple). I t involves learning about changes required i n norms, goals, r u l e s , and the l i k e ( i . e . determining new things which must be done and how to do them). Double-loop learning i s becoming more c r i t i c a l with the character of environments which organizations confront. Argyris and Schon couple these two - 40 -learning loops with the further idea that organizations must learn to learn; this they refer to as "deutero-learning" (1978:26). Organizations normally engage in some deutero-learning about single-loop learning, but i t is especially necessary for double-loop learning. Argyris and Schon are not alone in stressing these needs for learning and for learning about learning. Selznick, writing two decades earlier, noted that an "institution" should "explore the implications of ...change for decision-making in a wide variety of organizational activities" (Selznick, 1957:27). Mink, Shultz, and Mink refer to the need for open organizations to have "a bias toward change and creation of special mechanisms to promote i t " (Mink, Shultz, and Mink, 1979:16). These writers are suggesting that organizations should be pre-disposed to change, and to learn about how they should change, and should even have special procedures, mechanisms, or individuals aimed at promoting both. If they do not, the problems of adaptation to the environment are severe. - 41 -B. External Communication and the Open System 1. The Centrality of Communication Communication and interrelationship has a central importance to the Systems approach to organizations. External communication is in turn the part of communication which is central to the Open Systems view. By external communication is meant, of course, the communication which involves the organization and its environment together. External communication does not refer to other communication linkages which are within the environment completely external to the organization. These latter are the environmental turbulence discussed earlier. While they may be highly significant for the organization, their impact is transmitted to the organization through its external communication. An understanding of organizational communication in a l l its forms depends on a good understanding of what is meant by communication. Webster's  New World Dictionary, 1971, defines "communication" as "a giving, or giving and receiving, of information, etc. by talk, gestures, writing, etc.", and defines "communicate" as "to be connected with". Significant concepts are embodied in these definitions, namely: communication is both giving and receiving; communication is the giving and receiving of various things, not just information; communication occurs by various means (talk, gestures, writing, etc.); and communication is a connection. If one combines these with Rogers and Rogers concepts, one can arrive at an understanding of communication as: - 42 -"a method or process of i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , i n t e r a c t i o n , and transaction, by various means, r e s u l t i n g i n being informed or having knowledge about." Communication i s thus the whole act of transmission - giv i n g , receiving, and the connection between the two, and including the response; i t can be described as a " j o i n t process". This understanding of communication i s akin to the concept of " i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p " , and i t i s i n t h i s sense that i t i s viewed by the Systems School - communication i s i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . Wigand observes that a l l i n t e r -organizational r e l a t i o n s h i p s occur i n some sort of communicative form (Wigand, 1979:369), and the same may be said with respect to any organizational r e l a t i o n s h i p s . It i s worth noting here that organizational communication i s a d i f f e r e n t concept than interpersonal communication, although the l a t t e r i s an element off i t . Organizational communication i s communication or i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n v o l v i n g the whole organizational " s o c i a l system," i n contrast with communication involving persons as i n d i v i d u a l s of which i t i s comprised. This i s because of the Systems concept that the whole i s d i f f e r e n t from the sum of i t s parts; i t has i t s own character as a t o t a l u n i t . With reference to organizational learning (which they consider to r e s u l t from external communication), Argyris and Schon provide support for t h i s when they say " i t i s c l e a r that organizational learning i s not the same thing as i n d i v i d u a l learning, even when i n d i v i d u a l s who learn are members of the organization" (Argyris and Schon, 1978:9). But they go on to emphasize that even while organizational learning i s not merely i n d i v i d u a l learning, "organizations learn only through the experience and actions of i n d i v i d u a l s " . One cannot ignore the f a c t that interpersonal communication i s v i t a l , "for i t i s - 43 -the major element i n two-way communications" (Gortner, 1977:174). The process of organizational communication depends on the i n t e r p l a y and combining of interpersonal communications, and that interpersonal communication a f f e c t s the system. 2. Communication - The Link with the Environment Based on the Open Systems view that organizations have only a l i m i t e d degree of freedom from environmental influence and that persons i n organizations have a r e l a t i v e l y l i m i t e d r o l e as decision-makers i n them because of external constraints, an organization's i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p with the environment i s then c r i t i c a l . In systems terms, the organization's communication with i t s environment consists of the "inputs" which i t receives from the environment, and the "outputs" which i t provides to the environment. These inputs and outputs are not only the tangible goods, resources, services, and the l i k e which an organization uses and produces (although i t includes these), but more importantly, consist also of a whole v a r i e t y of intangibles such as demands, commands, decisions, information, influence, support, and the l i k e . External communication i s any contact with the external environment. Another Systems concept which i s important i n r e l a t i o n to external communication i s the input/output linkage. One normally thinks only i n terms of inputs a f f e c t i n g outputs through a conversion process within an organization, but the reverse i s also true - organizational outputs a f f e c t inputs to the organization. Whereas the former occurs within the organization, the l a t t e r occurs within i t s environment. In the words of Argyris and Schon, "organizations are n e c e s s a r i l y involved i n continual transaction with t h e i r - 44 -internal and external environments (that is, in situations) which are continually changing both as a result of forces external to organizations, and as a result of organizational responses to their situations" (Argyris and Schon, 1978:42). This statement draws attention to the fact that the internal environ-ment changes as a result of forces external to organizations. Changes to the internal as well as the external environment results from the organizational response. What this represents is the concept of feedback, and feedback together with the input and output processes as a whole is interactive. Because of the inescapable feedback effect of outputs through the environment which is increasingly turbulent, organizations must learn about their environments accurately enough and quickly enough to permit organizational adjustments. This suggests that feedback must be deliberately sought by the organization in order to provide a certain degree of organization-initiated self-regulation. It helps the organization to maintain a steady state, often in spite of other external relationships (Rogers and Rogers, 1976:50). Organizations must judge the amount and sources of support that can be mobilized for their goal or goals, be they public, private, commercial, or non-commercial, organizations. "Hence the establishment in the appropriate form of interaction with the many relevant parts of its environment can be a major organizational consideration in a complex society" (Thompson and McEwen, 1972:266). In fact, organizations with complex environments tend to create specialized agencies to deal with inputs from the environment. Information, knowledge, and communication of individuals has to be co-ordinated i f i t is to be of any use to organizations, especially where information-gathering involves a considerable degree of uncertainty and the results are not predictable. It - 45 -should possibly be put i n the hands of a separate agency (Arrow, 1974:54). Doing t h i s i n a s i t u a t i o n of an unpredictable environment w i l l not help to eliminate the uncertainty r e s u l t i n g from u n r e l i a b l e and poorly interpreted i n d i v i d u a l communication (A l d r i c h , 1979:123), but i t w i l l a s s i s t i n embedding "learning agents d i s c o v e r i e s . . . i n organizational memory" (Argyris and Schon, 1978:19). What are the organization's inputs with which i t must be concerned? For some organizations the answer i s obvious - materials, technology, employees, f i n a n c i a l resources, and "market" information are required f o r them to perform a function and therefore continue vto e x i s t . For other organizations, the answer i s not so obvious. Some of the foregoing l i s t are required, but there may be no automatic "market" mechanism to perform a communication function between the organization and i t s environment. Inputs i n the form of answers to questions such as: i s the organizational output acceptable? w i l l the environment continue to provide f i n a n c i a l resources i n return for outputs? what i s the relevant environment? what i s the technology to use? - must be found by some means other than a straightforward commercial buying, s e l l i n g , and p r o f i t -making system of communication and i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s . 3. External Communication and the Boundary Question In the discussion of Open Systems theory we touched b r i e f l y on the question of determining an organization's boundary i n a pure system sense, i n contrast with an observable formal boundary. That question i s relevant to t h i s discussion of external communication inasmuch as the boundary by d e f i n i t i o n determines what part of an organization's t o t a l communication i s i n t e r n a l and - 46 -what i s external. In a pure system analysis, based on Rogers and Rogers suggestion respecting what constitutes the organization, external communication i s by d e f i n i t i o n r e l a t i v e l y l e s s frequent (although not necessar i l y l e s s important) than i n t e r n a l communication. A formal organizational boundary imposed on the "system" organization w i l l l i k e l y convert to external communication what should be regarded as i n t e r n a l communication. Immediately, i t would seem, the amount and frequency of external communication i s increased and i s made even more important f o r the organization's functioning than i t otherwise would be. The converse of t h i s i s that what appears to be external communication should possibly be regarded as "system" i n t e r n a l communication. Where organization boundaries should change i n order to promote s u r v i v a l of the organization ( i n Aldrich's terms), but cannot because they are formal and fixed, the organization's response may, f o r s u r v i v a l , require c l e a r recognition of some apparently external communication as i n t e r n a l communication. 4. Some Important Communication Concepts The subject of external communication i s not as well-ordered into d i s t i n c t concepts and models as i s that of i n t e r n a l communication. One reason i s that the subject i s a more recent one for rigorous study. Another i s that external communication i s not capable of analysis i n tandem with ideas of organizational structure. The study of i n t e r n a l structure and i t s co n t r o l has necessitated an understanding of i n t e r n a l communication, but there i s no i d e n t i f i a b l e or c o n t r o l l a b l e external structure which can be as r e a d i l y studied. Hence the knowledge of external communication i s l e s s . A t h i r d reason i s the very f l u i d i t y of external communication i t s e l f . I t does not lend i t s e l f - 47 -to c ategorization and s p e c i a l i z a t i o n of function. Nevertheless, there are some concepts which are relevant to both i n t e r n a l and external communication, as well as some which are unique to the l a t t e r . Senders and Receivers Communication i s a j o i n t i n t e r a c t i v e process between sender and rec e i v e r . That i s , any i n d i v i d u a l or other component concurrently assumes both of the sender/receiver r o l e s , making communication an i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p (Rogers and Rogers, 1976:17-18). Although the interpersonal aspect i s c r u c i a l , t h i s i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p or concurrent sender/receiver function i s equally applicable to groups of persons (Downs, Berg, and Linkugel, 1977:35). The v a r i a b i l i t y of i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p r o l e s makes i t c r i t i c a l that the organization i d e n t i f y the audience (the external interactor) i n the case of communication i n i t i a t e d by the organization ( L i l l i c o , 1972:13). The communication must be matched with the intended audiences, says L i l l i c o . A p a r a l l e l r u l e could be established f o r communication received by the organization, that the communication should be matched with (interpreted i n terms of) the perceived sender, and L i l l i c o r e f e r s to t h i s as w e l l . Rogers and Rogers r e f e r to the former type of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n as "feed forward", which i s information about the receiver gained by the source p r i o r to i n i t i a t i n g communication (Rogers and Rogers, 1976:14). What both of these amount to i s gaining an understanding of the "frame of reference" or "mental set" of the other component i n an i n t e r a c t i o n (Gortner, 1977:187-188), since each communicator i s a unique "communication f i l t e r " i n f l u e n c i n g a message i n terms of both i t s purpose as sent and i t s purpose as received. - 48 -In addition to the basic sender and receiver components of external communication, there are specialized roles in the process. Of particular importance are gatekeepers, who are individuals strongly connected internally and externally, gathering and understanding external information and translating i t into meaningful terms for the organization (Tushman and Katz, 1980:1071-1073). Rogers and Rogers refer to gatekeepers specifically engaged in external communication as "cosmopolites", distinguishing them from gatekeepers generally (Rogers and Rogers, 1976:139-140). Respecting such specialization, Aldrich suggests that "authorities in small organizations might be willing and able to rely on information brought into the organization informally by members" but, "as organizational and environmental complexity increases, organizations can no longer afford nondifferentiated boundary-spanning activities" (Aldrich, 1979:255). Unstable environments are likely to require increased specialization and flexibility in boundary-role routines. Communication Direction External communication is neither, vertical nor horizontal. It is not upward or downward, since those terms refer to a superior/subordinate relationship in an organizational structure which is absent from an organization/environment interrelationship. Nor is external communication horizontal in the usual sense of being a flow between parallel levels in differing structures. The flow is instead a multi-directional outward/inward one, not necessarily governed by a division of labour between members of the environment. There is l i t t l e the organization can do to control or regulate inward communication from senders. Inward communication is largely voluntary, - 49 -although i t may be formal or informal. A major exception to t h i s i s inward communication which the organization may demand from i t s environment i n order to perform a function for the environment. This may be related to an outward flow which i s of a regulatory or c o n t r o l nature, i f that i s one of the organization's functions. Unlike upward i n t e r n a l communication, which i s more l i k e l y to be p o s i t i v e than negative because i t i s often aimed to please and placate superiors (Rogers and Rogers, 1976:97), inward communication i s l i k e l y to have a strong negative tone, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f i t i s feedback. However, i t may be p o s i t i v e i f the sender desires some benefit i n return. Message, Meaning, and Channel Communication of any sort i s complicated by the f a c t that conceptually the meaning of a communication i s not the same as the message. The message i s the medium for conveying the meaning; a meaning (an idea or intended communication) i s sender-encoded into a message which i s then receiver-decoded i n t o an interpreted meaning. We have already noted the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the sender and receiver frame of reference to t h i s process. But more obvious i s the s i g n i f i c a n c e of language. Communicators may use the same words but with d i f f e r e n t meanings, or d i f f e r e n t words with the same meaning. An appreciation of t h i s i s e s p e c i a l l y important for external organizational communication. Gortner notes that "consciously or unconsciously most organizations develop t h e i r own p e c u l i a r modes of speech" (Gortner, 1977:187). This i s often done for i n t e r n a l reasons, i n that i n t e r n a l communication i s improved or aided by such \ s p e c i a l modes (Tushman and Katz, 1980:1072). But, as Tushman and Katz also say, this hinders the acquisition, interpretation, and dissemination of information to and from the environment. Hence the importance of feedback (and feed forward), and of cosmopolites and other gatekeepers to provide some means for the correction and reinterpretation of meaning. Similarly, the channel used (e.g. oral, written, graphic, gestures, etc.) affects both the encoding and decoding of a message; communicators (senders and receivers) use and react to different channels in different ways. Therefore senders in particular must endeavor to select the most appropriate channel for communication. If various channels are used there must be consistency in the meaning transmitted in order to maintain credibility. If the organization is concerned with inward communication, then i t should pay attention to the channel structures and processes through which this communication comes, for the structures and processes themselves have a meaning (Bish, 1976:42-43). Formal or Informal As a result of the work of the Human Relations school, i t has come to be realized that formal (official or explicitly sanctioned) communication does not fully describe the channels of communication which are important to an organization. It is perhaps informal communication which most clearly illustrates the concept of communication as interrelationship. Informal communication is largely highly interpersonal and exists in any social system simply by reason of the social need for interpersonal relationship. It is integrative, and as such, i t affects the functioning of the system. But in an organizational setting, informal communication regularly develops beyond the - 51 -l e v e l of f u l f i l l i n g a personal s o c i a l need. This occurs because of a fun c t i o n a l need for communication where no formal (or acceptable or s a t i s f a c t o r y formal) channel e x i s t s (Gortner, 1977:177). Informal communication therefore consists of a l l organizational communication which i s not formal. It i s usually o r a l and f a s t , and, although i t occurs i n a l l d i r e c t i o n s , i t i s not necessarily random since patterns are l i k e l y to b u i l d up (Downs, Berg, and Linkugel, 1977:24). Informal communication channels are usually complementary to and substitutable f o r formal channels. Informal communication i n an organizational context i s often feared, because i t may d i s t o r t messages or counteract formal communication and cannot be c o n t r o l l e d ; attempted c o n t r o l may be strongly r e s i s t e d (Downs, Berg, and Linkugel, 1977:25). However, many writers make the important point that organizations should not deal with informal communication ex c l u s i v e l y by attempting to reduce i t where i t has an undesirable impact. They should also attempt to understand and use informal communication to t h e i r own advantage (Rogers and Rogers, 1976:83, for example). There i s a danger i n r e l y i n g too' much on informal communication, however, i n that " i f non-hierarchic channels are used too ex t e n s i v e l y . . . t h i s may s e r i o u s l y undermine the h i e r a r c h i c s t r u c t u r e " (Gross, 1968:569). It i s not a good substitute for good formal communication. In external communication terms, formal communication may well occur pr i m a r i l y at the top management and lower l e v e l s of an organization (the l a t t e r where the organization deals d i r e c t l y with customers, c l i e n t s , input suppliers, etc.) (Rogers and Rogers, 1976:67), In r e a l i t y , however, every person i n an organization i s involved i n external communication. Every i n d i v i d u a l i s a - 52 -member of some other system which i s a part of the environment. This type of organizational communication i s completely informal and uncontrollable. I t may in some cases be highly s i g n i f i c a n t , as well as being the only i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p which parts of the environment have with the organization. - 53 -C. A Summary Statement The Systems School approach to organizations does not provide a panacea for a s s i s t i n g organizations i n dealing with t h e i r environments. However, i t s concepts do provide a more thorough understanding of complex s i t u a t i o n s than do other schools of thought, and an appreciation of them increases the l i k l i h o o d of appropriate organizational a c t i o n . Many organizations are operated i n t u i t i v e l y and i m p l i c i t l y on the basis of some systems type approach, as t h e i r actions and decisions are adjusted to an evaluation of t h e i r s i t u a t i o n . In the opinion of Kast and Rosenzweig, " i f t h i s approach to organization theory and management pr a c t i c e can be made more e x p l i c i t l y , we can f a c i l i t a t e better management and more e f f e c t i v e organizations" (Kast and Rosenzweig, 1972:463). [ - 54 -CHAPTER IV: RELEVANT CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PUBLIC PLANNING AGENCY AND ITS CONTEXT  A. The Public Planning Agency as an Open System 1. Recognition of Contingencies We have b r i e f l y reviewed the current Open Systems view of organizations, the importance of external communication to the open system organization, and some concepts pertinent to external communication. The de s c r i p t i o n of organizations as r e l a t i v e l y open systems with a need for good external communication forms the basis of t h i s study, as the hypothesis proposes that the public planning agency as an organization can make good use of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n as external communication. Now we turn to an examination of the public planning agency to determine i t s open-system c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . This examination i s e s s e n t i a l l y the f i r s t l e v e l of analysis of the study, f o r i t i s intended to show that the public planning agency i s an organization which has d i s t i n c t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which are c r i t i c a l from an open-system perspective, and hence has d i s t i n c t i v e external communication requirements. While the open-systems approach to organizations implies that there are c e r t a i n general c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which are applicable to a l l organizations, open-system organizations are not a l l the same i n t h e i r needs and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . We have already noted that openness i s a matter of degree i n that some organizations are more open than others and that no organization i s or can be completely open. The converse i s , of course, that a l l organizations have .some closed-system c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and some organizations are more closed than others, but that no organization i s completely closed. But the differences among organizations goes beyond that. Organizations which may conceptually - 55 -exhibit the same degree of openness will at the same time have widely differing environments, not to mention structures, internal processes, means of communication, etc. Each organization is a unique system, shaped by its own unique contingencies. Hence, in an examination of organizational environment and external communication, " i t is necessary... to understand the specificities of organization environments, in addition to their generalizable features" (Aiken and Bacharach, 1978:202). One of the difficulties of the detailed application of Open Systems theory to any public agency is that by far the largest amount of research and analysis on organizations as open systems has been carried out in the context of profit-motivated business and private enterprise (Aldrich, 1979, for example). This poses problems,, since public organizations differ in many respects from private and profit-oriented organizations. The investigation of business corporations as a prototype for organizations is an inadequate guide to public organizational behaviour, except to the extent that factors such as cultural and institutional norms lead organizations to emulate each other. For the most part, public organizations attempt to emulate private organizations in western culture (Self, 1972:249), so some private organization concepts are generally applicable. But as Aiken and Bacharach state, "what is dynamic about the environment of a business organization may be light years away from what is dynamic about the environment of a public bureaucracy" (Aiken and Bacharach, 1978:246). For our purposes the difficulty is even more pronounced. Public agencies of different types are themselves unique, in terms of the environmental context within which they function, their mission, their structure, their - 56 -technology, and the like. Aiken and Bacharach note respecting environment for example, "the reason for calling the environment of a welfare organization heterogeneous may be rather remote from the reason for characterizing the environment of a local government in that way" (Aiken and Bacharach, 1978:246). 2. The Environment A useful perspective from which to begin an open system analysis of a public planning agency is to look first at its environment. To do this requires a discussion of the boundary question as i t relates to the agency. Even though taking the formal agency as the organization for analytical purposes means that the boundary is assumed to be clear, a consideration of the system-boundary in relation to the agency-boundary assists in describing the environment of the agency. Rogers and Rogers suggest that most analysts would feel the necessity to include a public agency's clientele within the system boundary in order to fully understand the functioning of the organization (Rogers and Rogers, 1976:62). In other words, in terms of the relative frequency of communication among components of the supra-system, the set of communications with clientele respecting the planning agency's function is so frequent that the clients are a part of the organization. If we take the suggestion of Downs, Berg, and Linkugel (1977:5), that one can classify an organization by. the people associated with i t to include the following four groups: the members of rank-and-file workers, the owners or managers of the organization, - 57 -the clients or public in contact with the organization, and the public at large, then by Rogers and Rogers definition the planning system-organization certainly includes the first three groups. Burke also recognizes this possibility in conceding that " i t is difficult to separate the client system from the planning organization. Some writers view both as one and the same. In some instances this is true" (Burke, 1979:279). Some might argue that the public planning agency's clientele must also include the fourth group, the public at large, and that i t also is a part of the planning organization. Even i f we reject that"as impractical, i t is certainly true that the third group - the clients or public in contact with the organization - is also a very large group. The clientele with which the public planning agency has frequent contact consists of many people. Therefore by this alternative the system-defined public planning organization is s t i l l potentially an enormous organization. Self alludes to this possibility for administrative bodies (public agencies) when he asks Do they consist ....of fluctuating and overlapping systems of co-operative action possessing only a small degree of autonomous behaviour and intelligible mainly in terms of wider systems of social behaviour? (Self, 1972:248). His phrase "fluctuating and overlapping systems of co-operative action" implies not only openness but also variability over time in what constitutes a public oriented "organisation". He goes on to state that "organisation theory is prone to the fallacy of misplaced concreteness when i t supposes that organisations possess clearer boundaries...than they do" (Self, 1972:249). By contrast to this approach which means a public planning agency is not in itself an organization, there is the earlier approach of Downs. Based on - 5 8 -more traditional closed-system thinking, Downs describes government as a whole as a decision-making instrument separate from the public except for the small group of citizens which controls the governing apparatus (Downs, 1957:24-26). It is separate because "when a small group of men acting in coalition runs the apparatus of state, we can reasonably speak of the government as a decision-maker separate from individual citizens at large" (Downs, 1957:17). Clearly i f the governing apparatus is separate in this fashion, i t must be considered to be a relatively closed system. By implication then, any public agency which is a part of that apparatus is itself also a closed sub-system of i t . Although Downs does not speak specifically to the subject of public participation, i t appears obvious that he does not see public participation as being of any significance except to choose the controlling coalition. He does not recognize any significant openness to government. Downs's approach certainly does not accord with what has actually happened to government and public agency decision-making since he wrote in 1957. Moreover, i f we return to the Rogers and Rogers definition and Burke's acknowledgement of what an organization consists of, we have a better appreciation of the significance of the environment to a formally defined public planning agency. If the clients of the agency are so significant that the pure system-organization of planning would include them, then i t must follow that when these clients are artificially made a part of the environment by virtue of drawing the organization boundaries back to the formal agency boundaries, the clients become a part of the environment which is extremely significant and closely-linked to the agency. Furthermore, this part of the agency's environment is also large in a quantitative sense. - 59 -The planning agency and i t s c l i e n t system are so c l o s e l y linked, says Burke, that they can be seen to be engaged i n a c o l l a b o r a t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p , a r e l a t i o n s h i p which i s a partnership (Burke, 1979:279). I f t h i s seems to be a cont r a d i c t i o n of the apparent fa c t that public planning agencies and other government agencies often exercise a great deal of authority and influence over the public, one needs to recognize that the impact of the environment i s not always r e a d i l y apparent. Also, returning to the Downs, Berg, and Linkugel l i s t of people associated with an organization, i t should be apparent that some parts of the agency's environment have more of an impact than others. This i s i l l u s t r a t e d by Kernaghan, who gives a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of four broad categories of controls and influences over administrative decisions, with p a r a l l e l categories of what he c a l l s sources of administrative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (Kernaghan, 1973:583). His use of the terms "controls" and "influences" acknowledges the openness of the administrative system. Although h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s for administrative i n d i v i d u a l s rather than agencies within the parliamentary form of the Canadian government ( i . e . the national government), i t i s applicable to agencies and to other forms and l e v e l s of government. His categories are as follows: Controls and Influences 1 Sources Internal controls Administrative superiors Internal influences Administrative superiors, peers, and subordinates External controls P o l i t i c a l executives, l e g i s l a t o r s , judges External influences The general public, i n t e r e s t group representatives, mass media representatives These, he says, are a l l external to the i n d i v i d u a l . In agency terms, h i s use of - 60 -"internal" and "external" relates to what is internal and external to the agency. The external sources he groups according to whether or not they represent controls or influences, indicating his evaluation of the relative impact of the various external sources. He includes what we would call the public under external "influences", indicating relatively less impact from them than from the sources he includes under external "controls". It is clear that the public planning agency is an organization whose environment is large and varied. The environment is by definition distinct from the agency but at the same time the two are interrelated in a unique institutionalized and politicized fashion-. One writer has described this by saying that public or quasi-public organizations face "more complex coalitions of external forces than other organizations" (Mintzberg, 1973:108). Taking a l l these external factors into account, a public agency as "a legally defined organisation is sometimes a relatively weak centre of decision-making and may be controlled to a large extent from other centres" (Self, 1972:249). It is only one of a number of individuals or bodies who are "proximate policy makers", those who are the closest or most proximate to the actual making of a decision (lindblom, 1968:30). Lindblom's description of the policy-making process is that there is no one policy-maker or policy-making body, not even in specific fields (such as planning). All such are only proximate policy-makers, forming \ part of a large and vaguely-defined group which engages in various processes out of which comes policy. Even those policy-makers with immediate legal authority share the policy-making process with a number of other participants such as political officials, party leaders, and other appointed administrative officials (Lindblom, 1968:39). This, of course, describes what is in fact a - 61 -process of environmental influence. ( I t i s c l e a r from Lindblom's l a t e r comments (1968:113) that he does not consider the public, generally, as being proximate policy-makers). A number of pertinent questions a r i s e for the planning agency - To what extent does i t wish to be c o n t r o l l e d by i t s environment? What parts of i t s environment should i t respond to, and can i t somehow balance external factors against each other? How can i t best communicate with i t s environment? Is the environment changing, and how fa s t ? The agency may not only be a weak centre and con t r o l l e d from other centres, i t also i s one which has a ra p i d l y changing and turbulent environment (Emery and T r i s t , 1972:274). The "complex c o a l i t i o n s of external forces" are constantly changing into new and d i f f e r e n t c o a l i t i o n s . While the l i k l i h o o d i s that any organization w i l l respond maladaptively to a turbulent and threatening environment (White, 1973:122), other writers suggest that i n government i t may wel l take some ten to f i f t e e n years f o r an agency to even be aware of the new environment (Emery and T r i s t , 1972:279). I t i s questionable whether that length of time i s fast enough given the rate at which environments are becoming turbulent. What has been described f o r the public agency i s a demanding environmental context within which i t s external communication must occur. In order to function e f f e c t i v e l y within t h i s environment, a public agency must possess a "repertoire of response c a p a b i l i t i e s for environmental i n t e r a c t i o n " (White, 1973:122). This response c a p a b i l i t y depends on the a c q u i s i t i o n of feedback from the e f f e c t s of the organization's own outputs. "Without feedback and the capacity to respond to i t , no system could survive for long, except by accident" (Easton; 1965b:32). - 62 -3. Communication with the Environment: The Reason for Special Attention  The necessity for any organization to i n t e r a c t with and respond to i t s environment by now i s obvious. Chapter III and the foregoing have discussed t h i s at some length, and have pointed out that the environments of p u b l i c agencies are e s p e c i a l l y characterized by change and turbulence. One must then turn to the next question, which i s , why must a public planning agency pay s p e c i a l attention to communication with that environment? After a l l , many organizations survive and function reasonably well i n meeting t h e i r goals without any conscious, s p e c i f i c a ttention to t h e i r environments. There are a number of reasons for t h i s . The f i r s t one stems from the f a c t that the public agency i s unlike most organizations which communicate with t h e i r environments through the medium of the market place. For the l a t t e r , inputs are procured and outputs disposed of through f i n a n c i a l transactions. I f such an organization's s u r v i v a l i s threatened, or i f i t functions poorly, there are messages which are communicated to the organization through the market. Granted, even for some such organizations the market place often does not provide enough communication, or the communication may not be c l e a r l y understood by the organization. More and more market-based organizations are supplementing t h e i r market-derived information with other communication and s p e c i a l i z e d information, or with s p e c i a l i z e d communication agencies and devices. But public agencies, except for those which are established to function as p r i v a t e corporations, do not function through the market place. They are free from the market te s t (Katz and Kahn, 1966:82) , and are free from - 63 -i t i n two important respects. The f i r s t i s that the service which i s produced (the output) i s ei t h e r monopolistic (Gortner, 1977:6) or a free good. The environment, by and large, has no choice over whether or not to accept the service once i t i s agreed that i t should be provided. The second i s that there i s no simple, commonly acceptable yardstick such as p r o f i t s for measuring the achievement or success of the public agency (Gortner, 1977:7). As a r e s u l t of the combination of these, the public agency must negotiate and bargain d i r e c t l y with i t s immediate source of energy renewal to ensure i t acquires i t s "energic input" (Katz and Kahn, 1966:68), and i t must communicate ( i n t e r r e l a t e ) with i t s c l i e n t s and the public i n a manner which provides support for t h i s negotiation and bargaining. Although t h i s negotiation and bargaining provides an opportunity f or measurement of achievement, by and large "the fa c t that revenue i s received regardless of the q u a l i t y or the quantity of r e s u l t s produced eliminates a c r i t i c a l check or penalty f or poor performance" (Rapp, 1978:417). While the environment of the public agency has some a b i l i t y to act as a constraint on negative agency performance, i t i s not an automatic, s e l f -regulating process as i n the case of the market. Moreover, the environment cannot reward good performance or encourage changes through such an automatic process. Because public agencies are free from the market t e s t , say Katz and Kahn, they develop poor adaptive response mechanisms - they are not e a s i l y made aware of what to respond to (Katz and Kahn, 1966:82). Thompson and McEwen al s o r e f e r to t h i s measurement problem, when they say that for a government operation oriented to a less tangible purpose "the indices of e f f e c t i v e operation are l e s s l i k e l y to be p r e c i s e " (Thompson and McEwen, 1972:257), and "as goals c a l l f o r incr e a s i n g l y intangible, difficult-to-measure products, society finds i t more - 64 -and more difficult to determine and reflect its acceptability of that product" (Thompson and McEwen, 1972:258). While the foregoing speaks in terms of "products" in relation to established goals, the same lack-of-market-test problem occurs with respect to establishing the goals themselves. The setting of goals is not a static process, but is "a necessary and recurring problem facing any organization, whether i t is governmental, military, business, educational, medical, religious, or other type" (Thompson and McEwen, 1972:256). But just as goals call for increasingly intangible, difficult-to-measure products, so "the signals that indicate unacceptable goals are less effective and perhaps longer in coming" (Thompson and McEwen, 1972:258). Thompson and McEwen discuss this at length, in relation to organizational environment. Additional complexity respecting goal establishment and goal achievement results from the fact that the environment of a public agency includes other organizations. In an open system, the goals of the agency are affected by,the policies and actions of these other organizations (Eide, 1974:244). A second major reason why the public agency must be attentive to its external communication stems from the basis of the agency's own formal existence. Although this is related to the first reason, that of determining public acceptability of output or goals (in that poor performance may well result in the agency's eventual demise), i t has more to do with the independence of the agency. Private organizations may on their own respond to the environment by taking on new and different goals and so maintain their intrinsic existence, but a public agency is normally valued instrumentally for a particular purpose, rather than intrinsically (Self, 1972:251). The public - 65 -agency i s established to serve a p a r t i c u l a r public purpose for society or a part of i t . I f i t does not do that, there i s no i n t r i n s i c reason to maintain i t . 4. Attention to Concepts The communication concepts (and attendant problems) discussed i n Chapter I I I are a l l concepts which the public planning agency should be aware of. Good external communication can be achieved only i f the agency i s aware of techniques, channels, communicator r o l e s , formality and informality, and the l i k e , and of t h e i r r e l a t i v e advantages and disadvantages. Some of these bear repeating here for further i l l u s t r a t i o n . The v a r i e t y of external elements i n the environment of the agency means that there are a number of possible audiences for an agency-initiated communication. While some of these audiences are i n d i v i d u a l s and s i n g l e -purpose groups which remain r e l a t i v e l y stable and predictable, many of the audiences consist of "complex c o a l i t i o n s " with a multitude of purposes whose r e l a t i v e importance changes from time to time. Moreover, turbulence i n the environment i s evidenced by the f a c t that these complex c o a l i t i o n s change as new c o a l i t i o n s are formed. For t h i s reason the planning agency must attempt to be aware of these c o a l i t i o n s and how they are re-forming; the audience of the agency (the external communicators) must be i d e n t i f i e d to ensure that the appropriate communications are directed towards them. What may be les s recognized by the agency i s that inward communication should also be understood i n r e l a t i o n to these changes i n the external senders. S i m i l a r l y , the communicator r o l e within the agency i s performed at a v a r i e t y of locations within i t . While the agency may be well aware of t h i s , - 66 -what may not be recognized i s that the meaning received by the audience may vary with the audience's perception of the sender. And again, to repeat a point made above, an incoming communication may not only have d i f f e r i n g meanings for d i f f e r i n g i n t e r n a l r e c e i v e r s . I t may be intended by the external sender for p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r n a l r e c e i v e r s , but received or interpreted by the wrong rece i v e r . This discussion i l l u s t r a t e s the necessity of recognizing communication as an i n t e r a c t i v e process i n i t s t o t a l i t y , where the communication event i s j o i n t and two-way, not simply an action-response sequence. The r e c e i p t of a communication i s i t s e l f a response, involving the encoding and de-coding actions by communicators simultaneously. A second example of an important concept i s that of message vs. meaning. Some writers on public agencies give a great deal of weight to the bureaucratic language problem. Hummel, for example, deals with t h i s extensively. He states i n one place that bureaucratic language i s only one-d i r e c t i o n a l , and i s acausal i n that i t provides no clue to i t s o r i g i n or legitimacy (Hummel, 1977:143). He goes even beyond that, saying that "a bureaucracy's language hides the q u e s t i o n a b i l i t y of that bureaucracy's own existence" (Hummel, 1977:147). In other words, not only i s there a major message-meaning problem, but the problem i s often d e l i b e r a t e l y used by the bureaucracy to protect i t s e l f . Another writer suggests that the public's perception of a "lack of compassion" i n public organizations may be a l l e v i a t e d by improving outward external communication (Thompson, 1975: Chapters 3-4). A l t e r n a t i v e l y , he says, other communication channels such as an ombudsman may be required (Thompson, 1975: Chapter 8). - 67 -5. A Concluding Statement I t was noted e a r l i e r that urban municipal government i s inc r e a s i n g l y having to deal with substantive issues which are no longer t e c h n i c a l ; the issues are becoming p o l i c y matters of concern to the p u b l i c . I t i s the agencies of municipal government responsible for dealing i n some fashion with these p o l i c y issues which are becoming the focus of public concern and demands for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . In a municipal context, the agency that comes as close as any other to being a p o l i c y unit i s the planning agency. It provides no tangible or concrete service, and i n i t s functions i t cuts across other agency concerns and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . In addition to having t h i s p o l i c y focus, a planning agency i s a p a r t i c u l a r target of public and p o l i t i c a l concerns because of "the e f f e c t of i t s decisions on the d i s t r i b u t i o n of economic and s o c i a l values among people and groups i n the community" (Heikoff, 1975:77). The conclusions one can draw i s that the public planning agency, among a l l public agencies i n municipal government, i s an open system which must not neglect i t s external communication. The hypothesis i s that public p a r t i c i p a t i o n can provide some of the necessary external communication. But i n order to a r r i v e at a demonstration of that, one must f i r s t understand the context i n which the agency e x i s t s (the s p e c i f i c i t i e s of the environment). This w i l l be done i n the next s e c t i o n . In the case of a public planning agency, however, t h i s understanding i s not s u f f i c i e n t because the planning agency has a body of theory which i s unique among public agencies, and which must be taken into account i n considering the process of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Planning theory includes theories of procedure, and the process of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n cannot be adequately addressed i n a planning function without incorporating procedural planning theory. - 68 -B. The Organizational Context 1. An Understanding of Context At the conclusion of the section in which the public planning agency was described as an open system with external communication needs, i t was noted that a more complete understanding of these needs requires an understanding of the overall context within which the agency functions as an organization. Meadow has described this in his statement that "the political system, its institutions and processes, shape the environment in which a l l communication takes place" (Meadow, 1980:27). If the environment is so shaped, i t follows that communication with i t is similarly shaped. The public planning agency operates within an urban political system where the significant institutions and processes are comprised of: a) the formal political structures, b) the structures and processes representing bureaucratic principles, and c) administrative norms and procedures. While recognizing that these are a l l in combination components of the political system as Meadow uses the term, we will deal with these separately by referring to "formal political structures" as distinct from the other two. In this section the context will only be described, reserving a more thorough analysis of the implications to a later section. The brief treatment of them will bring out the main points, although i t is recognized that there are subtle details and variations which in different situations may make any one of them more or less important. - 69 -2. Formal P o l i t i c a l Structure The Basis of Municipal Government Urban Municipal governments i n Canada are a part of the o v e r a l l federal structure established under the B r i t i s h North America Act. Under that Act, the l e g a l or c o n s t i t u t i o n a l p o s i t i o n of municipal government i s one i n which i t can be subjected to any "whim and fancy" of i t s senior p r o v i n c i a l government (Higgins, 1977:53). While i n p r a c t i c e t h i s usually does not apply i n the general conduct of p r o v i n c i a l - municipal r e l a t i o n s , i n p r i n c i p l e municipal governments and t h e i r agencies can do nothing that i s not delegated to them. There are two immediate consequences of t h i s status. The one i s that municipal government i s but one of a number of governments responding to the needs and demands of the p u b l i c , with a v a r i e t y of elected o f f i c i a l s who "represent" the public and i t s concerns. Instead of being able to approach a s i n g l e representative on any matter, as i n a unitary state such as B r i t a i n , the Canadian public must attempt to d i s t i n g u i s h between the l e v e l s of problems relevant to one of a number of representatives (Fraser, 1980:239). The other i s that, notwithstanding the absence of whim and fancy i n p r o v i n c i a l government c o n t r o l , "the h i s t o r y of municipal governments i n Canada i s generally one of steady and continual reduction i n the scope of functions delegated to m u n i c i p a l i t i e s " (Higgins, 1977:54). However, as we have noted e a r l i e r , municipal government also has a t r a d i t i o n of closeness to the public (both p h y s i c a l l y and i n terms of matters with which i t deals), and openness and v i s i b i l i t y i n decision-making. Lord Redcliffe-Maud and Wood describe l o c a l government as an opportunity to give expression to the " d i v e r s i t y of national l i f e " and ennabling people on a l o c a l basis to work out t h e i r own patterns of community, on the basis of t h e i r own - 70 -priorities, within some broader constraints and standards (Redcliffe-Maud and Wood, 1974:150). The Service Orientation of Local Government It was noted earlier that the pressures for increased public participation at the municipal level may in part be due to the changing nature of needs which the public wishes municipal government to address. Numerous students of local government have noted that its main tradition in practice has been in the provision of services. Historically i t has functioned mainly as an, administrative agency, performing a service function for services generally deemed necessary or desirable (Higgins, 1977:50, 166; and Redcliffe-Maud, 1974:11, for example). Langrod says It must not be forgotten that the problem of local govern-ment is...but a technical arrangement within the adminis-trative system, a structural and functional detail, based on the adaptation of traditional forms of management to the varied needs of modern administration (Langrod, 1976:5). This Service orientation has been reinforced by the traditional reform approach to municipal administration, that the provision of services was only an administrative matter (Fish, 1976:176) of snow plowing, building streets, dis-posing of sewage, etc. While lip service has been paid to both the service and participatory (or access) traditions, Higgins states that the studies and reports involving municipal reorganization in Canada show that i t is "almost without exception" the access tradition which is surrendered through reorgani-zation (Higgins, 1977:167)., But many of those supposedly technical service matters are becoming important policy matters. They have come to involve differences in value - 71 -perspectives, the choice of services to be provided (and the l e v e l s ) , and the pattern of ser v i c e to be provided to which c l i e n t groups (Fish, 1976:176). In addition, l o c a l government i s now involved i n a far wider range of functions than previously, many of which are c l e a r l y not technical i n any respect (Higgins, 1977:54). These have developed i n recent times, and many of them are the growth functions of l o c a l government (Redcliffe-Maud and Wood, 1974:15). Higgins maintains that the apparent paradox of on the one hand a continued reduction i n the scope of functions delegated to mu n i c i p a l i t i e s , and on the other hand t h e i r involvement i n a wider range of functions i s explained by the fact that the increasing number of functions i s not accompanied by the scope for policy-making. Functions are delegated by p r o v i n c i a l government i n a s i t u a t i o n where "municipal government i s to an increasing extent becoming more of an administrative agency of p r o v i n c i a l governments than has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been the case", with p r o v i n c i a l perspectives and standards applied (Higgins, 1977:70). The O f f i c i a l Representative Process Local or municipal government, i s formally based on a represen-t a t i v e system of l e g i s l a t i v e decision-making. The general c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of such a system are that the public does not p a r t i c i p a t e d i r e c t l y i n de c i s i o n -making, but influences i t through the e l e c t i o n of representatives; that decision-making i s determined by a majority voting process with consensus rare and not necessary; and that the implementation of decisions i s given over to an administrative or executive group (Burke, 1979:76). L e g i s l a t i v e d e c i s i o n -making i s normally, but not neces s a r i l y , characterized by parti s a n p o l i t i c s ( p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s ) . - 72 -Canadian municipal l e g i s l a t i v e bodies (councils) are generally small, with some exceptions. Higgins says t h i s r e f l e c t s a service and e f f i c i e n c y philosophy, that "the best way of getting decisions made quickly i s to keep cou n c i l small, and to have c o u n c i l run more as a consensus-seeking and n o n - p o l i t i c a l corporate board of d i r e c t o r s than as a p o l i t i c a l l y oriented l e g i s l a t u r e " (Higgins, 1977:99). Further, the observation has been made that municipal government i s based on the congressional form of government "plunked down i n the midst of a parliamentary context" (Fish, 1976:175). Hence, i n the congressional t r a d i t i o n there are f i x e d terms of o f f i c e ( i . e . i t i s not "responsible") and there i s no party d i s c i p l i n e ; the head of the government (mayor or reeve, etc.) i s elected separately and may hold d i f f e r e n t views from the majority of other i n d i v i d u a l s elected, and there are no t r a d i t i o n a l forms of "party" p o l i c y making. But unlike the American congressional system, where the administrative body i s responsible to the separately elected head of government, l o c a l government administrations are "servants of the l o c a l c o u n c i l , and derive from i t t h e i r powers and dut i e s " (Redcliffe-Maud and Wood, 1974:93). ( I n c i d e n t a l l y , t h i s d i f f e r s also from the parliamentary t r a d i t i o n where c i v i l servants are servants of the Crown.) In performing t h e i r "representative" function, two c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of c o u n c i l members are worth noting. The one i s that they generally perceive of themselves as being trustees ( i n Edmund Burke's famous t r a d i t i o n , of each deciding on the basis what he or she personally considers r i g h t or just) rather than delegates (not using independent' judgement or convictions, but each deciding, on the basis of what i s perceived to be the wishes of h i s or her constituency) (Higgins, 1977:274-275). This i s not unusual, for l i k e l y most - 73 -l e g i s l a t o r s see themselves as trustees (Lindblom, 1968:73). The other charac-t e r i s t i c i s also described by Higgins. He found, s p e c i f i c a l l y with respect to cou n c i l members i n Metro Toronto, that there was a socio-economic homogeneity among those elected that was not "representative" of socio-economic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the population. In fa c t , there were large segments of the elect o r a t e i n Metro Toronto who were socio-economically "unrepresented" (Higgins, 1977:259). Looking across Canada, he found an unrepresentative d i s -t r i b u t i o n of occupations among co u n c i l members, possibly having to do with c e r t a i n occupational groups having more time to devote to p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s without a great loss of income. This unrepresentativeness i s p a r t i c u l a r l y worth noting when taken together with Council members perceptions of themselves as trustees. Administrative Roles In the absence of a c l e a r l y separate executive function as i n the American congressional t r a d i t i o n , or an executive function separate by con-vention as i n the parliamentary t r a d i t i o n , structures have been developed i n the larger Canadian m u n i c i p a l i t i e s i n which administrative o f f i c i a l s have assumed some of the executive functions. Of the twenty-four largest Canadian c i t i e s studied, eleven had e i t h e r a Commission or Manager form of appointed administration (Higgins, 1977:108-122). Higgins referred to these structures as decision-making models because i n h i s analysis he found that the Commissioners or Managers had s i g n i f i c a n t c e n t r a l i z e d decision-making powers. Of the remaining t h i r t e e n c i t i e s , eleven employed the elected Board of Control model, but even so the actual c o u n c i l s t i l l retained i n p r i n c i p l e some of the - 74 -executive functions which encourage administrative executive powers. An analyst of the American situation found that even there, where political executives are strong, the cities with appointed managers are relatively the most centralized in terms of administration (Lineberry and Fowler, 1967:716). General Authority Norms In addition to the specific aspects of the formal political structure described above, there are some general characteristics of Canadian political processes which help to shape the environment in which communication takes place. The one of these is that Canadian attitudes toward authority are more deferential than are American (Thomas, 1980:280). Another way of viewing this is that Canadians are "characterized by conservatism to a greater degree than in the United States" (Higgins, 1974:206). This is noteworthy not so much as an absolute as a relative characteristic by comparision with American political norms and traditions. Not only must this be borne in mind when one looks at participation experiences and the literature from the United States, but i t is relevant to the question of how willing the public is to engage in participatory processes. The other characteristic of a general nature relates to the fore-going, but is more specific to formal political processes. Atkinson and White suggest that a l l Canadian provinces are characterized by what they call "a debilitating subservience of the legislature to the executive" (Atkinson and White, 1980:255). Even more specifically, their analysis suggests that in the provinces created after Confederation a strong parliamentary tradition has been - 75 -slow to develop. In the case of Alberta, they say, parliamentary institutions were imposed from outside and had no local roots. This is in contrast with the older Canadian provinces where these institutions grew out of the society and developed with i t (Atkinson and White, 1980:256). Legislatures therefore have existed primarily to support executives, not to serve their own inherent political role. But the significance of this analysis for our purposes is the authors' statement that the population of the provinces (especially Alberta but also in the other provinces to a certain extent) developed a "decidedly non-parliamentary approach to government and to politics" (Atkinson and White, 1980:255). Such an approach one would expect to permeate municipal politics as well as provincial politics. It is likely a part of the deference to authority referred to above, and is supportive of certain decision-making models in Canadian municipal government. 3. Bureaucracy  Pervasiveness There are two understandings of what is meant by bureaucracy. The one is what might be called the technical one, that bureaucracy is a term referring to certain "bureaucratic principles" by which organizations are structured and operate in order to carry out certain tasks or functions. The other is the more common one, where bureaucracy is understood to mean the non-elected administrative agencies of government, which are assumed or perceived to operate in certain well-known and not always appreciated ways. It is the first understanding of bureaucracy that will be covered under this heading of - 76 -"Bureaucracy", as i t consists of one set of well-established concepts of how organizations function. The s p e c i f i c well-defined c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which r e f e r more p a r t i c u l a r l y to the operation of government agencies w i l l be considered following t h i s , under the heading "Administration". Bureaucratic p r i n c i p l e s r e l a t e to organizational structures or pro-cesses which may be c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of any large formal organization. They are not unique to government agencies, but are "also found i n business, unions, churches, u n i v e r s i t i e s , and even i n baseball clubs" (Blau and Meyer, 1971:4). The proponents of bureaucracy, including the c l a s s i c a l exposition by Weber, attach no invidious connotation to the term. They believe that bureaucracy i s absolutely e s s e n t i a l f o r large and complex modern organizations (Presthus, 1965:35). Blau and Meyer state "the type of organization designed to accomplish large-scale administrative tasks by systematically coordinating the work of many i n d i v i d u a l s i s c a l l e d a bureaucracy" (Blau and Meyer, 1971:4). There i s some inconsistency i n discussing bureaucracy i n r e l a t i o n -ship to external communication, because bureaucracy does not expressly address the l a t t e r . Bureaucracy i s concerned p r i m a r i l y with matters of i n t e r n a l structure and processes, s i m i l a r to the s c i e n t i f i c management approach to organizations, and la r g e l y ignores the external environment. However, by impl i c a t i o n these p r i n c i p l e s are relevant to external communication as i t i s considered i n the Open Systems approach, for i n the l a t t e r the organization and i t s environment are inseparable i n cause and e f f e c t . This serves to emphasize that a f u l l a n a lysis of external communication cannot ignore \he " i n t e r n a l environment". - 77 -) C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and Assumptions of Bureaucracy According to Weber, who i s the person most i n f l u e n t i a l i n developing the idea and p r i n c i p l e s , bureaucracy has the following charac-t e r i s t i c s (Weber, 1947:333-336): 1) fixed and o f f i c i a l j u r i s d i c t i o n a l areas which are r e g u l a r l y ordered by r u l e s , i . e . by laws or administrative regulations; 2) p r i n c i p l e s of hierarchy and l e v e l s of graded authority which ensure an ordered system of super-and subordination i n which higher o f f i c e s supervise lower ones; 3) administration based upon written documents; 4) administration by f u l l - t i m e o f f i c i a l s who are thoroughly and expertly trained; and 5) administration by general rules which are quite stable and com-prehensive. I t should be apparent that many formal organizations, with t h e i r e x p l i c i t regulations and o f f i c i a l p o s i t i o n s exemplify the c o n t r o l l e d conditions which, are described by these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Even though the d a i l y i n t e r n a l a c t i v i t i e s and i n t e r a c t i o n s of the members of a formal organization cannot be e n t i r e l y accounted for by o f f i c i a l regulations and p o s i t i o n s , "the e x p l i c i t l y formal organization, the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of which can be e a s i l y ascertained, reduces the number of v a r i a b l e conditions" within the organization (Blau and Meyer, 1971:15). It i s also apparent from Weber's l i s t of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s that bureaucracy r e f e r s e s s e n t i a l l y to the way i n which decisions are made, not what the decisions themselves are ( A l f o r d , 1969:17). Moreover, i t implies the - 78 -development of specialization of decision-making within the organization, based on jurisdictional area, expertise, and hierarchy. As this specialization occurs, i t is accompanied by specialization in working styles and mental processes, and by the need for control and co-ordination. This control and co-ordination is provided by the assignment of authority along hierarchical lines, resulting in the conditions, for decision-making, and for participation in decision-making, being determined by a minority referred to as an oligarchical "inner elite" (Presthus, 1965:39,44). But bureaucratic organizations are not monolithic - they are com-prised of individuals downward along the hierarchy to whom is delegated authority related to the specialization of function. A large part of this delegated authority is discretionary even though there are rules and regulations; the delegation is always from the general to the more specific. i Because of this discretion, each successively lower level in the hierarchy has some leeway for interpretation and choice among alternative courses of action. This interpretation and choice is based on the values, knowledge, and per-ceptions of the individuals at these levels. To reduce the cumulative effect of these "authority leakages", says Downs, the organization must attempt to reduce divergencies, so that in any large and multi-level organization a large part of the total activity consists of control activities which are "completely unrelated to the ...formal goals" in a direct sense (Downs, 1967:136). A final general point worth noting for our purposes is that the characteristics of bureaucracy contain no description of how goals are set. The implication of fixed and official jurisdictional areas is that goals are not set within the bureaucratic process. "The bureaucratic model presumes that organi-- 79 -z a t i o n a l goals are known and are an unambiguous guide to a c t i o n " ( A l d r i c h , 1979:15). To summarize, from Weber himself, The de c i s i v e reason for the advance of bureaucratic organization has always been i t s purely technical s u p e r i o r i t y over any other form of organization... Precision, speed, unambiguity, knowledge of f i l e s , con-t i n u i t y , d i s c r e t i o n , s t r i c t subordination, reduction of f r i c t i o n and of material and personal costs -these are raised to the optimum point i n the s t r i c t l y bureaucratic administration (Weber, 1946:214). There i s no room for any purely personal, i r r a t i o n a l , or emotional elements. Bureaucracy i n Government As noted above, bureaucracy as a way of arranging organizational structures and processes for decision-making i s often confused with bureaucracy as an i n s t i t u t i o n or organization i t s e l f . This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y true for govern-ment agencies, which are often referred to as bureaucracies. I t would be more proper to speak of them as organizations which often are characterized by bureaucracy, recognizing that bureaucracy i s only one method of d e c i s i o n -making. Nevertheless, i t i s also true that most government agencies are characterized by bureaucracy. In f a c t , "insofar as bureaucracy connotes conformity...public administration i s stamped with a higher degree of t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c than business management i s " (Dimock and Dimock, 1969:51). One of the reasons f o r t h i s , or at l e a s t a reason often advanced i n support of bureaucracy i n a democratic system, l i e s i n the fa c t that bureaucracy promotes uniformity i n decision-making, emphasizes impersonality, and hence produces - 80 -i m p a r t i a l i t y . The public i s i n p r i n c i p l e treated i n a u n i v e r s a l i s t i c rather than a p a r t i c u l a r i s t i c fashion (Thompson, 1975:17), and t h i s accords with the e g a l i t a r i a n p r i n c i p l e s of democracy. But the attractiveness of bureaucracy to public administration goes beyond the complementarity of uniformity and i m p a r t i a l i t y with e g a l i t a r i a n service to the p u b l i c . The bureaucratic process i s recognized by government as producing "powerful i n s t i t u t i o n s which g r e a t l y enhance p o t e n t i a l capacities...because they are neutral instruments for r a t i o n a l administration on a large s c a l e " (Blau and Meyer, 1971:4). Elsewhere Blau has stated t h i s s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t l y , s t a t i n g that " i f men organize themselves and others f o r the purpose of r e a l i z i n g s p e c i f i c objectives assigned to or accepted by them, such as winning a war or c o l l e c t i n g taxes, they e s t a b l i s h a bureaucratic organization", where the fundamental p r i n c i p l e i s administrative e f f i c i e n c y (Blau, 1974:55). The strength of bureaucracy as an administrative d e c i s i o n -making process i s well-recognized. "Democratic decisions are f u t i l e without an administrative apparatus strong enough to implement them" (Blau, 1974:56), and bureaucracy provides the apparatus with the strength necessary. There i s a t h i r d f a c t o r which leads to bureaucracy within government, as within other complex organizations. This i s the interdependencies and demands within organizations produced by technological advance and s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . The public administration's response to new p o l i t i c a l issues and to an increase i n knowledge i s an ever larger and more complex bureaucratic organization. I t i s a means of achieving goals r e l a t e d to new issues, and of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n and s p e c i a l i z a t i o n to take advantage of increasing knowledge. - 81 -Finally, in addition to a l l these advantages of bureaucracy to government and public administration, there is a sense in which bureaucracy occurs directly as a response to the public itself. It is frequently the kind of response that continuous demands require, such as at the local level, for bureaucracy creates particular agencies to which particular issue groups within the public may go for satisfaction of their needs or demands. Alford maintains that "many groups in the electorate actively seek more bureaucracy..., realizing fu l l well that the achievement of bureaucratic status by a service of local government means its relative permanence" (Alford, 1969:26-27). He also sees a danger in this, however, for "the very act of bureaucratization, while a response to one need, may be a failure to respond to another, and the implied specialization of function closes off other types of alternative responses" (Alford, 1969:28). 4. Administration Administrative Principles "The conventional view of the relationship between politics and administration", says Self, "is that of one between ends and means" (Self, 1972:149). The conventional view is the administrative principle that the appointed or hired administration which works for elected politicians has as its concern the neutral translation into practice of the political decisions which are independently derived from the politicians. Thus, this principle has i t , the administration is not concerned with ends, but only with the means to achieve ends. The means are largely irrelevant, except insofar as ends are achieved. We have noted that the means normally involves the use of bureaucracy within administrative organizations. A part of this administrative principle - 82 -is the convention of the anonymity of the public official in terms of the policy process - policies are the politicians', not the officials'. The overall Canadian tradition of public administration derives largely from the British tradition because of the shared political traditions centering on parliament and the Crown. In principle executive authority resides ultimately with the Sovereign, and political executives are merely advisors to the Sovereign. It is through the political executive that the administration is responsible ultimately to the Sovereign (Thomas, 1978:38). This differs in an important respect from the American congressional tradition, where the final executive authority resides with an individual who is elected and clearly political. In that tradition the public administration, which is responsible to the political executive, is bound to be caught up in the political processes surrounding the executive. The Canadian (British) parliamentary tradition on the other hand reinforces. the convention of the neutrality and means-orientation of the administration. "Canadian public servants have a stronger tradition of official neutrality than American" states Thomas (Thomas, 1980:290), which follows from the parliamentary tradition. Easton provides an interesting view of the historical development of public administration by looking at the British political system (Easton, 1965b:125). He suggests that up to and during the eighteenth century the British legislature handled a large share of administrative as well as legislative demands and needs. However, with the rapid advance of industriali-zation and an increase in the matters requiring government attention, the legis-lature (Parliament) was "compelled by the nineteenth century to devise means to free itself from the resulting congestion, inefficiency, and confusion within - 83 -its own organization" (Easton, 1965b: 125). The outcome was the development of a separative administrative apparatus charged with the task of handling routine requirements, so that the time and energy of politicians could be turned to broader political requirements. The significance of this view is that the administration deals with matters, however routine they may seem, which were originally clearly political in that they were dealt with by politicians. ^ Even apart from Easton's view, however within conventional adminis-trative principle i t is recognzed that at the top of the administration there is an interaction with the politician, whether in the British or American tradition, who is the elected "superior". Thus at that top level the administrator is directly involved in at least some element of the political process. The top level administrator interacts with the politician and by implication with the elements of the political process to which the politician relates (Dimock and Dimock, 1969:71; and Thomas, 1980:290). But below that top level there is impartiality and pure administration, with no decisions or actions having a policy or political effect. One can readily appreciate the attractiveness of bureaucracy with this understanding of administration. Administrative Reality The reality of public administration differs significantly from its principles. It reflects the inevitable political nature of any action which occurs anywhere within the overall political system. For one thing, any matter becomes political "essentially by being made so" (Self, 1972:150). Moreover, i t is generally recognized that the administration is clearly involved in the - 84 -making of policy. As Gortner states, " i t is now a commonly accepted idea that the public administrator's role is not only that of carrying out the policy mandated by the legislature but also that of being an active participant in making the policy in the first place" (Gortner, 1977:6). Some writers feel that administrative policy-making occurs only at the highest levels (Lindblom, 1968:75); and Campbell and Clarke, 1980:310, for example). Others have noted that in effect policy-making, in the sense of how and where i t finally has an impact on the public, occurs throughout the administration by virtue of processes akin to the authority leakages discussed in connection with bureaucracy. According to Medeiros and Schmitt, for example, "the policy state-ments of courts, executives, and legislators...are often characterized by mixed objectives, broad generalities, and unclear commands, so public bureaucracies (sic) contribute to the making and formulation of public policy by interpreting law and reconstructing i t into more operational dimensions" (Medeiros and Schmitt, 1977:4-5). This policy role is substantial, and is based on a com-bination of information, expertise, and discretion. Easton suggests that this is not unusual, because i t results from normal organizational processes and is therefore not necessarily deliberate. Public administration is a social system itself, with highly differentiated internal structure, and such a system usually comes to f u l f i l l multiple functions in addition to those assigned or expected (Easton, 1965b:126). The fact that public administration is involved somehow or other in the policy-making process is not necessarily seen as undesirable by a l l adminis-trative analysts and writers. According to Campbell and Szablowski, there is a "theory in vogue among students of public administration today that formal - 85 -standards and procedures for maintenance of desired bureaucratic behaviour excessively impinge on the very individual discretion which calls forth the best in officials' instincts" (Campbell and Szablowski, 1980:209). It is seen by some as being necessary to good government in the sense of being able to meet the public's needs, and in meeting the deficiencies of politicians' knowledge and interpretation of the requirements of the public (Self, 1972:289). Easton also suggests that without the "self-expression" possible and found in modern administration, " i t is doubtful whether1the political authorities would be able to obtain the kind of knowledge they need in order to govern" (Easton, 1965b:253). But one of the less desirable results of this from the administrators' viewpoint, is that they have to attempt to balance the require-ments or expressed policies of politicians, on the one hand, against the needs and demands of the public as they may be conveyed to the administration, on the other (Self, 1972:286). This requires a basic political s k i l l on the part of the public administrator, for rational decisions in a political context are those which are politically feasible. Public administration must have the ability to consider and use a knowledge of human nature and the political system, and the interaction of a l l parts of the system, to balance these desires and demands and at the same time f u l f i l l overall goals (Gortner, 1977:131-132). Some writers on administration suggest or imply the desirability of public administration deliberately adopting an even more positive and activist role. Self is one, when he warns that i f the political leadership is unequal to the task of defining adequate policies and goals then a purely administrative administration only emphasizes the resulting gaps (Self, 1972:295-296). Two - 86 -recent Canadian writers have discussed the merits of what they call objective vs. subjective accountability on the part of public administration (Campbell and Szablowski, 1980). Objective accountability, which is bureaucratic, does not call forth the best in officials' instincts; subjective accountability does. The latter consists of accountability to a broad range of policy parti-cipants, and of becoming active by taking risks, and fostering tension and conflict (1980:197). Campbell and Szablowski refer to studies which found that subjectively-oriented officials had greater interaction with legislators, party leaders, interest-group leaders, and ordinary citizens than those who were objectively-oriented (1980:198). The implication is that subjective account-ability, greater interaction, and better performance go together, and that subjective accountability and greater interaction should therefore be encouraged. A more unusual position also in support of a positive and activist role for public administration is that taken some years ago by Long (Long, 1952). His proposition is that the public administration is not only a part of the executive of government, but that i t is in itself an important medium for representing the values of society within the democratic system. While legis-latures f a i l to represent a l l such values, the administration compensates for the deficiency by representing, through the individuals who comprise i t , important and vital interests which are otherwise either poorly represented or not represented at a l l . The literature on the subject of public administration, and the foregoing discussion, suggest that there is some debate within the field as to how public administration should or can best be carried out. This debate, while i t is related to some of the principles and concepts of democratic theory, seems - 87 -to be genuinely concerned with simply what i s good public administration apart from whether or not i t i s democratic. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , the debate involves at i t s roots "structurally-based versus process-oriented concepts of administrative behavior" (Dunn and Fozouni, 1976:5-6), 'and r a i s e s the issue of whether or not bureaucracy i s appropriate for public administration. In part the debate suggests that public administrators and the proponents of e f f e c t i v e public administration are recognizing that public administration i s inherently p o l i t i c a l . Rather than seeking to force public administration back into the mold of "means-orientation", the object of one side of the debate i s instead to determine new models or patterns of behaviour for a public administration which i s also "ends-oriented" within the framework of a democratic p o l i t i c a l system. This debate i t s e l f provides a part of the context within which to consider the public agency's external communication. - 88 -C. Planning Theory, and an Operational Model of Planning 1. Why Bring in Planning Theory? A f u l l development of the hypothesis for the public planning agency requires incorporation of current planning theory. The reason for this lies in the fact that the planning function, unlike the functions of many other public agencies, relies on its own professional body of procedural theory to guide its operation. This procedural theory provides the basis for the development of an operational model whereby a public agency carries out the planning function. For a public planning agency, professional theory may be a sufficient reason for public participation. However, as noted in Chapter I, the public planning agency normally functions within an institutional framework where subscribing to its own professional theory as the sole basis for public participation may bring i t into conflict with other prevailing norms and pro-cedures within that institutional framework. Therefore a professional theory basis for public participation is not functionally sufficient for the planning agency. On the other hand, the professional theory basis is necessary. It must therefore also be incorporated in this study. 2. Procedural Planning Theory Burke states: In the 1950's and 1960's, two vying conceptions of planning were prevalent. One was a rational comprehensive model and the other was an incrementalist model. There is a growing realization, beginning in the 1970's, that such an "either/or" conception of planning is questionable. Two principles have been advanced: 1. There is ho "best" type or style of planning; 2. The type or style of planning is contingent on the planning organization, the nature of the planning task, and the decision environment (Burke, 1979:296-297). - 89 -New approaches to planning have been developed - d i s j o i n t e d incrementalism, advocacy, and t r a n s a c t i o n a l -, a l l representing a s h i f t from " r a t i o n a l " (or synoptic) planning to a concept of planning, as process. A l l recognize the influence of other i n d i v i d u a l s i n defining planning objectives. There i s a recognition that the planner and the planning agency are each just one of a number of influences on community decision-making and the emphasis i s on the achievement of objectives as opposed to the development of master plans to guide day-to-day decisions (Burke, 1979:16). The present s i t u a t i o n i s one where the "mainstream theories of planning are p r i n c i p a l l y concerned with procedural techniques. Substantive, content i s usually l e f t to secondary l e v e l s of s p e c i a l i z a t i o n " (Hudson, 1979:393). There are various reasons for the s h i f t from a r a t i o n a l compre-hensive or synoptic planning theory to a process theory of planning. These have been well-documented i n the planning and re l a t e d l i t e r a t u r e (Davidoff and Reiner, 1962; Friedmann and Hudson, 1974; Galloway and Mahayni, 1977; Hudson, 1979; and .Braybrooke and Lindblom, 1963, for example). The reasons can be summarized as follows, for our purposes: 1. Instead of the t r a d i t i o n a l , e a r l i e r focus on land-use planning, planning (as a profession) now i s concerned with a broad range of issues such as land-use, housing, transportation, the environment, and the l i k e . A l l are recognized as having impacts on each other. But the complexity of the problem of co-ordinating a large number of decisions i n a l l these issue-areas, i n the true synoptic or r a t i o n a l t r a d i t i o n , casts doubt on the usefulness of synoptic or r a t i o n a l planning (Heikoff, 1975:63; and Hudson, 1979). - 90 -2. "Problems" are often not what they seem, and the " r a t i o n a l " solutions of problems r e s u l t i n further problems ( R i t t e l and Webber, 1973; Sharkansky, 1972; and Perin, 1967). 3. The planner i s faced by a society with a wide v a r i e t y of s h i f t i n g and c o n f l i c t i n g values, including h i s or her own, so that the v a l i d i t y or legitimacy of synoptic plans can be attacked from many sides (Heikoff, 1975). 4. The planner's fear of being found "wrong" i n recommendation or "incomplete" i n the range of v a r i a b l e s or a l t e r n a t i v e s studied has led to an abuse of open-endedness and f l e x i b i l i t y i n the process of pre-paring synoptic plans, i . e . plans are not plans (Perin, 1967). In short, says Hudson, there are a s e r i e s of c r i t i c i s m s l e v e l l e d at synoptic r a t i o n a l i t y : i t s i n s e n s i t i v i t y to e x i s t i n g i n s t i t u t i o n a l performance c a p a b i l i t i e s ; i t s r e d u c t i o n i s t epistemology; i t s f a i l u r e to appreciate the cognitive l i m i t s of decision-makers, who cannot "optimize" but only " s a t i s f i c e " choices by successive approximations...the synoptic t r a d i t i o n of expressing s o c i a l values (a p r i o r i g o a l - s e t t i n g ; a r t i f i c i a l separation of ends from means; presumption of a general public i n t e r e s t rather than p l u r a l i s t i n t e r e s t ) . . . i t s bias toward c e n t r a l c o n t r o l - i n the d e f i n i t i o n of problems and solutions, i n the evaluation of a l t e r n a t i v e s , and i n the implementation of decisions (Hudson, 1979:389). Regardless of whether or not one accepts these c r i t i c i s m s as v a l i d (and Hudson notes that despite them, the basic s i m p l i c i t y of the synoptic . approach encompasses p r a c t i c a l tasks which must be addressed i n some form even by i t s most adamant c r i t i c s ) , a number of other deliberate approaches to planning have developed. As Sharkansky says: - 91 -The failure of decision-makers to follow the rigorous prescriptions of the rational model does not mean that their decisions are frenetic, unpatterned, or made without benefit of human reason (Sharkansky, 1972:52). and The finding of decision-practices which are not purely rational, therefore, is not a serious condemnation of the ways decisions are made in administrative systems (Sharkansky, 1972:53). For the purpose of selecting a theory base and developing an operational model we must therefore examine the alternatives further. A useful starting point is to accept Hudson's assertion that the most important of these include incremental planning, transactive planning, advocacy planning, and radical planning (Hudson, 1979:388). At the outset we are obliged to reject the radical theory of planning, as i t is in contradiction to the position taken herein that the hypothesis can be developed within the existing representative democratic political system. The radical theory of planning as expounded by Grabow and Heskin goes beyond that in that i t demands a "revoluntionary change" of a l l existing systems (Grabow and Heskin, 1973:109). The planner is a radical agent of change "in a l l realms: social, economic, technological and scientific, educational, religious, cultural, sexual, and political" (Grabow and Heskin, 1973:112). "Radical planning would transform society. It is a concept of planning based on system change" says Burke (Burke,y 1979:294), and is intended to challenge the assumptions of the way power is structured in local communities (Burke, 1979:83). Burke goes on to suggest that radical planning is not necessary, because "the broader interests of a community, including the interests of the powerless, tend to be served over time by means of competing - 92 -constituencies" (Burke, 1979:84). However, whether r a d i c a l planning i s necessary or not i s i r r e l e v a n t here, for the hypothesis i s examined i n the context of the e x i s t i n g system. We w i l l also for the present set aside the incremental school. Although under i t plans are constructed by a mixture of " i n t u i t i o n , experience, rules of thumb, various techniques ( r a r e l y sophisticated) known to i n d i v i d u a l planners, and an endless s e r i e s of consultations" (Horvat, 1972:200, c i t e d i n Hudson, 1979:389), i t does not s p e c i f i c a l l y r e f e r to i n t u i t i o n or experience derived from consultations i m p l i c i t i n public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Its emphasis i s s t i l l on the achievement of s p e c i f i c f u n c t i o n a l objectives (Hudson, 1979:388). As such the incremental approach does not i n i t s e l f provide an answer to the c r i t i c i s m of the synoptic approach that the l a t t e r i s incapable of properly taking into account the values of the society (and of the planners) for which planning i s being c a r r i e d out. Heikoff notes that planning involves any or a l l of issues such as economic issues, or differences i n c u l t u r a l values and b e l i e f s , a l l of which are issues for which there i s no consensual framework within the community (Heikoff, 1975:22). The s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s i s that planning r e a l i t y requires an e x p l i c i t recognition of c o n f l i c t i n g values and of t h e i r place i n planning; "values are inescapable elements of any r a t i o n a l decision-making process, or any exercise of choice" (Davidoff and Reiner, 1962:103). Reiner has also asserted elsewhere that " i f there i s one truth i n the world of the planner, i t i s that he i s indeed deeply immersed i n values at every turn" (Reiner, 1967:233)- This has d i r e c t procedural consequences for planning, for the f a c t that community issues i n e v i t a b l y involve value components as well as t e c h n i c a l - 93 -components "means that the values represented by the various members of the group must be integrated into the decision process" (Benello, 1971:46). This r e a l i t y i s often obscured by those who wish to l i m i t planning problems to te c h n i c a l considerations i n order to avoid "messy" questions of values involving d i f f e r i n g perspectives of d i f f e r e n t people. Of Hudson's remaining a l t e r n a t i v e approaches, transactive planning and advocacy planning both are concerned with a process of planning which includes dealing with values. Dealing f i r s t with advocacy planning, one notes that i t i s e s s e n t i a l l y a process of planning based on plur a l i s m (Hudson, 1979:390; and Burke, 1979:10). But while advocacy planning serves the important purpose of s h i f t i n g the planning and decision-making processes out into the open, where there can be a f u l l and e x p l i c i t discussion of values, i t s basis i n plur a l i s m gives some d i f f i c u l t y i n accepting i t as a useful theory f o r a public planning agency. The assumption of pl u r a l i s m i s that a l l i n t e r e s t s are achieved through the true interplay of various i n t e r e s t s (Burke, 1979:83). This assumes that a l l i n t e r e s t s are represented i n the process, and that a l l have equal strength. Even i f t h i s were so, which Burke doubts, the advocacy approach reduces decision-making to brokerage among c o n f l i c t i n g i n t e r e s t s advocating d i f f e r e n t plans (Heikoff, 1975:26). As often as not the planning agency ends up being one of the i n t e r e s t s advocating i t s own p o s i t i o n . The common analogy between advocacy planning and the l e g a l advocacy system breaks down at the stage where a choice among the various p o s i t i o n s i s required. Unlike the l e g a l system, there i s i n planning no u n i v e r s a l l y accepted body of "received knowledge" such as statute law or precedents upon which to - 94 -base the choice. Moreover, i f the planning agency is cast in the broker role, i t cannot easily escape from being the advocate of its own position as well as the broker among the various positions. The danger of the pluralist approach to planning (advocacy planning) in a political framework is that "pluralist politics runs the risk of stalemate. If a government is only a neutral empire, i t cannot act unless there is a common denominator of group interests" (Heikoff, 1975:27). Pluralism or advocacy planning are not processes which can effectively handle a l l decisions, since some values cannot easily be negotiated by or among different individuals and groups. In this situation there is either no common denominator of group interests, or i t may be so insignificant as to be meaningless. Because of this, says Heikoff, " i f the state is not to be an initiator of policy, pluralist group conflict can cripple responsible government" (Heikoff, 1975:27). Those who are in positions of authority have the responsibility to also lead, not simply to attempt to follow the interplay of contending interest groups. Decisions which are binding on the whole society are necessary. The planning agency operating within a framework where the authority to make decisions rests finally within the representative political process has a valid role in providing its own positive advice into that process. Further support for this position is provided by Easton, in his examination of political systems. He contends that system outputs (decisions) are not simply the product of a "passive summation of demands", a sort of process where a l l demands are added up or compared against one another, cancelling or modifying those that conflict, and weighing according to the number of similar demands (Easton, 1965b:346). The authorities are able to - 95 -sponsor new demands. Without the ability to do this, the simple summation of demands and their conversion into outputs (i.e. decision-making) would leave the authorities with l i t t l e ability to cope with the environment. Only by having this ability can the authorities enable the system to be goal-oriented and adoptive (Easton, 1965b:346). We can now turn to the transactive planning alternative. In a modified form i t provides the most useful planning theory approach to public participation in a local government context. The transactive planning approach, says Hudson, focuses on the intact experience of people's lives revealing policy issues to be addressed. Planning is not carried out with respect to an anonymous target community of beneficiaries, but in face-to-face contact with the people affected by decisions. Planning consists less of field surveys and data analyses, and more of interpersonal dialogue, marked by a process of mutual learning (Hudson, 1979:389). Its basis is the proposition that because planning is normative and deals with values or "subjective realities, including political concerns, cultural, aesthetic, psychological and ideological considerations" (Hudson, 1979:392), planning must be a process which is interactive between planners and those for whom planning is being carried out. Friedmann, who is the main theorizer of transactive planning, uses the terms technical planners and clients for these interactors (Friedmann, 1976). Without raising too many conceptual difficulties, we can substitute for these terms the public planning agency and the public, respectively. In doing so we recognize two possible difficulties: - 96 -1. that Friedmann's transactive dialogue is interpersonal (between individuals), not inter-group, and 2. that in Systems Theory the group has its own existence separate from the individuals comprising i t . However, we have also noted that interpersonal communication is perhaps the most significant channel of organizational communication and that organizational learning occurs from individual learning. Therefore we feel relatively safe in making this substitution.) Transactive planning theory holds that the "processed" knowledge of the planning agency (concepts, substantive theory, analytical techniques, new perspectives, systematic search procedures, etc.) must be fused with the "personal" knowledge of the community (intimate knowledge of context, realistic alternatives, norms, priorities, feasibility judgements, operational details, etc.) in order that the community can learn about itself and make the learning effective in appropriate action (Friedmann, 1976). Only in this way can planning be really successful, for i t is only in this way that planners and clients come to understand each other, and the other's knowledge. This process of mutual learning through dialogue is critical to transactive planning, for a "common image of the situation evolves through dialogue" (Friedmann, 1976:302), and with this image the community will be predisposed to act. Friedmann notes that there are situations so technical, or where technical expertise is so highly esteemed, that transactive dialogue and mutual learning are not applicable but in urban planning this is not the case (Friedmann, 1976:305). However, as Mink, Shultz, and Mink have warned, there can also be a danger in valuing process over content, or in maintaining a distinction between process - 97 -and content (Mink, Shultz, and Mink, 1979:33). Processed and personal knowledge are both important, as well as procedure. Hudson concedes that the transactive approach i s not necessarily the best model i n a l l s i t u a t i o n s . Each of the a l t e r n a t i v e approaches has i t s strengths and weaknesses i n d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n s (Hudson, 1979:390-395). But i n our case, that of a municipal public planning agency, we are concerned with a s i t u a t i o n where the closeness of the community to the issues involved means that the community i s d i r e c t l y affected by them and t h e i r r e s o l u t i o n i n a highly personal and i n d i v i d u a l i z e d way. Transactive planning, i n Hudson's analysis, has i t s major strength p r e c i s e l y i n addressing t h i s human dimension (Hudson, 1979:392), where there i s the greatest necessity f o r the planning agency to understand problems through face-to-face i n t e r a c t i o n with those af f e c t e d . Benello says on t h i s point that the balancing of the many value trade-offs involved can only be achieved by involving those most d i r e c t l y affected, f o r where "customs, norms, e t h i c a l and s o c i a l considerations i n j e c t themselves...groups made up of those affected are the only v a l i d i n t e r p r e t e r s of such norms and values" (Benello, 1971:47). The transactive approach which has been described i s that which provides a planning theory basis for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n as i t can be engaged i n by the public planning agency. I t also corresponds c l o s e l y to a de s c r i p t i o n of the agency's need for Open Systems external communication i n the form of publ i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The public planning agency needs public p a r t i c i p a t i o n for the e x p e r i e n t i a l knowledge which the public brings to the planning process, and f o r the support which the public provides the planning agency through the mutual learning process. This describes transactive planning. (Although i t i s - 98 -not d i r e c t l y relevant to the hypothesis i n these terms, the support which the public provides the planning agency through the mutual learning process i s nothing less than the " i n t e g r a t i v e " benefits of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n held by c l a s s i c a l democratic theory. Here we have a congruence of organization theory, planning theory, and democratic theory.) 3. An Operational Model What has been discussed up to now i n t h i s section i s a basis i n "mainstream" planning theory for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The argument advanced has been that for a public planning agency at the urban l o c a l government l e v e l the transactive planning approach provides that basis. What i s now necessary i s to propose a f u l l operational model for the planning agency within the representative democratic framework which we have assumed. Without that there can be no understanding of the processes and constraints on decision-making i n respect of public planning. To do t h i s requires a modification of the transactive approach. The transactive approach i s concerned not only with a transactive dialogue between planners and c l i e n t s , but also with the operational processes of d e c i s i o n -making and c o n t r o l . It i s i n the l a t t e r respect that modification i s necessary. "Transactive planning also r e f e r s to the evolution of decentralized planning i n s t i t u t i o n s that help people take increasing c o n t r o l over the s o c i a l processes that govern t h e i r welfare" say Hudson (Hudson, 1979:389). The o r i g i n s for that l i e i n Friedmann's development of the approach, wherein the fusion of processed knowledge with personal knowledge i s further "fused with a c t i o n " (Friedmann, 1976:299), a process "embedded i n continual evolution of ideas validated - 99 -through a c t i o n " (Hudson, 1979:389). What t h i s means i n e f f e c t i s a form of d i r e c t democracy. Because of our assumption respecting a basic representative p o l i t i c a l decision-making system, our model cannot accept the transactive approach to i t s f u l l extent as i t r e l a t e s to operation. Any formal devolution or d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of decision-making to an independent process of fusing knowledge with action can happen only, to the extent that i t i s sanctioned through the e x i s t i n g representative system. Such a change can be likened to a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l change of l o c a l government, which i s beyond our scope. But even though the assumption i s the major d i r e c t constraint on u t i l i z a t i o n of the transactive planning approach, we can look behind the assumption for a f u l l e r understanding of the constraint. For t h i s we r e f e r to Easton's observation quoted e a r l i e r , that although i t would be possible to envision each p o l i t i c a l d e cision being made and implemented i n a d i r e c t democracy fashion, i n pr a c t i c e the delegation of decision-making to s p e c i a l i z e d members of the system i s necessary. This speaks d i r e c t l y to the decision-making and implementation content of transactive planning, f o r i t would s i m i l a r l y be d i f f i c u l t to envision the f u l l a p p l i c a t i o n of that aspect o f transactive planning i n a community comprised of many people. In the absence of d i r e c t decision-making there remains the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for leadership, where someone i s responsible to take the i n i t i a t i v e and make decisions binding on the community. The p r a c t i c a l i t i e s of the s i t u a t i o n therefore require a pu b l i c planning agency to accept the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to be an i n i t i a t o r , as well as ei t h e r a mediator i n the community or an ennabler i n the fusion of processed knowledge with e x p e r i e n t i a l knowledge. - 100 -We have noted, however, that a public planning agency does function i n two decision-making modes. The one i s where the agency i n e f f e c t makes decisions respecting what to bring and recommend to p o l i t i c a l o f f i c i a l s for t h e i r f i n a l binding dec i s i o n . The other i s where p o l i t i c a l o f f i c i a l s have e i t h e r e x p l i c i t l y or i m p l i c i t l y accepted decision-making by the agency, of a nature, where appointed o f f i c i a l s themselves make binding decisions. Transactive dialogue and mutual learning can be employed i n the f i r s t case to produce recommendations, with no c o n f l i c t with representative decision-making, even though i t does not take the next step of d i r e c t l y fusing knowledge with a c t i o n . In the second case, transactive planning can i n p r i n c i p l e be c a r r i e d through the action step as w e l l . But i n the f i r s t case the p r a c t i c a l i t i e s of leadership and decision-making w i l l necessitate that the planning agency at times take the i n i t i a t i v e to recommend without the benefit of f u l l knowledge fusion r e s u l t i n g from a f u l l transactive dialogue. In the second case, these same p r a c t i c a l i t i e s w i l l necessitate that the planning agency at times take the i n i t i a t i v e to act i n a binding fashion without the f u l l benefit of the fusion of knowledge with action. There cannot be a vacuum i n the decision making process. For these reasons the procedural planning theory base for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n an operational model i s one which we w i l l c a l l q u a l i f i e d - t r a n s a c t i v e . It i s q u a l i f i e d i n two respects: 1. i n the respect that f i n a l decision-making authority (action) rests with elected representatives, and 2. i n the respect that the public planning agency i s not only a mediating agency or a knowledge fusion enabler - i t i s also an i n i t i a t o r where mediation or knowledge fusion i s inadequate or not pos s i b l e . - 101 -Even so, the public planning agency under t h i s modification i s assumed to s t i l l s t r i v e f o r f u l l transactive planning as a goal. We have described the process of planning i n our operational model as being e s s e n t i a l l y transactive but q u a l i f i e d as noted above. But describing the process of planning i s not s u f f i c i e n t for the formulation of an operational model. What i s needed to complete an operational model i s an instrumental or method c h a r a c t e r i s t i c which answers the question: what are the decisions which should come out of the planning process? This i s made more necessary by our having q u a l i f i e d the transactive approach to the process. The complete tr a n -sactive approach, i n fusing knowledge with action, r e s u l t s i n the necessary decisions flowing from the fusion of processed and e x p e r i e n t i a l knowledge. The decis i o n , whatever i t might be, i s appropriate to the r e s u l t of that fusion. The q u a l i f i e d transactive approach i s not so simple, for decisions no longer happen as a fusion of knowledge with a c t i o n . We were led to the transactive approach by Hudson's and Burke's assertions that there has been a d e f i n i t e s h i f t i n g away from r a t i o n a l compre-hensive or synoptic planning which produces a comprehensive or master plan. Having accepted a q u a l i f i e d transactive process, we can note that we cannot then be led back to the outcome of the process being such a plan. One writer says quite emphatically I f the plan i s viewed as the c e n t r a l preoccupation of the planning authority and the network of communication i s l a r g e l y devoted to a flow of information necessary to revise and rewrite a comprehensive plan, t h i s a c t i v i t y w i l l tend to c e n t r a l i z e the planning process. A more "powerful" plan, in c r e a s i n g l y co-ordinated and o f f e r i n g more de t a i l e d solutions to problems, l i m i t s the character of grass-roots p a r t i c i p a t i o n (Hayward, 1974:21). - 102 -The answer to the question as to what decisions should come out of the planning process l i e s to a large extent i n an understanding of the nature of the problems and issues which the process must address. As a s t a r t , we note there appears to be a general agreement that the problems of society are becoming more complex and diverse. Our e a r l i e r references to the changing character of urban concerns suggests t h i s . T o f f l e r , for example, maintains that society i s moving towards increased heterogeneity and d i v e r s i t y ( T o f f l e r , 1978:xiv-xv), and that more and more decisions must be made i n a matter of hours rather than weeks ( T o f f l e r , 1978:xviii). One of the more i l l u m i n a t i n g and provocative commentaries on planning problems characterizes them as "wicked" problems ( R i t t e l and Webber, 1973). The problems are wicked not because they are e t h i c a l l y deplorable, but are wicked i n a sense akin to being malignant, v i c i o u s , t r i c k y , or aggressive. Among t h e i r d i s t i n g u i s h i n g properties are the following: 1. there i s no d e f i n i t i v e formulation of the problem; 2. solutions to them are not true or f a l s e , but good or bad; 3. there i s no immediate and ultimate t e s t of a s o l u t i o n ; 4. they do not have an enumerable (or exhaustively describable) set of p o t e n t i a l solutions; 5. every problem i s e s s e n t i a l l y unique; and 6. solutions to them w i l l l i k e l y r e s u l t i n further problems; and 7. the existence of a condition representing a problem can be explained i n numerous ways. This c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of planning problems i s convincing, and bears some semblance to the complexity and d i v e r s i t y of problems which a public - 103 -planning agency faces. Against that we can compare Lindblom's d e s c r i p t i o n of what a r a t i o n a l decision-maker would do (Lindblom, 1968:13): 1. i d e n t i f y the problem; 2. c l a r i f y the goals, and rank them as to t h e i r importance; 3. l i s t a l l the possible means - or p o l i c i e s - for achieving each of the goals; 4. assess a l l the costs and benefits that would seem to follow from each of the a l t e r n a t i v e p o l i c i e s ; 5. compare the consequences of each a l t e r n a t i v e with the goals; and 6. s e l e c t the package of goals and associated p o l i c i e s that would bring the greatest r e l a t i v e benefits and the l e a s t r e l a t i v e disadvantages. The comparision shows that the r a t i o n a l decision-maker cannot cope with wicked problems; the r a t i o n a l approach, e s s e n t i a l l y a s c i e n t i f i c method approach, was developed to deal with "tame" problems i n s i t u a t i o n s the opposite of that which T o f f l e r or R i t t e l and Webber describe. T o f f l e r suggests there are e s s e n t i a l l y only two ways of dealing with the s i t u a t i o n : to strengthen the decision-making centre, or to take a p a r t i c i p a t i v e remedial approach ( T o f f l e r , 1978:xviii). But the f i r s t , apart from being autocratic and anti-democratic, becomes increasingly error-prone, dangerous, and s e l f - d e f e a t i n g , i f decisions are i n c o r r e c t , because "decisions become divorced from r e a l i t y , and... errors w i l l go uncorrected u n t i l they escalate into c r i s i s " ( T o f f l e r , 1978:xviii). Because we have modified transactive planning to a q u a l i f i e d - t r a n s a c t i v e planning approach, and have argued that the synoptic or - 104 -r a t i o n a l comprehensive approach to decision-making i s inappropriate for the type of problems confronting planning, l e t us return to the incremental planning approach which was set aside e a r l i e r . As noted from Hudson, the emphasis of incremental planning i s on the achievement of s p e c i f i c f u n c t i o n a l objectives. It addresses the question of the type of decisions which come out of the planning process. In a well-reasoned presentation of what they c a l l a "strategy of d i s j o i n t e d incrementalism", Braybrooke and Lindblom discuss cogent arguments fo r i t s a p p l i c a b i l i t y i n dealing with problems of the nature described by R i t t e l and Webber (Braybrooke and Lindblom, 1963: Chap. 5). To describe i t i n d e t a i l requires more space than i s necessary here. S u f f i c e i t to say that i t i s a strategy by which the planning process can continuously make small decisions for p a r t i c u l a r problems, decisions whose e f f e c t s can be contemplated and which can be reversed i f r e s u l t s are not desirable, and which by t h e i r nature have e f f e c t s which themselves can be remedied incrementally i f they are not desirable. Moreover, i t i s a strategy by which planning can adapt to changing values, for no large-scale processes are set i n motion which are i r r e v e r s i b l e . On the l a t t e r point, Braybrooke and Lindblom argue against making i r r e v e r s i b l e "large" decisions. We s h a l l return to t h i s s h o r t l y . The strategy i s s i n g u l a r l y appropriate i n combination with the transactive approach, because i t speaks d i r e c t l y to the problem of how the p u b l i c may tackle planning problems with a sense of accomplishment (Yates, 1976:172). The public's lack of time, information, and expertise can be accommodated, since not every problem i s taken on and l o c a l problems may be gradually eroded through a s e r i e s of "tangible successes" (Yates, 1976:172). This i s psychologically important, as Perin has noted i n her reference to the - 105 -obsessional f r u s t r a t i o n r e s u l t i n g from the production of unrealized comprehensive plans. "One e f f e c t i v e means of developing assurance of competence i s to stage small but v i s i b l e successes" (Perin, 1967:338), and d i s j o i n t e d incrementalism encourages t h i s . Burke uses the term "remedial" planning, saying that d i s j o i n t e d incrementalism i s a v a r i a t i o n of i t (Burke, 1979:287-288). That term i s more d e s c r i p t i v e of what the type of decisions are - they are b a s i c a l l y remedial. We propose, therefore, that the appropriate operational model include remedial planning with the q u a l i f i e d - t r a n s a c t i v e approach, for the reasons discussed above. The operational model may therefore be l a b e l l e d remedial/qualified -transactive f o r the present. But t h i s model i s d e f i c i e n t i n an important respect. I t i s not e s s e n t i a l l y concerned i n any respect with even minimal basic decisions which influence the long-range future. The d i s j o i n t e d incrementalist, as represented by Braybrooke and Lindblom, argue that t h i s deficiency i s i r r e l e v a n t because long-term concerns are inappropriate and incapable of consideration. The long-term "equilibrium" goal (to use a term from economics) i s a continuously s h i f t i n g unknown equilibrium. Nevertheless, the opposite argument can also be made that even though t h i s equilibrium i s continuously s h i f t i n g , remedial planning should occur within a framework of a perception of the long-range future a l b e i t where i t i s recognized that perception i s continuously evolving (the s h i f t i n g equilibrium). Long-range goals, and "large" and possibly i r r e v e r s i b l e decisions r e l a t e d to them, are important. T o f f l e r r e f e r s to t h i s , saying that the decision process must be one " i n which a l l goals, no matter whose, are c o n t i n u a l l y re-evaluated i n the l i g h t - 106 -of a c c e l e r a t i n g change" ( T o f f l e r , 1978:xix). Recognizing that the planning agency's and the public's knowledge i s bounded or l i m i t e d , however, one can s e l e c t p a r t i c u l a r issues or problems and work toward resolving each independently within a long-range framework.1 This i s the process of " s t r a t e g i c " planning described by Burke (1979:288). I t r e j e c t s the p r i n c i p l e of comprehensiveness but accepts the premise of a r a t i o n a l process through "an annual and ongoing process" of consciously and d e l i b e r a t e l y designing s t r a t e g i e s to c o n t r o l the future (Burke, 1979:288). Strategic planning must and can be incorporated into our operational model, but recognizing that the evolving future i s i t s e l f influenced by remedial decisions. Our simple operational model i s now complete, a i s t r a t e g i c / r e m e d i a l / q u a l i f i e d - t r a n s a c t i v e model. I t incorporates the transactive process where, by mutual learning and the fusion of the public planning agency's processed knowledge with the public's e x p e r i e n t i a l knowledge, remedial and s t r a t e g i c planning and decision-making can take place within a representative democratic p o l i t i c a l system. This i s the operational model of a public planning agency which, i n i t s organizational context, we s h a l l now look at more c l o s e l y r e l a t i v e to external communication. - 107 -CHAPTER V: THE NEED FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AS EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION A. The P o l i t i c a l System Framework of Analysis 1. Public Planning i s P o l i t i c a l The usefulness of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n to the public planning agency, i n organizational terms, must be •'found through an examination of how i t benefits the agency i n i t s r e l a t i o n with the pu b l i c . The public i s the other communicator i n the process of engaging i n public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . To do t h i s one must look at public p a r t i c i p a t i o n with the concept that i t i s one form of external communication. I t i s then possible to analyse how well the planning agency's external communication needs are served by other forms of external communication, and of how public p a r t i c i p a t i o n can remedy d e f i c i e n c i e s that e x i s t . The agency's o v e r a l l external communication needs are found, i n turn, through an examination of how external communication a f f e c t s i t s inputs and outputs r e l a t i v e to i t s environment. Therein l i e s the reason to have a cl e a r understanding of the organizational context of the agency - the s i t u a t i o n within which i t e x i s t s - which establishes the agency's basic purpose, i t s basic mode of operation, and the s i g n i f i c a n t determinants of i t s processes. The public planning agency e x i s t s , f i r s t and foremost, as an organization within the democratic p o l i t i c a l system. Its character i s shaped by t h i s r e a l i t y , both i n general terms because i t i s an agency of government responsible to elected o f f i c i a l s and ultim a t e l y the electorate, and i n more s p e c i f i c terms because administrative r e a l i t i e s make i n e v i t a b l e i t s d i r e c t involvement i n the policy-making process. However one defines democracy and the democratic process, or whether one takes the p o s i t i o n that the p o l i t i c a l system i s not as democratic as i t should be, the e l e c t o r a l process and the general - 108 -acceptance of norms such as freedom of speech, assembly, and dissent mean that government i s broadly responsive to the p u b l i c . The public planning agency ultimately, therefore, e x i s t s as an instrument to meet the needs and wishes of the public, however poorly these may be defined or a r t i c u l a t e d . While i t i s recognized that every organization has i t s own i n t e r n a l or maintenance goals, a public agency i n a democratic p o l i t i c a l system i s inescapably judged by how well i t f u l f i l l s a p o l i t i c a l function i n r e l a t i o n to the p u b l i c . Because of t h i s p o l i t i c a l context, one must look at the public planning agency's inputs and outputs, environment, and external communication i n terms of the agency's being a part of the p o l i t i c a l system at the municipal government l e v e l . I t s public i s the municipal government's p u b l i c . But the p o l i t i c a l system at the municipal l e v e l i s not an independent or i s o l a t e d system - i t i s impacted and constrained by other p o l i t i c a l systems as we have noted. One of the noted writers on the subject of general system theory re f e r r e d to e a r l i e r i s David Easton. In addition to writing on general systems theory he has also written s p e c i f i c a l l y on the subject of the p o l i t i c a l system, describing i t i n terms of being an open system (Easton, 1965a and 1965b). His d e s c r i p t i o n provides a framework which lends i t s e l f to the study of any agency within the p o l i t i c a l system, and we w i l l therefore r e l y on i t . 2. System Persistence Easton's point-of-departure i s to consider the a c t i v i t i e s which the p o l i t i c a l system must engage i n , i n order to p e r s i s t . Persistence he defines d i f f e r e n t l y from maintenance of the system. Persistence does not concern i t s e l f with the maintenance of any p a r t i c u l a r s p e c i f i c structure or - 109 -pattern, but rather with retention of the "essential variables" in the system that must operate within some normal range, otherwise the system is changed (Easton, 1965a:92). Persistence requires that members of the system "be able to adapt, correct, readjust, control, or modify the system or its parameters to cope with the problems created by internal or external stress" by a process of self-regulation which includes self-transformation in structures and goals (Easton, 1965a:87). Persistence is therefore not a perfectly static condition; in fact change is necessary for i f the system is to persist i t must be able to adapt itself to changing circumstances. Easton suggests that for democracies the essential variables would likely be "some vaguely defined degree of freedom of speech and association and popular participation in the political process" (Easton, 1965a:93). We can note two things from the foregoing in relation to this study. One is that the hypothesis is not incompatible with the notion of system persistence; indeed i t may even be seen, under the circumstances of demands for increased participation, as representing adaptation necessary for persistence in order that the public agency can more effectively perform (quite apart from adaptation to demands for public participation). A second is that the "essential variables" of democracy suggested by Easton are adhered to, in our assumption of a representative democratic system. 3. System Inputs The major immediate environmental concern of any organization is the inputs i t receives from the environment, for the public planning agency as a part of the political system, using Easton's framework, the environmental - 110 -influences on i t focus > i n two major groups of inputs - demands and support (Easton, 1965b:27). The remainder of t h i s section i s based on Easton, 1965b, by applying h i s analysis and concepts to the public planning ^ agency. He, of course, does not r e f e r to the public planning agency or any s p e c i f i c agency.) The agency i s but a part of a complex and continuing p o l i t i c a l conversion process which takes i n the demands and support and out of them produces i t s outputs. But the outputs themselves must also be of concern to the agency, for the outputs influence the support demands. (29). The outputs of the agency shape the environment and influence i t s subsequent behaviour. Therefore, while the agency cannot d i r e c t l y determine the nature of the demands and support i t receives, i t can take action with respect to i t s outputs, the e f f e c t s of which may reshape the environment i n some way; that i s to say, they influence conditions and behaviour there. In t h i s way the outputs are able to modify the influences that continue to operate on the inputs and thereby the next round of inputs themselves (32). We have e a r l i e r considered i n general terms what the inputs to a public planning agency are, p a r t i c u l a r l y noting how they d i f f e r from those of a priv a t e , p r o f i t - o r i e n t e d organization. There are, of course, the obvious tangible inputs of personnel and f i n a n c i a l resources, the "energic inputs" which Katz and Kahn referred to. Under Easton's analysis the demands which a public agency receives are themselves a major group of inputs, and the other more e a s i l y determined energic inputs are a portion of the support inputs which i t receives. The demands are major determinants of the public agency's outputs, and the agency as an instrumental organization i n large part owes i t s existence to these demands. While Easton himself does not draw t h i s comparison, i t i s u s e f u l to note. In the case of the public agency, i t s environment through the - 111 -p o l i t i c a l process has brought about the organization to meet the demands, whereas for most private organizations the response to perceived needs (demands) r e s u l t s from i n d i v i d u a l s or e x i s t i n g organizations v o l u n t a r i l y e s t a b l i s h i n g themselves to meet the demands. Demand inputs are therefore very s i g n i f i c a n t f o r the planning agency. For some public agencies the demand inputs are demands for tangible or measurable products or services transportation, health care, e t c . ) . But for an agency such as the public planning agency the demand inputs are b a s i c a l l y demands that c e r t a i n i n t a n g i b l e decisions should be made by the agency. Easton r e f e r s to these demands as an expression that "an a u t h o r i t a t i v e a l l o c a t i o n with regard to a p a r t i c u l a r subject matter should or should not be made" (38). Demands may be quite s p e c i f i c , simple, and narrow i n nature, requiring a deci s i o n or an a l l o c a t i o n with respect to a p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n which i s unique. For a planning agency t h i s may be a decision on the use of a p a r t i c u l a r piece of land, or where a roadway should be located, f o r example. But Easton notes that there i s another c l a s s of demands, for decisions which are highly general, vague, and complex. "Broad pleas for better government, for a more vigorous defense p o l i c y , or f o r greater attention to the underprivileged, without s p e c i f i c a t i o n of the exact steps to be taken" are examples of such highly generalized demands, and are no l e s s demands than those which are more s p e c i f i c (39). Demand inputs are transmitted to decision-makers i n the p o l i t i c a l process through a number of channels (external communication). In some s o c i e t i e s these have taken the form o f y i n s t i t u t i o n s and processes which are characterized as democratic, but i n Easton*s analysis these can be understood - 112 -without any normative or ethical content. These channels are basically communication channels which are social inventions and which have in part evolved gradually to deal with demand input and the need to devise ways of handling i t (121). The volume of demands in modern complex societies has grown enormously, requiring a variety of channeling mechanisms such as legislatures, interest groups, political parties, the mass media, or even administrative organizations themselves, to serve as input channels "that are continuously open, at least for those that are influential" (122). The modern differentiation of political from other social institutions, and the bureaucratization, professionalization and specialization of administrative structures are capacity responses to the need for processing a greater volume of demands (124). This response has included the professionalization of official political roles themselves, such as the evolution of full-time political positions, so that the occupants of the roles can devote more time to the political matters in institutions which are themselves differentiated from other institutions. But Easton suggests that even this expansion and specialization of channels is not sufficient to allow processing of a l l demand inputs. The volume of demands is such that demand reduction is necessary, in order to not overload the decision-making system (729). Methods of "pre-processing" of demands have evolved in order to reduce those reaching decision-makers. These methods include the collection of similar demands, or the combination of different but related demands, or the assignment of demand processing to other institutions. Collection and combination occur in some of the channels themselves, for example through interest groups or political parties (128). Demand processing may often be re-assigned to administrative agencies. - 113 -In modern political systems dealing with a high volume of demands, existing channels may f a i l to adequately or satisfactorily process demands, or an excessive or unwanted reduction of demands may occur. Blockage of demands does not serve to obliterate them, and channel failure is then revealed in other modes of expressing demands such as protests and demonstrations. These protests or demonstrations may be aimed at satisfying the demands themselves, or at creating new channels through which they can be expressed. Channel failure is "manifest in the confusion among the members of the system with regard to the issues at stake or in the faulty and insufficient information that may reach the authorities with regard to the sources of discontent" (122). Support inputs are somewhat more difficult to conceptualize. They are not as specific as demand inputs and they involve norms and values. Moreover, they are diffuse in their objects and are not concerned solely with identifiable agencies and institutions. For example, there can be support for "the system" without support for a specific agency or institution. Easton identifies three basic relevant objects of support in a political system: the "political community", the "regime", and the "authorities" (172). The first consists of a l l the members of the political system seen as a group of persons bound together for political purposes and sharing in its political activity -the nation, or the province, or the city (177). The second is what might be called the "constitutional order" - the set of political values and principles, operating rules, and structures by which the political community exists and functions (190). The third object - the authorities - is a part of the regime structure (205). - 114 -Our attention i s focused on the l a t t e r . In Easton's terms, the a u t h o r i t i e s represent a continuum from those who have "the primary r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r making decisions at the most i n c l u s i v e l e v e l i n the system and hold the broadest d i s c r e t i o n i n doing so" to, those "whose range of d i s c r e t i o n i s considerably le s s and the scope of whose authority i s considerably narrower" (213). The a u t h o r i t i e s continuum therefore ranges from the elected p o l i t i c a l executive through the l e v e l s of the administration. I t i s therefore the " a u t h o r i t i e s " which i s our concern here, for a public planning agency i s a component of the a u t h o r i t i e s . On a broad basis support for the a u t h o r i t i e s i s ulti m a t e l y translated into support f o r the regime, for there i s l i t t l e l i k l i h o o d that a regime can survive i f the members of the p o l i t i c a l system f a i l to support the occupants of authority ro l e s within the regime (215). Thus i f the a u t h o r i t i e s wish to ensure support for the regime they must attempt to ensure support for themselves. Presumably the public planning agency supports a democratic regime; i t must therefore ultimately be concerned with providing support to i t . The converse i s also true, that support for the regime provides support for the a u t h o r i t i e s . The a u t h o r i t i e s ' actions which generate regime support are also those which provide support for the a u t h o r i t i e s themselves. At a s p e c i f i c l e v e l the a u t h o r i t i e s must be concerned with the support input for themselves " i f they are to have the power to formulate and implement t h e i r d e c i s i o n s " (216). The a u t h o r i t i e s must engage i n the d a i l y a f f a i r s of a p o l i t i c a l system; they must be recognized by most members of the system as having the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r these matters; and t h e i r actions must be accepted as binding most of the time by most of the members as long as they act within the l i m i t s of t h e i r r o l e s (212), - 115 -and, i f the members of a system are unable to provide enough support for some set of authorities who can assume responsibility for the daily affairs of the system and provide initiative and direction in identifying problems and taking some steps toward their solution, the system must collapse, for want of leadership (216). Easton draws attention to the fact that changes in regime structures can themselves result in building up or reducing support for authorities (249). For example, structural changes aimed at merging and assimilating disparate groups in a community have historically proven to reduce support (250). Greater success in building support may result from structural changes which provide in the community a sense of awareness and responsiveness among separate groups, so that each group feels its own major needs and demands are recognized. Through groups considering the needs of others there is a greater liklihood that they will provide support for the common community and for authorities who attempt to meet these needs (250). Informal structural responses also serve to permit confrontation and accommodation among contending groups, and penetration of administrative structures to obtain representation for their points of view (254). Recognized informal groups such as political parties perform the same support-enhancing function (257). Finally at this point we mention two other means of regulating and mobilizing support. The one is a belief in the existence of the common good, however i t is defined (315). Belief in i t imposes restraints on demand inputs which may jeopardize the whole system, and i t provides a member of the system - 116 -with rewards simply in the gratification of making a contribution to the greater whole (316). Such members then become less unsupportive when they perceive an imbalance between demands and outputs. If the authorities are identified with the common good, then a belief in i t can become a source of support. The other means is "the inculcation of a sense of legitimacy", which Easton says "is probably the single most effective device" for regulating the flow of support in favour of the authorities (278). In a democratic political system i t provides the means whereby the authorities obtain compliance with their outputs and the carrying out of required activity. It is expressed through the acceptance of principles about the rights and duties of citizens and authorities, limits on the use of power, and popular participation. Without this sense of legitimacy the authorities will be the objects of decreased support. Although in this discussion we have considered demands and support inputs as separate concepts, clearly they are not completely separable. The two are interactive in a political system (50). Demands directed toward the authorities are normally accompanied in some fashion by support for the authorities who are being expected or relied upon to deal with the demands. The converse is that support, even a general or diffuse support, is directed to the authorities because there are also demands directed which the environment wishes to result in outputs. Demand inputs are not directed to authorities in which one has no confidence (i.e. no support). But eventually those kinds of support and demand inputs would stop i f the producers of them saw no outputs resulting. - 117 -4. System Outputs We have to t h i s point been dealing with inputs. Easton also provides an analysis of outputs which i s applicable to a public planning agency. The outputs are the "stream of a c t i v i t i e s " flowing d i r e c t l y from the a u t h o r i t i e s themselves - t h e i r decisions, pronouncements, methods of operation, and the l i k e (349). These outputs are hot tangible or concrete i n themselves, since they are the actual behaviour or a c t i v i t y of the a u t h o r i t i e s themselves. I t i s the consequences of the outputs which gives r e a l i t y to them. The outcomes are t h e i r consequences and these outcomes are tangible or concrete i n t h e i r e f f e c t . While outputs are intangible a c t i v i t i e s as described, i n themselves they enter into and have an e f f e c t on the environment. They can be judged against the basic values held by the community even by those who are not affected by the outcomes. Where outputs enable groups or i n d i v i d u a l s i n the environment to share i n these basic values, or where outputs are compatible with these values, then even though i n d i v i d u a l s or groups may not be materially better o f f or have improved services the sharing or reinforcement of these basic values may bring about support for the a u t h o r i t i e s . The reverse i s also true, of course. Outputs therefore, are not only linked to s p e c i f i c support because t h e i r outcomes s a t i s f y s p e c i f i c demands. Outputs are also linked to a more d i f f u s e kind of support because norms and values are respected and maintained. 5. System Feedback The foregoing i l l u s t r a t e s that the conversion of inputs to outputs i s not a process which stops at outputs. The a u t h o r i t i e s i n a p o l i t i c a l system - 118 -cannot be concerned only with inputs, for outputs are a part of a continuous chain of activities "in which inputs and outputs each directly or indirectly affect each other" and the environment (3^5). The system, having produced outputs, acts on the environment and therefore back on itself. This process is "feedback". Without this feedback and the capacity to respond to i t , no system could survive for long except by-accident or coincidence. Feedback may do more than obvious regulation of the flow of outputs through modification of demand and support inputs originating in the environment. It may form the basis for modification in the basic objectives of the system itself (371). Although system behaviour may be goal-oriented, striving towards the achievement of existing objectives, feedback also alerts the system to the need to change goals and establish new objectives. This is Argyris and Schon's double-loop learning. Moreover, since system structures and processes are themselves often dependent on the nature of goals, changing the goals may result in profound changes in these structures and processes (371). This feedback process which Easton describes is clearly basically the same process as organizational external communication. All open-system organizations are involved in this feedback process, which is communication with the environment. What Easton's analysis has done is to show how for a public agency in a political system the inputs and outputs are largely intangibles some of which have their impacts through tangible financial material resource inputs to the agency and tangible outcomes of the agency's outputs. External communication, feedback, provides a means whereby the agency interacts with its environment to either modify the environment or be modified by i t . - 119 -In summary, Easton says: Mere s u r v i v a l needs alone w i l l give a d i s t i n c t advantage to those systems that are s u f f i c i e n t l y dynamic and f l e x i b l e to modify t h e i r own behavior so as to cope with changes i n t h e i r structure or i n the environment. But beyond s u r v i v a l , feedback enables a system to explore and discover new ways of dealing with i t s problems. On the basis of information about present and past behavior, a system i s able to se l e c t , r e j e c t , and emphasize one pattern of behavior i n favor of another (370). - 120 -B. Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n as Feedback 1. Conventional Feedback Easton has an analysis of feedback which provides the means to bring together the discussion up to t h i s point, i n order to address the e s s e n t i a l proposition of the hypothesis. In a p o l i t i c a l system the return of information to the a u t h o r i t i e s follows a serie s of channels, or feedback loops. These feedback loops channel not only the information that i s fed back about the state of the system and the consequences of the a u t h o r i t i e s ' outputs, -but they include the outputs and t h e i r consequences themselves. Information feedback allows the a u t h o r i t i e s to respond to conditions i n the environment, through the production of outputs. Feedback i s more than a l o g i c a l necessity; i t i s part of the r e a l i t y of the p o l i t i c a l system (372). Easton depicts a ' p o l i t i c a l system of multiple feedback loops. I t represents a conventional way of describing the flow of outputs and inputs i n a representative democratic system (372-376), c o n s i s t i n g of a vari e t y of loops l i n k i n g producers of inputs and outputs, and various " c o l l e c t o r s and transmitters" of support and demands. (These c o l l e c t o r s and transmitters are not themselves producers of inputs or outputs; they are intermediaries, such as p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s , the mass media, i n t e r e s t groups, and the l i k e , which function as points i n the channels between input producers and output producers. They function to carry the flow of both inputs and outputs). Easton suggests there are a v a r i e t y of loops i n conventional p o l i t i c a l feedback. Some are completely within the environment, some are completely within the p o l i t i c a l system and some span the boundaries between the system and i t s environment. Regardless of t h e i r - 121 -l o c a t i o n , however, they are i n t e r l i n k e d to provide one o v e r a l l feedback process. They represent common external communication for the p o l i t i c a l system and therefore for the public planning agency. Two aspects of Easton's d e s c r i p t i o n of the feedback process are e s p e c i a l l y useful i n leading to further development of the hypothesis. The one i s the groups and i n d i v i d u a l s who are linked by the external communication loops, and the other i s how they are linked by these loops. The groups and i n d i v i d u a l s who are linked are of two types - the producers of inputs and the producers of outputs. The producers of inputs (support and demands) are a r e l a t i v e l y u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d mass, while the producers of outputs c o n s i s t of a l e g i s l a t u r e , an executive, and the administrative agency. The output producers are linked to each other by a v a r i e t y of feedback loops, i n recognition of the communication among them i n terms of inputs and outputs. Easton recognizes conventional thinking (including l e g i s l a t i v e versus executive r o l e s , and conventional administrative p r i n c i p l e s ) i n describing outputs to the environment as o r i g i n a t i n g from only one output producer, the executive, and then flowing i n one output l i n k from the executive to the input producers i n the environment. There are no output l i n k s from the l e g i s l a t u r e or administrative agency to the environment, because outputs to the environment come only from the executive. In the case of inputs, there i s again only one d i r e c t l i n k from the environment to output producers described, that being to the executive. There are no d i r e c t input l i n k s to the l e g i s l a t u r e or administrative agency, but these two are of course linked with the executive by t h e i r own loops. But even though there i s an absence of these other d i r e c t input l i n k s to the l e g i s l a t u r e and administrative agency, there are other l i n k s between the environment and these - 122 -bodies by means of intermediary or indirect links. Easton describes a series of loops with input links joining input producers with the legislature and administrative agency, through interest group, political party, and mass media intermediaries. This description of indirect input links is also more or less in accordance with conventional thinking. Certainly the absence of any direct environment to administrative agency link of any sort is not surprising, in principle. However, we do know even from Easton that an administrative agency such as a public planning agency produces outputs of its own which directly affect the environment, so an output link of that sort exists and is recognized in practise. But the existence, or necessity of an environment to administrative agency input link (which is one way of describing public participation) is not acknowledged. The authorities require various kinds of information in order to know i f they have succeeded in meeting demand inputs and in maintaining a desired level of support inputs. First, authorities need to know what the demands are, "what demands have been met by past outputs, which ones are continuing to be voiced, who are voicing them, and the like" (413). Second, they need to know the general level of diffuse support which exists. Third, they need to know what specific support there is because of specific outputs and their outcomes. In Easton's thinking, for a public planning agency this external communication occurs through the other, intermediary, groups. The effectiveness of outputs in satisfying demands or generating support will be seriously affected by the accuracy of information fed back to the authorities. It is recognized that the feedback is subject to distortion or error because of its interpretation by the authorities themselves, but aside - 123 -from t h i s , "the length, complexity, and f i d e l i t y of the transmission b e l t along which information has to be c a r r i e d , i f i t i s to reach the a u t h o r i t i e s , w i l l contribute to the p o s s i b i l i t y and p r o b a b i l i t y of e r r o r " (413-414). Where feedback can occur through face-to-face contact alone, the flow of information would l i k e l y be minimally inaccurate. However, what often occurs i s that i n large-scale, more d i f f e r e n t i a t e d systems, where complex structures stand between members and the a u t h o r i t i e s , as information...moves along a flow network toward the a u t h o r i t i e s , i t may be so reinterpreted that i t no longer mirrors the true, state of mind of the members (414). There may be error or d i s t o r t i o n because of poor i n t e r p r e t a t i o n along the flow network at any point, a v i t a l component of the flow network may be weak or missing, or the receivers of input may be incapable of routing i t to the appropriate output producer for a t t e n t i o n . The problem may also l i e i n part with the input i t s e l f , where i t i s so complex or poorly a r t i c u l a t e d that i t s meaning i s l o s t i n i t s movement along the "transmission b e l t " . 2. The "Second C i r c u i t " Feedback Loop  Feedback Channel A l t e r n a t i v e s There are a v a r i e t y of feedback mechanisms a v a i l a b l e for providing the a u t h o r i t i e s with information and inputs i n large-scale and complex p o l i t i c a l systems such as modern democracies. Easton assures us that those which he describes, although they are common, are only i l l u s t r a t i v e and not exhaustive, "they could be quickly m u l t i p l i e d by connecting any two actors i n the system wherever i t appears p l a u s i b l e that mutual i n t e r a c t i o n would occur, based at l e a s t upon information feedback" (373). Easton also notes that even i f none among t h i s v a r i e t y i s t o t a l l y accurate, e i t h e r s i n g l y or i n combination, - 124 -the fact is that the greater the number available the less likely any one will dominate and distort the feedback. The various feedback mechanisms are in a sense competitive, and are likely not complementary (414). This suggests that there is a benefit to be gained in terms of improved information i f the authorities seek to develop some of the alternative mechanisms. There is a danger, of course, that i f the information which is fed back through a number of mechanisms is consistent, but basically wrong, then the authorities are more completely misled. Another problem with numerous mechanisms may be that i f the various channels feed back conflicting information, then the authorities will have to provide their own interpretation of what is correct. In terms of the framework of Easton's political system and the place of the authorities within them, what the hypothesis states is that there is in planning an organizational need for an additional feedback loop. It is one which links the producers of inputs directly with the public planning agency. An additional feedback loop of this sort is what public participation consists of in relation to the planning agency - groups and individuals having an effect on the decision-making process where that decision-making process involves the planning agency's functions of either advising elected decision-makers or of itself making decisions which have been delegated to i t . Using Easton's terminology, the first of these functions is one where the planning agency is not a direct producer of outputs which have outcomes for the environment (the public); the outcomes as far as the public is concerned result from outputs produced by elected decision-makers, and the planning agency is linked with these decision-makers by feedback loops such as Easton describes. The second - 125 -function i s one where the planning agency i s a d i r e c t output producer to the environment, with.consequent outcomes from those d i r e c t outputs. In ei t h e r of these functions, inputs of demand and support are returned to the planning agency, and without d i r e c t feedback to the agency ( d i r e c t external communication) these are returned to the agency v i a o f f i c i a l p o l i t i c a l s tructures. The Hypothesis i n Terms of a Feedback Channel Al t e r n a t i v e We can now examine the hypothesis i n terms of the planning agency's organizational needs, as one of the " a u t h o r i t i e s " within a p o l i t i c a l system, for feedback or external communication as i t can be provided by public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . In these terms the hypothesis has two parts: f i r s t , that there i s a need for a l i n k to channel inputs more d i r e c t l y to the public planning agency as an output producer; and second, that there i s a need for other d i r e c t l i n k s i n order to channel agency outputs more d i r e c t l y to the environment as an input producer. No rigorous attempt w i l l be made to d i s t i n g u i s h between demand and support i n the manner that Easton has done, for we recognize the fact that the two for the most part do not each have a separate existence as Easton has also pointed out. Demand inputs imply support inputs, and support inputs imply demand inputs, and both w i l l be present i n any p a r t i c u l a r input which i s used to demonstrate that a feedback loop of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s needed. However, notwithstanding t h i s absence of making such a d i s t i n c t i o n i n the inputs, the terms demand and support w i l l be used occasionally as seems appropriate for the sake of c l a r i t y or a better understanding. These feedback loops i n combination can be referred to as a "second c i r c u i t " of input and output l i n k s between the agency and i t s environment. The - 126 -" f i r s t c i r c u i t " , then consists of the conventional e l e c t o r a l and responsible l i n k s . The need f o r a second c i r c u i t i s argued by demonstrating support f o r two propositions f i r s t , that the conventional p o l i t i c a l process at the municipal government l e v e l i s d e f i c i e n t and does not function as intended to provide adequate channels; and second, that by i t s inherent nature the representative p o l i t i c a l process at the municipal government l e v e l cannot provide adequate, input and output channels as required by the public planning agency. The f i r s t p r oposition suggests, of course, that i f the representative p o l i t i c a l process functioned better there would be les s need f o r public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . That i s correct (remembering again that we are not concerned with democratic or e t h i c a l reasons for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n ) , but the l i k l i h o o d of necessary improvements occurring i n the foreseeable future i s not great. The reasons l i e i n the t r a d i t i o n s of l o c a l government, i t s i n f e r i o r status to the senior p r o v i n c i a l government, and the n o n - l e g i s l a t i v e , executive o r i e n t a t i o n of p r o v i n c i a l democratic processes as a whole. The proposition i s the more p o s i t i v e of the two, suggesting that there are reasons f o r public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i r r e s p e c t i v e of the state of representative processes. Both these propositions r e l y on the assumption stated i n Chapter II that the agency and i t s members seek to act according to the wishes of the people i n an equitable fashion, and according to some conception of the general public good. The F i r s t Proposition The f i r s t proposition concerns the d e f i c i e n c i e s of the conventional representative process r e l a t i v e to a concept of how i t should function i n p r i n c i p l e . A number of writers have re f e r r e d to the f a i l u r e of the representative process to adequately represent the electorate i n d e c i s i o n -- 127 -making processes affecting the electorate. Schatzow, for example, says that political decision-makers do not know what their constituents want (Schatzow, 1977:142), and Van Loon and Whittington state respecting the electoral process that " i t is difficult to determine the issue content of electoral participation" (Van Loon and Whittington, 1976:109). Self suggests that the decision-making capacity of elected political leadership has been reduced "to the point where traditional theory is no longer adequate" (Self, 1972:284). Hunnius refers to a somewhat more basic reason, "the a r t i f i c i a l separation of politics from everyday l i f e " and the restriction of "legitimate" political participation to political parties and the electoral process (Hunnius, 1974:208). Some of the criticisms of the representative process, including the latter, come near to striking at the heart of the representative process which by assumption we maintain. However, they can also be understood as indicating how the representative process could be improved while retaining its basic form. In the face of such deficiencies, the various alternative means of public intervention in the representative process itself, such as plebiscites, are clumsy and slow. Kogan makes the proposal that the "first circuit" of democracy (the electoral process) may work poorly, although we know of no better, but that "the electoral mechanisms (the 'first circuit 1) and the official structures that support them are known to be insufficient as conveyors of client needs, demands, deprivations and that a second circuit of democracy is needed" (Kogan, 1974:303). He says this "second circuit" is public participation. In the opinion of many analysts and observers, municipal government representation is particularly deficient in practice in representing its public and bringing the public's demand and support inputs to the authorities. There - 128 -are a number of reasons for this. The first and most general one, which is likely characteristic of a l l representative structures, is that a large part of the public simply does not have the ability, financial resources, status, or "power" to express its inputs through the electoral and representative process by virtue of its socio-economic situation. The more highly educated and higher income members of the public have better access to information, or can make better use of i t (Downs, 1957:235, 253; and Laudon, 1977:13), and therefore have a knowledge advantage in putting their more sophisticated inputs into channels. Also, there are costs associated with specific acts of transmitting inputs to the authorities (time and money costs) which the higher income members can more easily absorb (Downs, 1957:252). The more educated and knowledgeable members of the public, generally corresponding to the higher income members, may also have a better understanding of where to direct their inputs most effectively. Lindblom lists a combination of four circumstances, other than an individual's own voluntary refusal to input, which lead to members of the public not being able to input: poverty, poor education, social isolation (ethnic minorities), and inadequate socialization (no acquired sense of the potential to input) (Lindblom, 1968:114-115). One writer has suggested that at the municipal level t some of these barriers to input through conventional channels have been formally encouraged through such things as restrictions on the franchise, or requirements that only owners of property can vote on certain issues (Higgins, 1977:195). A second reason that there is deficient representation lies in the unrepresentative character of municipal elected officials themselves. This is manifest in various ways. If one assumes that politicians act as trustees, not - 129 -delegates, but s t i l l attempt to represent the public according to their own perceptions of the public's demands and support, then these representatives should bear some overall resemblance to the public in order to broadly represent i t . Numerous studies have shown that political representatives are not representative in that sense, in terms of the social, economic, occupational, educational, or ethnic characteristics of the public (Alexander, 1976:187; Higgins, 1977:259; and Sigelman and Vanderbok, 1977:621). A study of local government in Britain found that even with changes in the social composition of elected councils resulting from the spread of party politics (which we shall consider shortly), most of them s t i l l f a i l to proportionately represent the various elements of the public (Redcliffe-Maud and Wood, 1974:64). Lower socio-economic, minority ethnic, or less educated groups on the whole, therefore, tend generally to be under-represented or even unrepresented. Another form of channel blockage of inputs within elected repre-sentatives themselves, at the municipal level, arises from the feature that municipal politicians are often elected from the city or municipality at large. The result is that not only are they not clearly representative of some separately identifiable segment of the public, where presumably demands and support vary and are therefore not separately represented, but they are perceived by the public to be less accessible and are less clearly identifiable on issues which are of concern to them (Heikoff, 1975:60; and Lineberry and Fowler, 1967:715). Elected representatives will likely then be less "conscious of their responsibility and accountability to their respective electorates" and therefore less responsive to the interests and demands of that electorate (Higgins, 1977:182). Dahl (1967) refers to the problems arising from - 130 -communication channel length and indirectness where legislators are remote. Kogan, in advocating a "second circuit" of democracy, refers to studies which indicate that municipal politicians are not very representative for the reasons discussed above, and which also indicate that l i t t l e of their time is spent with their electors or on their electors' problems (Kogan, 1974:303). The result of a l l these deficiencies in representation (transmission of inputs) is that the bargaining and compromise which is a part of the decision-making process at the political level does not adequately reflect the inputs of input producers. A third reason that there is deficient representation of the public's demand and support inputs lies in the generally non-partisan characteristic of municipal politics. We have referred to this already as being a characteristic of the Canadian situation. Political parties perform an important function of interest-aggregation and interest-articulation with respect to the public's demands and interests, "which means that parties sort and sift among a,diversity of interests and demands, rejecting some, accepting some, working out compromises, correlating those accepted, and ordering them into priorities" (Higgins, 1977:266). In the absence of political parties interests and demands are articulated less clearly or not at a l l . "The completely haphazard and random methods whereby individuals are recruited for office at the municipal level" means that the function of articulation of demands performed by parties is lacking (Alexander, 1976:187). Higgins also draws attention to the fact that the individualism or isolation of candidates, and the consequent absence of stable group support, discourages candidates from offering truly representative choices to the public, because "to promise other than vague generalities exposes the candidate to the liklihood of being accused - 131 -at the subsequent election of not having fulfilled the pledges made in the preceding election" (Higgins, 1977:253). Political parties are an important "cue-giving" agency to the public in making electoral choices, and in their absence the public (voters) are left to make such decisions based on irrelevancies such as candidates' status, name-familiarity, or ethnic identi-fication (Lineberry and Fowler, 1967:715). The view is also held that the introduction of party politics would not only result in a better representation process, but would also make the representatives themselves more representative. It would "widen the social spectrum from which they come" (Redcliffe-Maud and Wood, 1974:161). It is recognized that partisan politics is not without its defects. The major opposition to i t stems from the perception that i t can lead to bribery and corruption, to the development of vested special interests, "caucus" decisions, that i t is a deterrent to candidates, and, at the municipal level, can lead to possible partisan conflict with senior governments (Higgins, 1977:243; and Margolis, 1979:116). There are those who suggest that local i "civic" parties are effective in performing the same representation-assisting function that major political parties do, without the disadvantages of the latter. But on this point, Higgins is of the . opinion that " i t is questionable...whether the civic parties are really 'parties' in terms of being more than just a label attached to candidates for election to council" (Higgins, 1977:242-243). On balance, given the nature of urban areas and their publics, i t would seem that the absence of active, significant, and recognized political parties at the urban municipal level is more of a disadvantage than an advantage, in terms of such parties being a part of a feedback channel to the authorities. - 132 -A fourth reason that there i s d e f i c i e n t representation of inputs l i e s i n the t r a d i t i o n a l , and to some extent, formally-recognized t e c h n i c a l or service o r i e n t a t i o n of municipal government. This has already been described. While i t may s t i l l be true that many of the important r e a l functions of municipal government and i t s a u t h o r i t i e s are concerned with the quantity, q u a l i t y , and d i s t r i b u t i o n of public services, these quantity, q u a l i t y , and d i s t r i b u t i o n decisions can no longer be the sole preserve of public service professionals serving a "board-of-directors" type of p o l i t i c a l decision-makers. The decisions required have become more fundamentally p o l i t i c a l decisions, r e l a t i n g to varying and various public demands (Frederickson, 1973:277). They are now po l i c y - d e c i s i o n s which generate "genuine c o n f l i c t and controversy which must be adequately r e f l e c t e d i n a representative and responsive municipal s t r u c t u r e " (Plunkett, 1976:332). But the t r a d i t i o n a l non-partisan concept of Canadian l o c a l government does not e f f e c t i v e l y accomplish such representation and responsiveness. I t i s non-policy-oriented; i t s structures emphasize the requirements of non-partisan decision-making based p r i m a r i l y on te c h n i c a l and f i n a n c i a l considerations (Fish, 1976:176; and Plunkett, 1976:331-332). This fourth reason has s p e c i a l implications for a public planning agency. As we have discussed, planning i s one of a number of new functions with which urban governments are now concerned. Planning functions are completely d i f f e r e n t from t r a d i t i o n a l service functions. Not only are conventional channels i l l - e q u i p p e d to provide feedback and inputs i n the t r a d i t i o n a l t e c h n i c a l and public service functions which are becoming increasingly c o n t r o v e r s i a l , but they are even le s s well-equipped to perform a channel function f o r the new and inherently c o n t r o v e r s i a l areas of p o l i c y such as s o c i a l and p h y s i c a l planning (Higgins, 1977:104). - 133 -A fifth reason that there is inadequate channelling of the public's inputs (i.e. representation) at the municipal level has to do with the earlier-noted feature that a l l municipal elected officials (the Mayor, or reeve, and council) are both legislature and executive in combination. Whereas one writer argues that this "structural fusion of legislative and executive leadership and functions seemingly imparts decisiveness, adaptability and responsiveness (emphasis added)" (Thomas, 1980:295), a British study of local government notes the opposite in terms of responsiveness. There i t is suggested that the elected official is sometimes placed in a difficult position because of this fusion for two reasons (Redcliffe-Maud and Wood, 1974:21). Firstly, the elected official has taken part directly in the output production which results in feedback and may therefore be more reluctant to process that feedback input than i f he or she had a position separate from an executive authority which produced the output. Secondly, in his or her executive capacity the elected official often needs to develop a close working relationship with administrative authorities, a relationship which could be jeopardized by processing negative feedback input with too much vigour. A sixth reason that conventional and traditional feedback channels are not operating effectively to process inputs lies in the formal management structures which operate at the urban municipal government level. This refers to the decision-making models of Commissioner or Manager forms of appointed administration discussed earlier. These common decision-making models are in one sense not separable from the foregoing reasons, for they are a l l results of the reform-movement which has given municipal government the characteristics i t has had up until recently. Nevertheless, i t can also be considered separately - 134 -as a reason, because i t is an essential part of the overall political context for the planning agency. It may impose an upper adminstrative level channel blockage of inputs to the planning agency. The effect is that, because Commissioners or a City Manager have significant structurally-based strength, they can as individuals block the processing of inputs. They are in a position to lead elected officials, rather than be directed by them, because of their structural strength in combination with not being directly accountable to the public (Higgins, 1977:114, 121). Long's notion that the "bureaucracy" performs an essential representative function by virtue of its being comprised of individuals representing a socio-economic cross-section of the public is relevant here. One of the studies of the representativeness of elected officials found that not only are elected representatives unrepresentative in that sense, but Canadian public servants are even less representative (Sigelman and Vanderbok, 1977:621), 1968-1972 data). According to this study, public servants typically occupied a higher rung on the "class ladder" than legislators, and there was less class variability among public servants than among legislators. One can therefore not expect the channeling of public inputs through administrative agencies in a proxy fashion to occur because administrators are like the public. Nor can one expect this situation to be improved so long as training and education (pre-requisites for administrative appointment) remain a relative privilege of the higher socio-economic groups (Sigelman and Vanderbok, 1977:621). The foregoing has discussed six reasons why the conventional repre-sentative political process at the municipal government level does not function - 135 -as i t should to provide adequate input channels for demand and support to a public planning agency. Five of these six reasons are more or less, unique to the municipal political system, and are relevant to Canadian urban government. The origin of these five reasons, in turn, can be traced largely to the "reform" of Canadian municipal government in the early part of this century, part of which found expression in institutions and structures imported from the United States (Fish, 1976). One of the objectives of these reforms was to produce "a no-nonsense, efficient and business-like regime, where decisions could be implemented by professional administrators rather than by victors in the battle over spoils" (Lineberry and Fowler, 1967:702). This goal of the reformers has been substantially fulfilled. But the result has been that "non-partisan elections, at-large constituencies and manager governments are associated with a lessened responsiveness of cities to the enduring conflicts of political l i f e " (Lineberry and Fowler, 1967:715). The greater the reform, the lower the respon-siveness. This process of making municipal government less responsive has had the effect of erecting barriers or channel blockages to input into the political system from its environment, the public, because "business-like" government has been instituted in a system where i t cannot be accompanied by a "business-like" interaction between the authorities and the public. There is no market in which "business" interactions can take place because public services cannot be provided through a market process which provides market-transaction feedback to the decision-makers. That may have been satisfactory at a time when there were few demand and support inputs with which both the public and the authorities had to be concerned, and when those that were of concern were specific and narrow. That is no longer the case. - 136 -I f these reasons themselves r e s u l t from channel d e f i c i e n c i e s which are an outgrowth of improper functioning of the representative system, then a v a l i d suggestion i s that a proper functioning of the system would r e c t i f y the channel d e f i c i e n c i e s . I f municipal government "reform" i s the cause, then one a l t e r n a t i v e i s obviously to return to the pre-reform "warm and personal government i n the neighbourhoods" (Jones, 1973:74). However, one must se r i o u s l y doubt t h i s as an a l t e r n a t i v e which would provide an o v e r a l l improvement i n the determination of demand and support inputs to the a u t h o r i t i e s . Pre-reform types of p o l i t i c a l systems would not be able to provide services i n a manner and a q u a l i t y to s a t i s f y the current needs of c i t i e s (Jones, 1973:74). Moreover, although t h i s study i s not concerned with the ethics and norms of democracy, we have i m p l i c i t l y assumed that the public planning agency functions within those norms. But the h i s t o r i c a l evidence i s that corruption and s e l f - s e r v i n g were c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of pre-reform systems, and these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are not i n accordance with those norms. A return to corruption and s e l f - s e r v i n g would therefore be unacceptable. I t i s recognized that not a l l the pre-reform structures and processes were necessarily conducive to non-democratic e t h i c s and norms. Ward government, for example, can equally well be conducive to democratic eth i c s and norms. A more acceptable s o l u t i o n i s to increase the representativeness and responsiveness of feedback loops while observing general democratic norms. As the evidence suggests t h i s i s d i f f i c u l t and not l i k e l y within the present structures and processes of municipal government, the a l t e r n a t i v e i s to make use of a l t e r n a t i v e feedback loops which transmit inputs i n a manner compatible with democratic norms. Such an a l t e r n a t i v e i s public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , a d i r e c t - 137 -feedback loop l i n k i n g the public with our public planning agency, while maintaining the e s s e n t i a l representative system. It, can provide improved information to the public planning agency for i t s part i n the conversion process. The outputs so produced, be they outputs which require further processing by elected o f f i c i a l s before they become outputs to the environment ( i . e . advice to elected o f f i c i a l s ) , or d i r e c t outputs to the environment, w i l l then have taken into account the demand and support inputs channeled to the agency. We have dealt with the f i r s t proposition i n support of a "second c i r c u i t " , which centres on the d e f i c i e n c i e s i n the representative democratic system because of structure and process b a r r i e r s to representation. The second proposition i s that, by i t s very nature, the representative p o l i t i c a l process inherently does not provide input and output channels which are adequate f o r the public planning agency. Another way of s t a t i n g i t , with reference to the representative system described by Easton, i s that the public planning agency requires d i r e c t loops l i n k i n g i t with the environment (the public) which do not have intervening c o l l e c t o r s and transmitters of support and demands which are normally found i n the structures and processes of the representative system. For our purposes, one of the s i g n i f i c a n t aspects i n which t h i s argument d i f f e r s from the f i r s t i s that, while the f i r s t was concerned mainly with inputs to the planning agency, t h i s argument i s concerned with outputs as we l l . The public planning agency requires a d i r e c t output link- with the environment as well as a d i r e c t input l i n k f o r reasons which are i n some cases unique to planning. There i s no suggestion i n t h i s that such d i r e c t l i n k s are the only l i n k s required. On the contrary, so long as the system i s representative the - 138 -normal feedback loops are also required, for those describe how the representative process works. Because the public planning agency i s one of the a u t h o r i t i e s whose outputs are ultimately subject to the p o l i t i c a l d e c i s i o n -making a u t h o r i t i e s , the demand and support inputs coming through these loops w i l l remain an e s s e n t i a l part of the feedback i t receives i n order that i t can function within the representative process. While some of these loops w i l l continue to connect the public planning agency with intervening c o l l e c t o r s and transmitters of support and demands, other loops connecting the public planning agency with the p o l i t i c a l a u t h o r i t i e s w i l l continue to bring the demand and support inputs to i t through the p o l i t i c a l a u t h o r i t i e s . , The Second Proposition Let us now turn to the reasons f o r s t a t i n g the second proposition. To do t h i s we w i l l r e l y on the contents of three major themes which have been developed e a r l i e r i n t h i s chapter: 1. the implications of the operational model of a public planning agency, which was defined to be a s t r a t e g i c / r e m e d i a l / q u a l i f i e d -transactive model; 2. the bureaucracy context; and 3- the administration context. These are i n addi t i o n to the formal p o l i t i c a l structure context, which continues to be i m p l i c i t i n t h i s a n a l y s i s . The f i r s t reason i d e n t i f i e d i s one we s h a l l c a l l the need for general knowledge of the environment. An improvement of the planning process r e s u l t s from the d i s p e r s a l and c o l l e c t i o n of information, because i t adds to the - 139 -data available to planners, and i t enables the agency to canvass support for the very concept of planning to meet community needs (Hampton, 1977:29). Mechanisms beyond the conventional representative process are needed in order to gather more information about the public's needs for certain outputs, and to ensure that an agency considers an adequate number of alternatives (including the alternative of doing nothing) before embarking on new policies or programmes. Etzioni states that The administrator needs a considerable understanding of how social systems work, how politics function, what the various groups' values and needs are, and what alternatives are practical and acceptable. In part, he can get the needed knowledge from proper training; in part, from continual interaction with the various groups inside and outside his unit which impinge in i t (Etzioni, 1978:518). In Gortner's view, decisions based on oversimplified issues almost always lead to further problems in the future. If the administrator gets too far away from "the problem", he says, there is a tendency to see the various parts of the problem in an undifferentiated way; therefore i f contact is not kept with the many "publics" the administrator may well overlook their unique characteristic (Gortner, 1977:118). Public participation may therefore be used by administrators as a way for an organization to collect intelligence of a l l sorts and to reduce its isolation from issues and the "consumers" i t serves. In part this intelligence need and isolation reduction need results from uncertainty in the environment - instability and turbulence - as i t changes ever more rapidly. Evidence suggest the future will not repeat the past; the needs of the public change. Therefore the appropriate or "best" solutions (outputs) change (Gortner, 1977:118). In Downs's analysis, the presence of uncertainty has itself converted democracy into representative government, - 140 -because decision-makers need representatives of the public who can s i m p l i f y the task of determining where the public's demands and support l i e (Downs, 1957:89). However, the d i f f e r e n t i a t e d d i v e r s i t y and uniqueness of the public's demands and the r a p i d i t y with which they change, suggest that representatives alone are no longer capable of s i m p l i f y i n g and conveying these demands. A public planning agency must supplement such channels by i t s e l f being i n contact with i t s environment. While i t may be that demand inputs could be reasonably adequately channeled by representatives, there i s a growing r e a l i z a t i o n that a response to such demands and the demands themselves need to be interpreted i n terms of the public's values where values are s i g n i f i c a n t l y involved i n the content (Gortner, 1977:117). Our e a r l i e r review of planning theory and concepts pointed out that t h i s i s the case for a public planning agency as i t s functions come be perceived l e s s and less i n terms of a materially-oriented or technical impact. It i s generally recognized that "Western publics have been s h i f t i n g from an overwhelming emphasis on material well-being and physi c a l security toward greater emphasis on the q u a l i t y of l i f e " (Inglehart, 1977:3). Subjective aspects of well-being are entering i n t o the demand and support input process, with the r e s u l t that subjective values are involved. But these subjective values also involve the very means of achieving c e r t a i n ends. Furthermore, the means and ends are involved with each other i n organizations "that are set up to create a better s o c i e t y " (Oppenheimer, 1971:282). Modern writers note that the use of technology (which we can broadly i n t e r p r e t as means) cannot be distinguished from questions of how i t i s used, for whom, and by whom. Leiss, for example, states that "technology has a pe c u l i a r dynamic which necessitates - 141 -far-ranging adjustments in social and individual behaviour", and that modern technology is itself a broad social phenomenon which impacts the total social fabric (Leiss, 1974:108-109). Unless an effort is made to understand the attitudes, values, and motivations of the public, the outputs of a planning agency are likely to have unanticipated consequences (Gortner, 1977:118). Decisions (outputs) will f a i l because decision-makers base choices on their attitudes and values, having taken for granted or presumed that the attitudes and values of others are comparable. As Heikoff, says, "this is why one of the important challenges, among the many faced by the planner, is to become aware of his own values, those of the decision-makers he works for,' and those of the community" (Heikoff, 1975:96). However, values are personal and unique to individuals or to groups of individuals, and cannot easily be conveyed among individuals or groups by means of intermediaries. Important values are lost through such a conveyance even i f i t is honestly attempted. What is more likely is that values are subject to re-interpretation or misinterpretation because of the values held by the intermediary. But this is one of the functions political representatives must perform, particularly i f they are the sole channel. Such a transmission is best effected between producers of inputs and outputs themselves. Therefore, for general organizational purposes, in any public decision-making process, public input is the "principal source of information about what values the public holds" (Hendee, 1977:99). The transactive dialogue of the operational model incorporates this process. - 142 -The second reason for stating this proposition has to do with the need for knowledge of the political dynamics of the community in which the planning agency operates. This type of knowledge is necessary because the operational model describes a planning agency which is not simply a passive, mediating agency. It is one which intervenes on its own initiative in the issues as i t perceives them, and i t consciously attempts to shape its role in the community. It will do this, of course, having engaged in public participation for the first reason as discussed above. But a planning agency which takes such an initiating role will very likely initiate controversy (Heikoff, 1975:24). In order to effectively deal with such controversy within a representative political system, the agency must anticipate and understand the dynamics of the controversy. Heikoff lays great emphasis on this subject, warning that where controversy arises, Unless the dispute can be focussed on the issues and resolved quickly through traditionally accepted political procedures, the community may become polarized....The substance of the planning issues then becomes losts in more general differences, and older antagonisms come to the surface and are intensified. The threat to the effectiveness of planning from acrimonious controversy is not only that planning proposals may be defeated, but also that community social and political cleavages may become so intensified that i t will be useless to bring them up again for a long time (Heikoff, 1975:24-25). Heikoff sees a greater danger in the results of the controversy itself than he does in the defeat of the controversial proposal. In fact, the implication is that the negative results of the controversy may outweigh the benefits achieved from acceptance of the controversial proposal. Two kinds of such knowledge about community politics are necessary. One is knowledge of the facts of particular circumstances of time, place, and personalities; the other is a more general knowledge of how disagreements in the - 143 -community arise, how the various protagonists interact, and what are the usual practices or rules by which political and other institutions mediate them (Heikoff, 1975:1-2). Such knowledge can only be acquired by a planning agency which is intimately aware of its public, and of the potential effect of proposals on people with different economic and social interests and values. For reasons similar to those already discussed, the conventional representative process does not likely provide such knowledge, as the elected representatives themselves are political persons who filter information. Public participation can provide the agency with such knowledge. At this point we can usefully turn to a third reason for public participation, based on this second proposition. It can be referred to as the organizational need for a knowledgeable and cognizant public. This is not meant in a narrow sense of education and learning, but in a broader sense of the public's awareness of itself and its diversity of needs and demands. Nor is i t meant in the sense of "the public's right to know", which is a normative principle. What we refer to is the idea that the value-related public participation process is important to the public planning agency from an output as well as an input viewpoint. Valued "things", both material and conceptual, are scarce - not a l l the desired values are available to be allocated or distributed to a l l in the environment. This means that there must be some form of trade-offs within the environment as to which values are to be realized, and by whom. This does not occur through a private market interaction but must take place through the public decision-making process. The transactive dialogue between the planning agency and the public, and within and among members of the public, better - 144 -enables the public to make judgements as to the allocation of values. This broadening of outlook within the public is an outcome of the decision - process when i t involves the public. It comes about through participants enlarging their perspective, becoming more aware of "the complexities of the issues, the difficulties of providing governmental solutions, the vast amount of information that is required for long-range planning, and the necessity for some acceptable trade-offs between groups' with competing goals" (Waterman, 1978:282). Implicit in this reason advanced for public participation, as in our operational model, is the assertion that in modern times a professional planning agency does not have a l l the knowledge and information necessary to carry out a planning function. Campbell and Clarke assert that notwithstanding a l l the knowledge and technology available to "bureaucrats", the poor conceptualization and mismanagement of public programmes leads to the conclusion that "the days when one could accept bureaucratic claims to special competence are long past" (Campbell and Clarke, 1980:310). The claims of the necessity for keeping a competent administration closed no longer hold. Decision-makers require the input of an active public with a growing consciousness, in order that the decision-making process can become active (Breed, 1971:84-85). But there are short-comings in the public's interest and information (Sharkansky, 1972:225; and Lindblom, 1968:73). Sharkansky lays the blame on deficiencies inherent in the functioning of the electoral process, interest groups, and political parties as much as he does on inherent characteristics of individuals (Sharkansky, 1972:203). A direct communication link between the authorities and the public therefore provides a channel whereby - 145 -the public's information-level and interest is raised, to the extent that i t can contribute to more effective decision-making. This is of course also recognized in the operational model of a public planning agency. One might note that to a certain extent this outcome of public participation consists of what is referred to as "reconstructive leadership". Lindblom explains this as being the process whereby his proximate policy-makers, even though having to make their decisions within the constraints of existing public preferences, over time have the opportunity to alter the preferences that constrain them. This process is also recognized in the operational model. Another aspect to the public being knowledgeable and cognizant of planning and its issues is that public awareness and public support will often stimulate elected officials to act where action by them is required. The public "can help define the emerging issues that should be the political agenda of the community" (Waterman, 1978:281). Although the hypothesis is not concerned with internal organizational aspects of a public planning agency, there is one sense in which internal characteristics do provide a fourth reason for arguing the benefits of public participation based on the second proposition. Organization theorists refer to evidence that when organizational environments are dynamic and uncertain, the organizations are then more effective i f they are informally structured and not very centralized (Aldrich and Mindlin, 1978:154). Another manifestation of the internal influence of such an environment is that a decreased certainty of information or knowledge about the environment generally results in more organization decisions being reached at lower levels within i t (Lawrence and Lorsch, 1972:254). The implication is that, for effectiveness in - 146 -an organization where environmental information is important, contact with the environment should occur more informally at lower levels rather than predominantly through the top levels which conventionally represent the organization to the environment. A public planning agency is such an organization for which environmental information is important. It is at the same time one which has a dynamic and turbulent environment. Its effectiveness then, i f the organizational theorists are correct, will depend on lower-level and somewhat informal contact with its environment. Public participation provides a channel for such contact. The four reasons advanced so far, for public participation based on the second proposition, have been general reasons. From them i t is possible to identify more specific and functionally-oriented reasons. For example, when Aldrich says that "a particular technology is effective only insofar as i t is appropriate to the environment an organization faces" (Aldrich, 1979:18), i t then follows that public participation is an aid in determining the most effective technology. Another example is the argument that the adoption of plans is facilitated (Grigsby, Marcuse, Haile, and others, 1974:1; Kaufman, 1978:464; and Sewell and Coppock, 1977:2). A further example is that i t can be a means of overcoming public sterotyping of "bureaucrats" (Lipsky, 1976:209). There is, one specific and functionally-related reason which is especially important to note, because of its major importance to any organization. This has to do with goal-formulation. The tendency of most organizations to emphasize methods rather than goals. However, this is an important source of "disorientation" in a l l organizations, says Selznick (1957:12). The public planning agency, as with most instrumental public - 147 -agencies, has goals which are in large measure established or ratified outside the agency. It cannot establish its own goals exclusively (Thompson and McEwen, 1972:264). But a negative result of this may be that i t is a source of frustration to the agency, or of dissatisfaction to the public, or produce unattainable goals (Gortner, 1977:6). Therefore, while the planning agency cannot neglect goals i f i t is to have a sense of purpose or mission, i t cannot establish them itself. On the other hand, neither must i t permit them to be established, implicitly or otherwise, exclusively by its environment. Therefore the presumption of bureaucracy that an organization's goals are known and are an unambiguous guide to action must, in the case of an organization such as a public planning agency, be modified to recognize goal-setting as a result of interaction between i t and its environment (Aldrich, 1979:16). But because goals involve values, and imply the use of means to achieve goals, where the means themselves involve values, we are back to the necessity for some transactive,link between the agency and the public. Goals in this context then become not just agency goals, but also goals of the public which are to be addressed through the agency. The goal-setting problem in these terms is essentially a question of what the public "wants done or can be persuaded to support" and of the relationship of the agency to the public in that question (Thompson and McEwen, 1972:256). And, as 'the public and its values are constantly changing, goals need to be reformulated or reinterpreted through an ongoing participatory process (Thompson and McEwen, 1972-256). There is one final reason which we shall identify relative to the second proposition. It is not a significant one in terms of the broad principles which we have discussed, but in practical terms i t is of significance - 148 -because i t has to do with established structures which are of immense importance to municipal government. It relates directly to the principle of local outputs being determined by local inputs. As we have noted, municipal government authorities exist within a federal system of government where various levels of government are involved in overlapping responses to the public and its demands and support. More importantly, municipal government authorities exist in a situation where they are legally subject to the dictates of provincial governments, and where these same provincial governments are characterized by an executive orientation together with executive-supporting legislative behaviour. This situation can have a number of results. First, the public is confused as to "who is responsible for what" and where to direct its demands and support on particular issues in this complex jursidictional maze (Campbell and Clarke, 1980:311). Second, as we have noted, while senior governments are intervening more and more in the issues for which municipal authorities are nominally responsible, i t is municipal authorities which continue to bear the brunt of public inputs respecting these issues, partly because of these authorities' nominal responsibilities and partly because of the closeness of these authorities (Higgins, 1977:93-94). This happens even though the municipal authorities, especially in urban areas, are not in a position to cope with the demands. Third, a study of this situation in France suggests that such a situation results in the development of relationships between municipal and senior authorities which consist of "invisible linkages, loopholes to official rules, a network of personal contracts, and secret influences" without satisfactorily addressing the inputs of the public of the local area (Becquart-Leclercq, 1978:255). Good communication and participation involving local - 149 -authorities and the public can assist in overcoming this by leading to greater support input for local authorities, and a more effective translation of local demands into outputs where the senior governments are unavoidably involved. There is an internal output benefit as well, for the establishment of patterns of invisible linkages, loopholes, personal contacts, etc. tends to be transposed inside the municipal system, damaging its own representative capacities (Becquart-Leclercq, 1978:280). Counter-action of these relationships by close authority-public linkages promotes representation. - 150 -C. Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Relation to Established Agency Norms 1. Professional Theory We have considered a v a r i e t y of reasons i n support of both grounds for arguing the proposal for a "second c i r c u i t " of democracy, public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Before going on to examine the p r a c t i c a l implications of the proposal for the public planning agency, i t i s necessary to examine the proposal -i n l i g h t f i r s t of our operational model for the planning agency, and second, of administrative and bureaucratic norms and p r i n c i p l e s . The former i s based on current planning theory, to which a planning agency should attempt to subscribe. The l a t t e r have been the guiding norms and p r i n c i p l e s for public agencies of any sort or function. C o n f l i c t s with e i t h e r of them must be resolved e i t h e r i n favour of a l l these, or i n favour of the proposal. The examination against our operational model i s by far the simplest. The operational model which was constructed, the s t r a t e g i c / r e m e d i a l / q u a l i f i e d - t r a n s a c t i v e model, i s not incompatible with the proposal. In fa c t the two are s t r i k i n g l y s i m i l a r . A reasonable merging of current planning theory with the r e a l i t i e s of planning by a governmental agency, with a l l that the l a t t e r means i n terms of responsiveness, ac c o u n t a b i l i t y , problem-solving, and intervention or leadership, produced a model to which a public planning agency can subscribe while s t i l l r e t a i n i n g a base i n planning theory. Professional values embodied i n the model are not contravened by the proposal, and one can therefore state that the organizational approach to public planning supports our operational model. - 151 -2. Administrative Norms An examination of the proposal against administrative norms and p r i n c i p l e s i s not quite so straightforward and simple. The proposal quite c l e a r l y i s not compatible with the t r a d i t i o n a l and conventional administrative p r i n c i p l e that the d i s t i n c t i o n between administration and p o l i t i c s i s necessary t because i t represents a d i s t i n c t i o n between means and ends. That p r i n c i p l e , as we have discussed i t e a r l i e r , was intended to mean that the administration should not become involved i n the policy-making process, but was to r e s t r i c t i t s e l f to the implementation of decisions made by p o l i t i c i a n s as representatives of the pub l i c . But i f we accept Easton's analysis that the development of the public administration was an evolutionary process r e f l e c t i n g the need of p o l i t i c i a n s to divest themselves of increasingly vast amounts of routine d e t a i l , reserving to themselves the broader and more far-reaching non-routine matters, then we gain a d i f f e r e n t understanding of administration than i s implied i n the t r a d i t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e . That which was divested by p o l i t i c i a n s was by d e f i n i t i o n e s s e n t i a l l y p o l i t i c a l before being divested, and did not undergo a transformation to being n o n - p o l i t i c a l by i t s being divested. Although i t subsequently became known as "administration", possibly because i t was ca r r i e d out by a body of i n d i v i d u a l s known as "the administration", i t remained and remains e s s e n t i a l l y p o l i t i c a l . The types of decisions involved are presumably no d i f f e r e n t , except perhaps i n degree, than they were p r i o r to being divested. Thus public administration decisions are e s s e n t i a l l y p o l i t i c a l decisions, and public administrators are extensions of the p o l i t i c a l process rather than separate from i t . The decisions of administration supposedly respecting means (as opposed to ends) are as much p o l i t i c a l as are the decisions - 152 -of politicians respecting ends. We are mindful of Self's assertion that a matter becomes political essentially by being made so. It does not become political by suddenly being a matter with which the administration should not be concerned. We- are also mindful of Hunnius' assertion that the separation of politics from everyday l i f e is an a r t i f i c i a l one, which can be taken to mean that everyday l i f e is political. The proposal for public participation therefore brings us fu l l circle, back to the recognition of public administration decision-making activity as being political. The apparent conflict between the proposal and the traditional administrative principle, we suggest, can be resolved by finding the traditional administrative principle to be in error. What might be called the administrative "reality-in-practice", which finds that administration is not simply neutral implementation of political decisions but is political in effect, corresponds better with what we might call administrative "reality-in-principle". Some administrative theorists have attempted to move in this direction, as we have noted, but White notes that "even after theorists rejected the traditional dichotomy, there were few contributions to a theoretical understanding of how agencies interact with their environments" (White, 1973:118). The re-definition of administration as including policy-formulation was generally considered to be one where administration is involved in politics through an interaction between administrators and a variety of explicitly "political" actors. This is only partial recognition of the evolutionary process which Easton describes. A more careful examination of reality-in-practice leads to the conclusion that a revised administrative theory should be developed around the reality-in-principle based on Easton's analysis. It would - 153 -recognize administration as being involved in politics through the same types of interactions as politicians are involved in. A body of administrative theory of this sort, in a democratic political system, would then have to address itself to the question of the most efficacious manner of channelling demand and support inputs to administrative structures as well as to formal political structures, as administrative structures are then clearly recognized as an inherent part of the whole political process. We have already referred to Kernaghan's discussion of objective versus subjective administrative accountability (Kernaghan, 1973); it represents a proposition for such a body of administrative theory that would bring the theory around to a consideration of public participation by administrative structures. This would also raise the question of efficiency versus effectiveness, and thereby bring into question the common administrative emphasis on efficiency. Selznick says that "the cult of efficiency in administrative theory and practice is a modern way of over-stressing means and neglecting ends"; i t fixes attention on maintaining a smooth-running machine, and "tends to stress techniques of organization that are essentially neutral, and therefore available for any goals, rather than methods peculiarly adapted to a distinctive type of organization" (Selznick, 1957:135). But i f a democratic public administration is in principle political, and must therefore attempt to ensure adequate representation of inputs into the whole conversion process, i t is then a "distinctive type of organization" which differs substantially from other organizations. The techniques of organization stressed should then not be those that are essentially neutral; the techniques of organization should be those that are directed towards the achievement of distinctively political - 154 -goals in a democratic system, which requires attention to representation (input) techniques. In the place of efficiency the organization should itself stress effectiveness, which is "the achievement of some policy goal, i f possible at minimum cost but above a l l successfully" (Self, 1972:264). Decision-making will then not be rational in the technical sense, but will be rational in the political sense (Gortner, 1977:131). The apparent barriers to technically rational decision-making which consist of environmental factors such as the multitude of problems, goals, and policy-commitments that are imposed on decision-makers by actors in the environment of an administrative unit (Sharkansky, 1972:44), will instead themselves become inputs into politically rational decision-making. 3. Bureaucratic Principles An examination of the proposal against bureaucratic principles of organization would normally give some difficulty. Public participation is not compatible with bureaucratic organization. Nor can Weber's tightly interlocking characteristics of bureaucracy be easily modified in part without rejecting bureaucracy as a whole. Bureaucratic organization has been a central feature of administration in the traditional administration versus political decision-making (means versus ends) dichotomy, as well as having been more specifically a feature of the administrative stress on efficiency. Blau's statement that " i f men organize themselves and others for the purpose of realizing specific objectives assigned to or accepted by them,... they establish a bureaucracy" is accompanied by the assertion that the fundamental principle is administrative - 155 -e f f i c i e n c y (Blau, 1974:55). Elsewhere he says that "a bureaucracy as an organizational form i s judged by the c r i t e r i o n of e f f i c i e n c y " , that "although both a u t h o r i t a r i a n elements and concessions to democratic elements are found i n bureaucratic structures, e f f i c i e n c y i s the ultimate basis for evaluating whether such elements are appropriate", and that "bureaucracy implies that considerations of e f f i c i e n c y outweigh a l l others i n the formation and development of the organization" (Blau and Meyer, 1971:156). But we have found a number of things about a public planning agency which s p e c i f i c a l l y point to the inappropriateness of bureaucracy ( i n addition to our review of administrative p r i n c i p l e s ) . For example, the agency does not e x i s t for the purpose of r e a l i z i n g s p e c i f i c assigned or accepted objectives. The reasons advanced herein for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and our operational model, put the agency i t s e l f into the process of e s t a b l i s h i n g the objectives themselves. Blau's statement that organization of i n d i v i d u a l s for the purpose of r e a l i z i n g s p e c i f i c assigned or accepted objectives r e s u l t s i n the establishment of bureaucracy, with the fundamental p r i n c i p l e of administrative e f f i c i e n c y , does not apply to the agency. That statement of Blau's i s juxtaposed with another, that " i f men organize themselves for the purpose of reaching common agreement on c o l l e c t i v e goals and actions by some form of majority r u l e , they e s t a b l i s h a democratic organization", where the fundamental p r i n c i p l e i s freedom of dissent (Blau, 1974:55). Our planning agency i s a part of the democratic process through administrative r e a l i t y - i n - p r i n c i p l e . The agency i s part of the public's organizing themselves "for the purpose of reaching common agreement on c o l l e c t i v e goals and actions." - 156 -Blau and Meyer unfortunately also make the statement that "democratic values require not only that s o c i a l goals be determined by majority decision, but also that they be implemented through the most e f f e c t i v e methods av a i l a b l e - that i s , by e s t a b l i s h i n g organizations that are b u r e a u c r a t i c a l l y rather than democratically governed" (Blau and Meyer, 1971:156). That implies that the most e f f e c t i v e method of implementing goals i s one which i s the most e f f i c i e n t ( i . e . through bureaucratic administrative organizations). But i f the t r a d i t i o n a l administration versus p o l i t i c a l decision-making and the administrative stress on e f f i c i e n c y are rejected, then one must r e j e c t the bureaucratic model as nece s s a r i l y being the most e f f e c t i v e model for public administration. Our conclusion i s that the- weight of evidence i s on the opposite, that effectiveness i n administration i s not e f f i c i e n c y , and that effectiveness for a public planning agency i s l i k e l y not bureaucracy. We therefore r e j e c t bureaucracy i n favour of the hypothesis, i n s o f a r as they are incompatible. - 157 -D. Some Operational Implications 1. The City of Edmonton's Public Participation Proposal We have reviewed in detail the theoretical and conceptual support for the hypothesis, and have drawn on an analysis of the public planning agency, its organizational context, and its environment to show how the theory and concepts relate to i t specifically. To test the hypothesis would require case analysis, in order to see whether or not, and to what extent public planning agencies which engage in public participation derive organizational-related benefits from i t . Another type of case analysis would be to see whether or not the hypothesized organizational approach to public participation results in public participation which satisfies external demands for i t . No case analysis is provided here, and the hypothesis is therefore not tested in that sense. However, i t is beneficial to briefly review a process of public participation which has been approved for implementation within a relatively large and complex urban political system. Such a review may, at least, show whether the proposal addresses some of the implications over which a planning agency has some influence. The process of public participation selected is that found within the urban political system as it exists in Edmonton, Alberta. Edmonton is a city with a population in the order of 500,000 people, and is among the Canadian cities characterized by relatively rapid growth, in terms of both population and developed area. It shares most of the urban planning issues and problems common to Canadian cities: suburban residential and commercial development, increasing-density urban redevelopment, congestion, rising land costs, expansion into available land, and the like. It has recently approved, through - 158 -i t s General Municipal Plan (City of Edmonton, 1980), a "growth strategy" which c a l l s f or higher de n s i t i e s of development i n both expansion and redeveloping areas. The City's l o c a l government consists of a major elected at large, and twelve c o u n c i l l o r s (aldermen) elected from s i x wards. Its administrative structure corresponds i n general to the Commission model described by Higgins and referred to e a r l i e r . The C i t y has a recently-approved but not yet operational formal public p a r t i c i p a t i o n process, which i s described i n the Appendix. I t i s not referred to i n the relevant City documents as an "organizational approach" (City of Edmonton, 1980; and C i t y of Edmonton, 1981). I t appears to have been motivated, at l e a s t i n part, by p o l i t i c a l and public demands f o r increased public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . However, the stated "benefits" of the process (noted i n the Appendix) suggest that some elements of the organizational approach are present, at l e a s t i m p l i c i t l y , i n i t s having been put forward for approval. 2. Planned P a r t i c i p a t i o n The Public planning agency must undertake a process of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a planned and deliberate fashion, i n order to r e a l i z e the alleged b e n e f i t s . Simple acceptance of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n and the broad p r i n c i p l e s involved can lead to meaningless p a r t i c i p a t i o n for the organization, to the reluctance of the public to p a r t i c i p a t e , and to c o n f l i c t (Davis, 1973:70). There are dangers, therefore, i n "unplanned" p a r t i c i p a t i o n (von Hentig, 1974); i t warrants c a r e f u l analysis and thought. In a sense t h i s r e l a t e s to the Open Systems concept of " e q u i f i n a l i t y " , that c e r t a i n system outputs can be achieved i n d i f f e r e n t ways but that some systems processes have - 159 -inherently different results even though the system outputs are similar (Kast and Rosenzweig, 1972:450). There is a need to define who is the relevant public, to develop mechanisms for their selection and involvement, and mechanisms to determine their inputs (Medeiros and Schmitt, 1977:153). Well-defined rules-of-the-game are required in order to prevent a "kind of free-wheeling chaos" out of which groups or individuals in the public would emerge to dominate and impose their own rigidities which would be no more useful than closed system rigidities (Hayward, 1974:18). Moreover, unordered and very informal participation may be high in creativity but low in effectiveness (Plunkett, 1974:261). Hayward has. suggested a set of requirements for a "participatory planning process" in education which has useful elements (Hayward, 1974:20-22). He includes among these elements what he calls a planning programme for the development of participation which would itself have the following elements: 1. a continuous identification of a l l the important segments of the public, their boundaries and interrelationships within the planning system; 2. an evaluation of the participatory process itself, in terms of mechanisms, operation, structures, etc.; 3. an assignment of responsibilities for establishing and maintaining the structures and mechanisms; 4. a systematic programme of analysis of "problems" which would be fed into the participatory network; and 5. a continuing programme of training in participatory skills and techniques. - 160 -But the f u l l benefits of a public p a r t i c i p a t i o n programme, suggests a group of planners who have analyzed such programmes i n planning, can be achieved only when the public i t s e l f has p a r t i c i p a t e d i n shaping the p a r t i c i p a t i o n programme (Grigsby, Marcuse, Haile, and others, 1974:16). The Edmonton process i s c l e a r l y one which i s planned beforehand. I t s inception as e x p l i c i t p o l i c y by v i r t u e of i t s i n c l u s i o n as a component of the General Municipal Plan (the GMP) i s the f i r s t evidence of t h i s . In that document the "bare bones" structure i s found - a system of community-based, s p a t i a l l y - d i s t r i b u t e d , planning committees. The D i s t r i c t Planning Handbook (City of Edmonton, 1981) c a r r i e s planning for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n even further, suggesting the composition of community-based structures, the i n c l u s i o n of relevant groups and organizations, the " r u l e s " and processes to be followed, the s t a f f i n g requirements, the r e l a t i o n s h i p to formal p o l i t i c a l structures, the content of the p a r t i c i p a t o r y processes, and the l i k e . Moreover, the approval of the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n process i t s e l f involves a p a r t i c i p a t o r y process. This i s the case for the p o l i c i e s as contained i n the GMP, for that document was the subject bf public involvement through workshops, meetings with i n t e r e s t groups, submissions of b r i e f s , and the holding of mandatory public hearings by the City Council and i t s committees. I t i s also true of the d e t a i l s of the further development of the process. The D i s t r i c t Planning Handbood (the Handbook) establishes the further p a r t i c i p a t o r y processes whereby public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s to be developed, monitored, and modified as required. - 161 -3. Internal Requisites In addition to planning the public participation, there are a number of things which the public planning agency must attend to within itself in order that its communicator role in the process is carried out effectively. A variety of these come out of the earlier discussion of communication concepts in Chapter III, but we refer to a few specifically here. First, the agency must clearly identify the units or positions within itself which perform or to which are assigned a boundary spanning role. Downs goes so far as to. suggest the creation of a unit free from direct operational responsibilities but familiar with the intimate details and variety of the agency's operation, purpose, interdependencies and the like, which would continuously provide the agency with information and analysis respecting the environment (Downs, 1967:183). Such a unit would not and could not be the only source of such information, but would have that as its major role. Such a unit would not be the sole focus of the agency's public participation, for the whole agency is more or less engaged in that; i t is simply a specialized information gathering and analysis unit (Downs, 1967:185-186). The same unit should also perform a somewhat similar role in the reverse, providing the environment (the public) with information and analysis respecting the agency. Second, the public planning agency must have the communicative ability to be understood by the relevant external communicators in its environment. This consists in part of procedural and interactional skills on the part of its own members -an ability to work with others (Burke, 1979:60). Substantive knowledge and creativity are obviously important in order to create a trust in the competence of the agency, but an additional emphasis on communication means that a different type of competence is required. But while - 162 -personal communication and interaction skills are part of the communicative capability, the competence must be of a deeper dialectic nature, where "error is continually interpreted and corrected, incompatibility and incongruity are con-tinually engaged, and conflict is continually confronted and resolved" (Argyris and Schon, 1978:146). Only with this type of competence will the agency be able to foster communication as a joint-process, where messages are interpreted for meaning. One of the essential features of this dialectical communication process, on the part of the agency, is a tolerance of criticism and controversy. A great deal of the demand and support input will be accompanied by controversy. These inputs will perhaps occur only i f the public perceives the agency as being prepared to engage in controversy and to honestly deal with i t . One writer has suggested that the presence of controversy is in itself evidence of fairly wide participation (Heikoff, 1975:22). Out of controversy, i f i t is confronted and handled in a transactive and dialectical manner, comes a better understanding on the part of a l l communicators. But the agency must at the same time bear in mind the danger of prolonged controversy, as discussed earlier. There comes a point at which the agency must see continued controversy as counter-productive, and seek means to bring i t to a close. The Edmonton process addresses itself to internal requisites. Firstly, there are to be staff within the agency who are specifically assigned to the District Planning and other planning processes in which public parti-cipation is sought. Secondly, the assignment of a large number of staff with a high level of technical competence, and with communicative and interactive - 163 -s k i l l s r e f l e c t s on emphasis on the agency being prepared to devote s i g n i f i c a n t resources to public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . These "assigned" s t a f f do not represent the creation of an information analysis and communication-oriented unit as suggested by Downs, but on the other hand they are s t a f f who can to advantage perform such functions for the agency as a whole from within the framework of an i n t e r a c t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p with the public on the substantive issues. T h i r d l y , the Edmonton process attempts to organize the planning agency i n t e r n a l l y , i n terms of both structure and processes, so that s i g n i f i c a n t functions may be addressed through public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The functions are e i t h e r to take place with the assigned p a r t i c i p a t o r y s t a f f having primary res-p o n s i b i l i t y , or they are to be brought before the public through the p a r t i -c i p a t i o n process for the generation of input to be taken into account by other s t a f f . There are some d e f i c i e n c i e s i n t h i s aspect of the Edmonton process. F i r s t l y , the major emphasis of the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n process and assigned s t a f f i s to be the D i s t r i c t Planning process described i n the Appendix. While t h i s may i n one sense be appropriate because that process i s a form of long-range planning which establishes the guidelines for more de t a i l e d implemen-ta t i o n decisions, the danger e x i s t s that short-term decisions which have s i g n i f i c a n t long-range impacts are not given the attention they deserve. Secondly, once t h i s major emphasis on the D i s t r i c t Planning process has been completed, there i s the danger that the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n process w i l l lack the c l e a r focus and terms of reference necessary for i t s continuation. T h i r d l y , i n the f u n c t i o n a l areas within planning f o r which the primary s t a f f res-p o n s i b i l i t y l i e s with non-assigned s t a f f , the opportunity e x i s t s f or such func-/ - 164 -t i o n a l areas to be given l i t t l e or no p r a c t i o a l public involvement i f the s t a f f responsible have no personal commitment to such involvement. These d e f i c i e n c i e s r e s u l t from the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n process being linked so c l o s e l y with the D i s t r i c t Planning process. The impression given i s that public p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i l l occur only i n that context. Because of that, non-assigned planning s t a f f may l a r g e l y ignore the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n process. I t i s recognized that to a s i g n i f i c a n t extent the l e s s e r emphasis on public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n short-term, implementation-type decisions r e s u l t s from other f a c t o r s . For example, time constraints are imposed by demands f o r decisions, and by p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t i o n , and these cannot e a s i l y be overcome. The o v e r a l l community benefits of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n may have to be demon-strated before such constraints are removed or modified. Having noted the foregoing, one should not overlook the f a c t that the Edmonton process makes s e l f - c o r r e c t i o n p o s s i b l e . Through the process of p u b l i c , p a r t i c i p a t i o n i t s e l f , i t s terms of reference, content, structures, and the l i k e may be modified. I f may therefore be kept c o n t i n u a l l y responsive to the changing needs of a l l the actors engaged. 4. P o l i t i c a l Sanction In the representative p o l i t i c a l system which we have assumed, elected representatives remain the ultimate decision-makers respecting outputs from any feedback loops to the public planning agency. Whether outputs can come d i r e c t l y from the agency i t s e l f , or whether they come from a process where the public i s a c t u a l l y involved with the agency i n the conversion of inputs to outputs, the "conversion process" i s delegated, and any delegated production of - 165 -outputs can be taken back. (Here we ignore the fact that the public may, through its elected representatives, achieve a permanent delegation to a conversion process which does not involve the elected representatives). Moreover, elected representatives are the formal controllers of a significant part of the agency's own organizational matters. For example, they control its financial resources and can through various sanctions direct the agency as to what i t may or may not do, including "no communication directly with the public". While the latter may be difficult to enforce in that the public cannot be prevented from attempting to communicate with the agency, such a direction would make real communication difficult as the agency would likely not be receptive to public participation and would take no initiatives to develop i t . Self notes that "elective representatives often are not a l i t t l e jealous of efforts by planners or administrators to ascertain public wishes directly, as conflicting with their own prerogatives of interpreting those wishes" (Self, 1972:289). Other writers have noted the same situation, particularly with respect to planning (Heikoff, 1975:18; and Redcliffe-Maud and Wood, 1974:72). There are many examples, of public participation which have been opposed or frustrated by elected representatives, or the results of which have not been supported by representatives (Baker, 1978; and Stilger, 1978). In one case a legislative body had not been consulted for its approval or for funding, and therefore would not provide funding for implementation follow-up when that was required, because i t did not have a stake in the outcome or follow-up (Baker, 1978:29). Stilger's observation is that i f the result of public participation will have any legislative impact, the legislative body must be involved in formulating the programme, and that until legislators - 166 -recognize the need for a d d i t i o n a l information they w i l l not use the information provided by the programme ( S t i l g e r , 1978:98). H e i k o f f s advice, given i n the context of plans r e q u i r i n g the approval of p o l i t i c a l leaders, i s applicable to "plans" for public p a r t i c i p a t i o n : Before he unveils h i s plans, the professional planner should be sure that the decision makers have been given the available i n t e l l i g e n c e about the problems involved, and that they have had time to debate and formulate a p o l i c y framework for them. Some p o l i t i c a l leaders may not even agree that the problems e x i s t (Heikoff, 1975:86). This i s e s p e c i a l l y l i k e l y to be the case where the "plans" involve the t r a d i t i o n a l prerogatives of elected representatives. P o l i t i c i a n s must therefore be consulted i n the establishment of a public p a r t i c i p a t i o n process, so that they have a commitment to i t . An ongoing involvement by p o l i t i c i a n s , once the process i s established, w i l l serve to reinforce such a commitment. The Edmonton process recognizes the need for the approval and involvement of elected representatives. Such involvement occurs at two l e v e l s . The f i r s t l e v e l i s the major " p o l i c y " commitment to i t , through i t s being a component of the GMP. The GMP i s a major p o l i c y document of the C i t y and i s required by p r o v i n c i a l statute. A public p a r t i c i p a t i o n process i s not required i n a GMP, so i t s voluntary i n c l u s i o n may be seen as g i v i n g i t p a r t i c u l a r status, e s p e c i a l l y since the approval of the GMP involved lengthy and d e t a i l e d con-s i d e r a t i o n by the C i t y Council. A secondary e f f e c t of including the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n p o l i c y within the GMP i s that the p o l i c y commitment i s not e a s i l y revoked; the GMP can only be amended a f t e r proposed amendments have been the subject of public hearings by C i t y Council. - 167 -A second l e v e l of involvement of elected representatives l i e s i n the procedural and s t r u c t u r a l d e t a i l s of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n as set down i n the Handbook. The Handbook notes the requirement for the p o l i t i c i a n s to be involved at key decision points i n the p a r t i c i p a t i o n process, as well as the requirement to p a r t i c i p a t e through i n t e r a c t i o n both informally and formally i n a more general sense. 5. Groups versus Individuals In t h e i r examination of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n planning, Sewell and Coppock state that among the c r i t i c a l questions to be asked are: who should p a r t i c i p a t e ? and, what weight should be attached to the views of well-organized, a r t i c u l a t e i n t e r e s t groups as against the views of the unorganized public? (Sewell and Coppock, 1977:7-11). A simple answer would be that the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n process should take into account the inputs of a l l those who have a legitimate i n t e r e s t i n a p a r t i c u l a r matter. The problem with t h i s , of course, i s that there may be s u b s t a n t i a l minorities who have a legitimate i n t e r e s t but who, as i n the conventional representative process, f a i l to make t h e i r views known. A common approach to determining the relevant public f or p a r t i -c i p a t i o n or consultation purposes i s i d e n t i f y groups or i n d i v i d u a l s who are p o t e n t i a l l y affected by a problem or a proposed course of a c t i o n . Thompson, for example, suggests that there are three types of problems where "consultation" i s necessary: when some action (means) i s needed to solve a problem and the action may have a severely adverse e f f e c t on a minority, when the democratic process f a i l s because those i n authority ( p o l i t i c i a n s ) are not i n touch or i n sympathy - 168 -with the majority of people affected by t h e i r decisions, or when l o c a l govern-ment o f f i c e r s are incompetent (Thompson, 1977:69). Disregarding the second and t h i r d type, the f i r s t represents t h i s common approach - there i s a problem or an action, so consult with the affected group. But t h i s approach pre-supposes that the goals and the actions have been decided, whereas the arguments presented i n support of the hypothesis involve p a r t i c i p a t i o n being necessary to determine those. On the basis of the hypothesis one would have to say that con-s u l t a t i o n (public p a r t i c i p a t i o n ) i s necessary where required action i s not narrowly t e c h n i c a l with no s o c i a l impact, and where the issue's require the public's input i n order to determine objectives and the means to reach those objectives. But t h i s proposition presents the planning agency with an un-manageable task, f o r the agency i s l i m i t e d i n the time and personnel resources which i t can commit, and the relevant public i s huge. The t r a d i t i o n a l and widely used approach i s to p a r t i c i p a t e with the public as i t i s represented by e x i s t i n g groups or organizations within i t , commonly referred to as i n t e r e s t groups. The reason i s that i n large s o c i e t i e s or communities such groups perform an i n t e r e s t - a r t i c u l a t i o n function on the part of like-minded i n d i v i d u a l s , providing a channel whereby s i m i l a r demand and support inputs can more e a s i l y be gathered and correlated (Higgins, 1977:226; and H i l l , 1974:96). They also perform, for the planning agency, the important output channel function of providing vehicles f or informing and educating ( i n a broad sense) the p u b l i c . To a c e r t a i n extent t h i s educative function occurs by the group processes whereby i n d i v i d u a l and private i n t e r e s t s are to some extent modified and p r i o r i z e d according to the i n t e r e s t s of other i n d i v i d u a l s i n the - 169 -group ( H i l l , 1974:96-97). And, according to p l u r a l i s t theory, the competition among various groups ensures that a l l i n t e r e s t s w i l l be taken into account (Bureau of Municipal Research, 1975:9). However, there are recognized problems i n r e l y i n g on groups as a channel for public* inputs. One i s s i m i l a r to that inherent i n elected repre-sentatives, that group leaders who represent the group do not always i n fact represent the rank and f i l e membership (Bureau of Municipal Research, 1975:9; and Hunnius, 1974:192). Another i s that groups, even i f i n t e r n a l l y representative, do not nece s s a r i l y represent the community (Hamilton, 1973:252; Hunnius, 1974:192; and Margolis, 1979:116). They are issue - oriented. A t h i r d i s that the public may be suspicious that the planning agency i s d e l i b e r a t e l y attempting to organize and use groups (Burke, 1979:82). F i n a l l y , reliance on groups may give them status so that they become powerful enough to "exact the price of disproportionate influence" (Downs, 1957:95). Despite these problems, i n t e r e s t groups do provide a useful i n t e r e s t a r t i c u l a t i o n function, so long as the planning agency recognizes t h e i r dangers and d e f i c i e n c i e s . Hayward r e f e r s to the development of a "network of communication" through the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and deliberate promotion of group formation, group awareness, and group expression, and suggests the need for some more-or-less permanent structures of representation and consultation as well as ad hoc bodies for s p e c i f i c issues or areas (Hayward, 1974:20). von Hentig suggests that an organization such as a planning agency should provide oppor-t u n i t i e s for the public to b u i l d up i t s own groups, but that "the way i n which a group co-operates to create i t s forms of p a r t i c i p a t o r y planning and de c i s i o n -making i s more important than the r u l e s , procedures, and i n s t i t u t i o n s they come up with" (von Hentig, 1974:290). - 170 -Respecting the potential unrepresentativeness of neighbourhood residential groups, It is better to let the various neighborhoods work out this problem of legitimate representation themselves than to have some outside force intervene prematurely and impose its own conception of legitimacy on them. We cannot have i t both ways: true representation on one hand and immediate re-solution of problems on the other. The various contentious groups should compete with each other for the loyalty of the local residents. The neighborhood will, in this manner, develop its own relevant political style. Thus, when the winner does proceed to speak for the neighborhood, there will be greater certainty that the group can deliver its constituency (Hamilton, 1973:253-254). Somewhat in the same connection, one writer has warned against the institutionalization of a complex participatory system as against attempting to utilize many self-developed groups. Institutionalization results in rigidities, a decline in representative character, and the potential to "exact the price of disproportionate influence". This writer notes that The feeling is that the differences in...the many groups reflect the different styles and histories of the areas in which they function - and that this is good. Above a l l , as they are not necessarily representative of a l l the citizens or interests in the community, to institutionalize them would really amount to institutionalizing a lobby (Bureau of Municipal Research, 1975:38). Evidence suggests that groups should be approached with caution. The methods of participation which rely on groups, however constituted, need to be balanced by methods which seek to gather inputs from the relevant public comprised of individuals. In a very major way, the Edmonton process attempts to deal with the question of how to eli c i t truly representative participation from the public. It recognizes that likely only a small proportion of the public will participate directly with a planning agency, and that to have more than a small proportion - 171 -p a r t i c i p a t e i s p h y s i c a l l y not f e a s i b l e from the planning agency's viewpoint. The method of overcoming t h i s l i e s i n the creation of a set of area-based committees which provide the primary focus for d i r e c t p a r t i c i p a t i o n a c t i v i t i e s . These committees are to be comprised of the representatives of c e r t a i n other groups together with representatives of the p u b l i c - a t - l a r g e . The groups e n t i t l e d to be represented on the committees w i l l be those which are not s p e c i f i c i n t e r e s t groups, but which are characterized by being more or le s s representative of the "grass-roots" p u b l i c - a t - l a r g e . This structure therefore attempts to both make use of the good features of groups while at the same time s t r i v i n g to ensure some reasonable representation of the public and i t s o v e r a l l concerns. In addition to the foregoing, the Edmonton process also provides e x p l i c i t l y f o r two other approaches. One i s that agency s t a f f are generally directed to not l i m i t t h e i r d i r e c t involvement with the formal representative committees. They are to search out and e s t a b l i s h contact with the other relevant groups within the community, i n order to also i n t e r a c t with them more d i r e c t l y . This w i l l ensure that community concerns are not being f i l t e r e d or reinterpreted by committee members (however these come to be members). The second a d d i t i o n a l approach i s that planning s t a f f are also directed to s p e c i f i c a l l y search out and e s t a b l i s h contact with i n t e r e s t groups within the community which are excluded from representation on the formal committee because they are more narrowly issue-oriented than community-representative. The combination of these approaches can be summarized as: 1. including a primary reference group which i s to be as t r u l y repre-sentative as possible of the community; - 172 -2. in v o l v i n g secondary community-wide reference groups to e l i c i t more detail e d concerns and p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and to confirm the communication from the primary reference group; and 3. in v o l v i n g s p e c i f i c a l l y but on a separate basis the i n t e r e s t groups within the community which have t h e i r own legitimate but narrower concerns. In addition to the foregoing, the formal area committees are to be encouraged to provide means such as sub-committees whereby p a r t i c u l a r groups and i n d i v i d u a l s can provide t h e i r input to the primary committee. Thus the Edmonton process contains some elements of i n s t i t u -t i o n a l i z a t i o n , i n order to provide structure, and e s t a b l i s h the separateness and community-base of the p r i n c i p a l contact point within the community. But the p o t e n t i a l r i g i d i t i e s and power of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d structures are to be coun-teracted by the involvement, a l b e i t on a d i f f e r e n t status, with a l l other groups within the community, whether or not they are i n t e r e s t groups. 6. The Communication Techniques of Public P a r t i c i p a t i o n Public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s usually hampered by inadequate communication methods or mechanisms as much as i t i s by any other d e f i c i e n c i e s . Mechanisms used must f a c i l i t a t e the flow of useful information between the planning agency and the public however i t i s constituted or defined. But an equally important consideration i n the communicative process we have described i s the f a c i l i t a t i o n of the flow sharing of information between i n d i v i d u a l s and groups within the p u b l i c . I t i s only when t h i s occurs that the public i s able to input demands and support into the planning process i n a form which r e f l e c t the - 173 -p u b l i c ' s shared perceptions of needs and p r i o r i t i e s (Laudon, 1977:31 )• I t i s only when t h i s occurs that the public i s able to respond i n a reasoned way to the outputs and outcomes of the planning process. Moreover, our whole emphasis i n the planning process i s on a res o l u t i o n of issues within the context of the values and norms of the pu b l i c . A primary emphasis on linkages only between the planning agency on the one hand, and i n d i v i d u a l s or groups i n the public on the other, w i l l mean that the agency i m p l i c i t l y has the function of deriving a consensus, of working out the c o n f l i c t s within the public, and of determining the issues to be addressed. But the fundamental issue, to paraphrase Laudon, i s how the public as a whole can provide i t s inputs along l i n e s that r e f l e c t t h e i r shared values and preferences (Laudon, 1977:25). Most of modern information technology, he says, serves i n s t i t u t i o n s as means of co n t r o l , not as means of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . What should be emphasized " i s the capacity f o r hor i z o n t a l communications which cut across the tendency f o r information flows to move v e r t i c a l l y i n the service of a c e n t r a l i z i n g planning process" (Hayward, 1974:20). Mechanisms and techniques of p a r t i c i p a t i o n which f a c i l i t a t e t h i s as well as inputs to and outputs from the planning agency (the so-called " v e r t i c a l " flows) are those which w i l l draw out the most usable feedback response f o r i t . However, having said that, techniques for v e r t i c a l flows cannot be ignored, f o r without them the planning agency i s not i t s e l f engaged i n the public p a r t i -c i p a t i o n . In f a c t , a review of the l i t e r a t u r e suggests that most of the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n techniques currently i n use are aimed at information flows between the agency and the public (Grigsby, Marcuse, Haile, and others, 1974:10; Sewell and Coppock, 1977:3; and Hampton, 1977:35, for example). The most useful - 174 -techniques w i l l obviously be those which can f a c i l i t a t e , both p a r t i c i p a t i o n within the public and the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the public with the planning agency at the same time. Sewell and Coppock, i n t h e i r discussion of techniques, note that p a r t i c i p a t o r y techniques such as public meetings, workshops and seminars, and task forces have been successful i n e s t a b l i s h i n g and maintaining the c r e d i b i l i t y of and confidence i n p a r t i c i p a t o r y processes (Sewell and Coppock, 1977:5). While they do not attempt to explain why, a comparison of these techniques with others suggests that these are p r e c i s e l y the type which f a c i l i t a t e communication flows i n many d i r e c t i o n s rather than only v e r t i c a l l y or only h o r i z o n t a l l y . The Edmonton process does not e x p l i c i t l y address the importance of using appropriate communication techniques for the reasons discussed above. I t does, however, i d e n t i f y t h i s need to encourage open i n t e r a c t i o n between d i f f e r e n t i n t e r e s t s within the community, i n order to more comprehensively and equitably i d e n t i f y issues and needs. On a more general l e v e l , the process discusses many s i t u a t i o n s where the use of "public workshop" communications and consensus-building i s appropriate. This type of communication provides broad i n t e r a c t i o n within the public, and between the public and the planning agency. The process also acknowledges the need to match p a r t i c i p a t i o n techniques with the varying i n t e r e s t s , experiences, and a b i l i t i e s within the p u b l i c . 7. The Decentralization Issue A review of the operational implications of the public planning agency would not be complete without including the implications respecting - 175 -d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n . According to Frederickson, "administrative d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n , c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and neighborhood co n t r o l are c l o s e l y coupled i n r e a l i t y and part of the same t h e o r e t i c a l family. But they are conceptually d i s t i n c t " (Frederickson, 1973:263). There are two ways of understanding what i s meant by d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n , as i s noted by Schmandt. The one i s the t r a d i t i o n a l usage, which r e f e r s to both the t e r r i t o r i a l d i s t r i b u t i o n of authority among various l e v e l s of government, and to "the v e r t i c a l a l l o c a t i o n of power within each of these l e v e l s " (Schmandt, 1973:18). The other meaning i s "the devolution of public power to l o c a l groups and organizations outside the normally constituted government str u c t u r e " (Schmandt, 1973:18). The l a t t e r meaning, says Schmandt, comes out of the context of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n ideas; i n t h i s he supports Frederickson's linkage of p a r t i c i p a t i o n and "devolved" c o n t r o l or power. For our purposes, because of the assumption that the d e c i s i o n -making authority remains with elected p o l i t i c a l representatives and i s not given over to neighbourhoods or other urban sub-units, we are not concerned with the issue of devolved or "neighbourhood c o n t r o l " . However, we are dealing i n public p a r t i c i p a t i o n with the concept of public influence on decision-making within the p o l i t i c a l system, and Frederickson's linkage of three concepts applies equally well i f that concept i s substituted for the concept of " c o n t r o l " . In f a c t , the linkage i s perhaps even more apt, given Frederickson's use of the term "administrative d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n " , because the concept of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n used i n connection with the hypothesis i s e s s e n t i a l l y one of how public p a r t i c i p a t i o n can work within administrative processes ( i . e . the "organizational approach" of the public planning agency). Even Davis, who argues against public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , agrees that public p a r t i c i p a t i o n and d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n go together (Davis, 1973:64). - 176 -Frederickson goes even further with respect to the linkage, s t a t i n g that When any one of administrative d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n , c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n , or neighborhood co n t r o l i s put forward as a p o t e n t i a l reform without the other two, l i t t l e reform w i l l ensue and the r e s u l t w i l l l i k e l y be economically and p o l i t i c a l l y counter productive (Frederickson, 1973:263). The question, i n terms of the hypothesis, i s whether or not the same statement would apply i f we substitute the concept of public influence over d e c i s i o n -making f or c o n t r o l . There are two contending viewpoints respecting d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n . The one i s exemplified by Davis, that d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n produces unpredict-a b i l i t y and inequity, may be accompanied by discri m i n a t i o n , and may verge into d i s i n t e g r a t i o n and disorganization (Davis, 1973:64). Langrod suggest that democracy i s e g a l i t a r i a n and u n i t e r i a n , and therefore "moves i n e v i t a b l y and by i t s very essence towards c e n t r a l i s a t i o n " (Langrod, 1976:8). I t follows from t h i s viewpoint that d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n i s undemocratic and non-egalitarian (Langrod, 1976:8). From Frederickson*s statement (which we have modified s l i g h t l y ) that d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n , p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and influence must go together, we can take t h i s l i n e of thinking even further to observe that public p a r t i -c i p a t i o n because i t requires d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n also has non-democratic a t t r i b u t e s . This l i n e of thinking i s fraught with p i t f a l l s , and we can con-veniently turn from i t because we s t i l l r e t a i n the assumption respecting the la r g e l y democratic features of an over-riding representative democratic p o l i t i c a l system. The other contending viewpoint respecting d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n i s more f r u i t f u l . I t i s e s s e n t i a l l y based i n the notion that the more accessible the - 177 -p o l i t i c a l system, the more responsive i t w i l l be, and the smaller the unit which i s the p o l i t i c a l system, the more accessible i t w i l l be (Higgins, 1977:167; and Dahl, 1967:957-960). The r e l a t e d idea i s that the public perceives that i t has a better chance to influence government decisions i n a l o c a l p o l i t i c a l system than those i n a more distant p o l i t i c a l system ( i . e . the public f e e l s more e f f i c a c i o u s ) ; the public also finds l o c a l l y - o r i e n t e d government business more comprehensible (Margolis, 1979:171). None of t h i s speaks d i r e c t l y to the hypothesis, which deals with public p a r t i c i p a t i o n within an established p o l i t i c a l system rather than devolution to smaller p o l i t i c a l systems. However, the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n referred to i n the hypothesis represents a p o l i t i c a l sub-system within the established system, and s i m i l a r reasoning can be applied to the sub-system. This suggests that public p a r t i c i p a t i o n , as a sub-system, w i l l function most e f f e c t i v e l y i f i t deals with more l o c a l l y - o r i e n t e d issues i n a " l o c a l " l o c a t i o n . It follows that d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of the planning agency, accompanied by a focus on more l o c a l issues, w i l l encourage greater public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Although de c e n t r a l i z a t i o n does not nec e s s a r i l y or automatically increase p a r t i c i p a t i o n , i t enhances the opportunities to influence through p a r t i c i p a t i o n (Medeiros and Schmitt, 1977:151). We are l e f t with the paradox, however, that "the smaller the u n i t , the greater the opportunity for c i t i z e n s to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the decisions of t h e i r government, yet the l e s s of the environment they can c o n t r o l " (Dahl, 1973:960). The public may want more control or policy-making respecting a larger and more i n c l u s i v e unit than the one i n which they p a r t i c i p a t e , but t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n must be reduced i n such a larger u n i t . In answer to that we - 178 -return again to our assumption that the existing larger unit which consists of the representative political system remains, and is subject to the demand and support inputs from the public enhanced by public participation. The Edmonton process addresses the matter of decentralization in a straight-forward manner. The staff assigned to the formal public participation process is to be decentralized into site offices located within the districts which are their concern. There they will work within the various public parti-cipation processes, including a direct interface with the community-based committees of the respective districts. The concerns to be addressed will be primarily district concerns, whether they are District Planning or other planning issues. But through the expected interface with elected politicians and through the decentralized planning staff's interface with its own agency, the district will have the opportunity to bring forward issues and concerns which are larger than district-wide. The question that remains with respect to decentralization of staff and the public participation process in Edmonton is whether or not the decen-tralization into six districts is sufficient. In a city of 500,000 people, that decentralization s t i l l results in over 80,000 people per district. It remains to be seen i f a public comprised of 80,000 people can perceive its district's issues, concerns, and participation opportunities, to be local enough that the desired public participation will occur. - 179 -CHAPTER VI: SUMMARY Having developed the hypothesis, i t now remains to summarize the case presented for i t . The hypothesis has not been proved conclusively. What has been done i s to demonstrate that, on the basis of an i n t e g r a t i o n of various theories and concepts as they r e l a t e to the public planning agency, a case can be made for the agency's engaging i n public p a r t i c i p a t i o n for i t s own organi-z a t i o n a l reasons. Chapter V has presented the c e n t r a l arguments i n support of the hypothesis, that organization theory as represented by the Open Systems view of organizations supports the urban public planning agency's engagement i n a pro-cess of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n planning. This has been done within the l i m i t a t i o n s and assumptions stated i n Chapter I I , and based on the d e s c r i p t i o n of the Open Systems view of organizations and t h e i r external communication i n Chapter I I I . In order to present the arguments i n support of the hypothesis i t was necessary to lay the groundwork of demonstrating that the public planning agency can appropriately be described as an open organization. This was done i n Chapter IV. Proceeding from that base, Chapter IV then evaluated the o v e r a l l external communication needs of the planning agency i n Open System terms. The need having been established, Chapter IV then went on to describe the p a r t i c u l a r organizational context of the public planning agency with reference to the formal p o l i t i c a l structure within which i t functions, and with reference to the bureaucratic and administrative organizational p r i n c i p l e s within which i t functions. The unique pr o f e s s i o n a l basis for planning found i n the planning profession's own body of procedural theory was also reviewed i n Chapter IV. - 180 -From i t was developed an operational model of a planning agency. The develop-ment of such a model from procedural planning theory i s necessary because t h i s theory should shape the agency's operation and pr o f e s s i o n a l approach to public p a r t i c i p a t i o n ; i n e f f e c t i t constitutes a part of the organizational context f or the planning agency. The c r i t i c a l step of showing public p a r t i c i p a t i o n to be external communication able to meet c e r t a i n organizational needs, occurred i n Chapter V. Chapter V showed f i r s t that the urban public planning agency i s a p a r t i c u l a r kind of open organization. I t i s a p o l i t i c a l e n t i t y because of i t s s i t u a t i o n and functions within a p o l i t i c a l system. Because of t h i s , i t s external communication needs are found to be the feedback needs, i n terms of inputs and outputs, of p o l i t i c a l " a u t h o r i t i e s " . Chapter V then analyzed the conventional feedback processes f or p o l i t i c a l a u t h o r i t i e s , to determine how well they serve the urban planning agency's external communication needs. Two propositions were advanced from t h i s a n alysis, to the e f f e c t that the conventional feedback processes are i n s u f f i c i e n t to the public planning agency's needs, and cannot be expected to be s u f f i c i e n t . This i s because of observable and inherent d e f i c i e n c i e s i n them, r e l a t i v e to the unique input and output needs of a public planning agency. External communication i n the form of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n can provide another feedback process which a s s i s t s i n meeting the planning agency's external communication needs. However, because of the assumptions respecting the p o l i t i c a l system, which themselves shape the organizational context, the public p a r t i c i p a t i o n process of external communication cannot replace the conventional feedback processes. - 181 -The support for the hypothesis as demonstrated i n Chapter V i s derived l a r g e l y from a distinguishable portion of the planning agency's organizational context. This i s the " p o l i t i c a l e n t i t y " portion. Therefore i t was subsequently necessary i n Chapter V to examine public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n r e l a t i o n to the other s i g n i f i c a n t portions of the agency's organizational context. This was done s p e c i f i c a l l y with reference to the agency's pr o f e s s i o n a l base and t r a d i t i o n a l organizational processes, by examining the c o m p a t i b i l i t y of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n with them. Public p a r t i c i p a t i o n was found to be compatible with the professional base. I t was suggested that the apparent i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y with t r a d i t i o n a l processes can be resolved by a recognition of these t r a d i t i o n a l processes as being inappropriate models to guide the agency i n a l l i t s respects. F i n a l l y , Chapter V considered selected operational implications, for the public planning agency, of accepting the hypothesis. There are a number of operational steps or concerns to which the agency must address i t s e l f in-engaging i n a process of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . In one example of such a process, i n the C i t y of Edmonton, Alberta, there i s evidence that these operational implications have been e x p l i c i t l y considered as being necessary. Whether or not such operational steps are successful i n bringing about the desired public p a r t i c i p a t i o n remains to be seen. More fundamentally, whether or not a process of p u b l i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i l l i n p r a c t i c e meet organizational needs remains to be tested. Such t e s t i n g i s not within the scope of t h i s study. I t w i l l require a d e t a i l e d analysis of cases where public p a r t i c i p a t i o n has been put into p r a c t i c e . In conclusion, urban public planning agencies should approach the issue of public p a r t i c i p a t i o n from the viewpoint of determining how i t can benefit them - 182 -as organizations. There has been a tendency to conceptualize urban issues such as public p a r t i c i p a t i o n s o l e l y i n p o l i t i c a l rather than also i n administrative or i n s t i t u t i o n a l terms. At the same time, those administrative or i n s t i t u t i o n a l concepts which have been considered have been l a r g e l y directed towards i n t e r n a l organizational matters, not also to external r e l a t i o n s h i p s . The r e s u l t has been that there has not been a p o s i t i v e , organization - directed approached to public p a r t i c i p a t i o n . White says: Those who study administration must s h i f t the focus of t h e i r t h e o r e t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n from the i n t e r n a l dynamics of organizations. Instead, they must center t h e i r attention on the i n t e r a c t i o n s between public organizations and t h e i r environments and view i n t e r n a l dynamics as an aspect of t h i s process (White, 1973:118). - 183 -REFERENCES Aiken, Michael, and Samuel B. Bacharach 1978 "The Urban System, P o l i t i c s , and Bureaucratic Structure: A Comparative Analysis of 44 Local Governments i n Belgium", i n Lucien Karpik (Ed.), Organization and Environment: Theory, Issues and  Reality; London: Sage Publications, Ltd. A l d r i c h , Howard E. 1979 Organizations and Environments; Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 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Parsons); New York: Oxford University Press - 194 -White, Orion, J r . 1973 "The Problem of Urban Administration and Environmental Turbulence", i n George Frederickson (Ed.), Neighborhood Control i n the 1970's:  P o l i t i c s , Administration and C i t i z e n P a r t i c i p a t i o n ; New York: Chandler Publishing Company Wigand, Rolf T. 1979 "A Model of Interorganizational Communication Among Complex Organizations", i n Klaus Krippendorf (Ed.), Communication and  Control i n Society; New York: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers Yates, Douglas 1976 " P o l i t i c a l Innovation and I n s t i t u t i o n B u i l d i n g : The Experience of Decentralization Experiments", i n W i l l i s D. Hawley, Michael Lipsky, Stanley B. Greenberg, and others, Theoretical Perspectives on Urban  P o l i t i c s ; Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc. - 195 -APPENDIX THE CITY OF EDMONTON DISTRICT PLANNING AND CITIZEN PARTICIPATION PROCESS A. Introduction The City of Edmonton, Alberta, proposes to establish a public parti-cipation process "to encourage the continuous involvement of citizens and business interests in land use planning" (City of Edmonton, 1980: Objective 4.A). The term "citizen participation" is used, referring to the involvement of citizens-at-large, community league repre-sentatives, business association representatives, special interest groups or members of the public in any task intended to influence or bring about a decision (City of Edmonton, 1981:3). It therefore means essentially the same as "public participation" in the sense that the latter term is used in the development of the hypothesis. This process has been approved through the adoption of the City's General Municipal Plan (City of Edmonton, 1980), adopted as formal City policy by a City bylaw on July 4, 1980 (hereafter referred to as the Plan). The public participation process (referred to in the General Municipal Plan as "citizen participation") is Component 4 of 18 components of the Plan. A brief description of the salient features of the proposed public participation process is provided here as an example of an attempt to establish such a process in a planning function within an urban political system, basically with reference to land use planning. The public participation process is referred to as "proposed" because in the latter part of 1981 i t has yet to be implemented despite its official approval. (All further citations herein are from City of Edmonton, 1980, or City of Edmonton, 1981.) i - 196 -There i s no e x p l i c i t evidence to suggest that the proposed c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n process represents an "organizational approach" as contained i n the hypothesis. In f a c t , the statement i s made i n the Plan that As a process of implementing the General Municipal Plan strategy, D i s t r i c t Planning cannot be accomplished by City Council and the C i v i c Administration alone. I t can be accomplished only with the consent and p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the people of Edmonton. To achieve the involvement of the public i n carrying out the General Municipal Plan, the Plan provides for a formal system of c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n on the D i s t r i c t basis (1980: Component 4). This implies that the process i s intended only f o r the purposes of a s p e c i f i c planning exercise, the implementation of the plan. However, the Plan does go on to say that the proposal i s made i n response to the concerns expressed during the Mayor's Neigh-bourhood Planning Conference, the C i t i z e n s ' Concerns Survey, and General Municipal Plan workshops regarding the need for an on-going, rather than an ad hoc, p a r t i c i p a t i o n process. Involvement i n the preparation of D i s t r i c t Plans provides an opportune set of terms of reference f o r i n i t i a t i n g such a structure, which could gradually evolve i n t o r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s for advising on development and rezoning applications on an ongoing basis (1980: Component 4). The proposal therefore i s intended for a broader purpose than implementation of the Plan. However, the s p e c i f i c a c t i v i t i e s are s t i l l l i m i t e d , and the approach s t i l l makes no reference to an organizational approach. Despite t h i s , the proposal can be u s e f u l l y considered as an i l l u s t r a t i o n of an attempt by a public planning agency to i n i t i a t e a public p a r t i c i p a t i o n process within, and sanctioned by, an urban p o l i t i c a l system. - 197 -B. Basic C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s In order to understand the proposed p a r t i c i p a t i o n process and to r e l a t e i t to the hypothesis, i t i s necessary to consider i t together with another component of the Plan. This i s the component represented by the objective "to undertake D i s t r i c t Planning as a means of providing d e t a i l e d planning services over broad areas of the c i t y " (1980: Objective 3.A.) I t i s p a r t l y i n connection with t h i s D i s t r i c t Planning process that c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s to operate when established. As noted, the Plan states: As a process of implementing the General Municipal Plan strategy, D i s t r i c t Planning cannot be accomplished by City Council and the C i v i c Administration alone. I t can be accomplished only with the consent and p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the people of Edmonton. To achieve the involvement of the public i n carrying out the General Municipal Plan, the Plan provides for a formal system of c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n on the D i s t r i c t basis (1980: Component 4). Thus we have two basic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n process: that i t i s to occur i n connection with a s p e c i f i c planning process, and that i t i s to be a formal system of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Let us examine the intended content of t h i s D i s t r i c t Planning process. For the purposes of t h i s process, the City i s divided into s i x d i s t r i c t s corresponding to the City's s i x aldermanic wards, and each of these i s further divided into two s u b - d i s t r i c t (1980: P o l i c y 3.A.3). A D i s t r i c t Plan i s to be -prepared f o r each d i s t r i c t , "to provide the l i n k between growth projected by the General Municipal Plan and the regulation of development on s p e c i f i c s i t e s through the Land Use Bylaw" (1980: P o l i c y 3.A.2). (The Land Use Bylaw i s b a s i c a l l y the same as a zoning bylaw; i t covers the whole of the City.) A reading of Pol i c y 3-A.5 suggests that a D i s t r i c t Plan w i l l have two elements. - 198 -F i r s t l y , i t w i l l i n some respects have some of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a master plan, p r e s c r i b i n g areas f o r various land uses, i d e n t i f y i n g s p e c i f i c i n f r a s t r u c t u r e requirements, providing f o r transportation f a c i l i t i e s , and the l i k e . Secondly, however i t w i l l i n some respects also be a procedural plan i n that i t w i l l determine the processes, c r i t e r i a , or guidelines by which planning issues are resolved as they occur. The l a t t e r w i l l not necessarily be r e s t r i c t e d to land use or transportation issues, but may also include, f o r example, s o c i a l impacts, and "any a d d i t i o n a l factors of concern to l o c a l residents or City Council" (1980: P o l i c y 3.A.5(j)). Thus, while the D i s t r i c t Plan may appear to be an "old-fashioned" plan, i t i s given the p o t e n t i a l of having a much broader content and i t s e l f s e t t i n g i n motion an ongoing planning process. But i n addition to t h i s p o t e n t i a l l y broad r o l e f o r c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n by v i r t u e of the broad p o t e n t i a l of the D i s t r i c t Planning process, the c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n process also has other areas of involvement. This includes the "monitoring of plans and the review of development a p p l i c a t i o n s " (1980: P o l i c y 4.A.1), where "plans" appears to have an unlimited d e f i n i t i o n and "development a p p l i c a t i o n s " means any proposed s p e c i f i c p h y s i c a l development. This same p o l i c y also r e f e r s to the p a r t i c i p a t i o n process as "providing input to the Planning Department on land use planning issues", without l i m i t i n g what that input i s . The second basic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n process i s that i t i s to be a formal system. By t h i s i s not meant that the process w i l l be s t i f f or r i t u a l i s t i c , but that i t w i l l be "formalized" and function according to c l e a r l y defined structures and procedures. In t h i s regard the Plan states: - 199 -The City will create a structure to facilitate citizen participation...through the establishment of formal District Planning Committees composed of representatives elected from community leagues, area councils, and citizens at large (1980: Policy 4.A.1). There will be a system of Planning Committees established, and: District Planning Committees will be legally constituted under the Societies Act of Alberta (1980: Policy 4.A.2). These Committees will be matched, in terms of geographic area of responsibility or "jurisdiction", with the districts of the District Planning process. Moreover, in order to enable these Committees to function with some independence, The City will establish funding for citizen participation to assist District Planning Committees in meeting anticipated operational expenses (1980: Policy 4.A.3). A third basic characteristic of the proposed citizen participation process is established by the fact that the planning agency (the City Planning Department) is to become physically decentralized in part. In accordance with the plan, "the City will establish one site office in each district" (1980: Policy 3.A.4). Further elaboration on this is provided in the District Planning  Handbook (City of Edmonton, 1981:67-78). The latter contains a description of the personnel resources of the Department who will work in the District Planning and citizen participation processes from decentralized site office locations. The number and professional quality of personnel decentralized in this manner, together with their functional responsibilites at the decentralized locations (1981:74) indicates that a large amount of "significant" planning will occur in various places throughout the City. - 200 -The three foregoing basic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the proposed c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n process describe the following i n a general sense:. 1) the c i t i z e n component ( i . e . the formalized channel for the c i t i z e n s to p a r t i c i p a t e ) ; 2) the planning agency component ( i . e . the channel for the planning agency to p a r t i c i p a t e ) ; and 3) the content ( i . e . the subjects or matters concerning which p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i l l occur). The Plan does not propose that t h i s process take the place of any e x i s t i n g p a r t i c i p a t o r y processes, nor that the e x i s t i n g conventional e l e c t o r a l - p o l i t i c a l process would be modified. E x i s t i n g i n t e r a c t i o n processes, whether informal or formalized, are assumed to continue. - 201 -C. The Overall Process The proposal may also be examined in terms of some of the details of the overall process whereby the citizen and planning agency components will interact with respect to the content of the participation. This process has been spelled out to some extent in the District Planning Handbook (City of Edmonton, 1981). The details of the process would develop from its imple-mentation and would likely evolve continuously throughout its operation over time. This may well result not only in variations in detail but also in changes to the basic framework which has been given formal approval. There are three important aspects to the process viewed from a broad perspective. One is the composition and functions of the District Planning Committees, since in the formalized structure they are intended to be a major channel for the citizen component of participation; the second is the details of processes within the community; the third is the manner whereby City staff (in our case the Planning Department) are to interact with the community. With respect to the first of these, the citizen component has its formal basis in six legally constituted District Planning Committees. Each relates to a geographical district of the City, each of which is in turn co-terminus with an aldermanic ward. Here i t is of interest to note that the District Planning Handbook replaces the term "District Planning Committee" with the term "Citizen Community Council". The reason for this lies in an exercise that the City Council engaged in at the same time the Plan was being developed and approved (1981:26). This was the review of the report of a "Task Force on City Government" which was charged with the task of reviewing a wide range of the - 202 -City's governmental and representative processes. Out of this exercise came City Council's commitment to improved processes of citizen participation generally, in a l l aspects of governmental decision-making. This resulted in the development of the concept of six Citizen Community Councils, each related to one of the six aldermanic wards. These Citizen Community Councils (CCCs) would in principle perform the same function relative to a l l City government matters as originally intended for the District Planning Committees relative to planning (1981:27). There would be no separate District Planning Committees, and the CCCs woftld incorporate the intended functions of the District Planning Committees. While the CCC concept does not alter the specifics of the proposed citizen participation process vis-a-vis planning, the broadening of the subject-related role of the process is significant for the planning function. The CCCs will clearly be a means whereby, within the context of the participation process, other citizen concerns can be integrated with land-use planning issues. Thus, even though City departments may s t i l l have their separate and distinct functions, the CCCs have the potential to deal with a l l public concerns in relation to these functions in a co-ordinated and integrated manner. In that respect the CCCs take on a subject-related issue-focus similar to that of the City Council. The CCCs as a vehicle for citizen participation in planning are essentially representative bodies. It is therefore necessary to examine how representative they are, in terms of the districts within which they function. They are to be comprised both of representatives of other groups or organizations within the district, where such bodies have been explicitly and formally recognized by City Council as being appropriate to involve in the - 203 -process, and of representatives of the public-at-large selected through a general public meeting within the district (1981: Appendix 1;6-7). But i t is also recognized that other organizations within the district, notwithstanding their not being recognized by means of status on the CCCs, should s t i l l be involved. In the absence of their formal recognition and representation, there should be "regular meetings between the Citizen Community Councils and each organization and/or through the membership of other organizations on subcommittees of the Citizen Community Councils" (1981:57). The advisability of involving as widespread a citizen base as possible in planning activities is further recognized in the statements that In addition to the Citizen Community Councils, other groups will be encouraged to provide ongoing input during the preparation of a plan. If the principles for the participation component of district planning are to be realized, a l l groups must be offered the opportunity continually to participate in the process on an individual group basis, although a l l groups will be encouraged to provide their input to and through the Citizen Community Councils as well as directly to the planning teams (1981:58) (The complete identification and involvement of the various groups within the community, beyond the CCCs, is a task which relates to the manner whereby City staff interact with the community, and will be discussed more fully in that context). The CCCs are not intended solely as primary citizen groups with which City staff interact. They are also to perform an information dissemination and communication function within the community. In this respect, the CCCs will be responsible for "informing people as to how their input has been considered by the Citizen Community Councils" and for "informing district citizens and organizations of the Citizen Community Council's views, actions, or decisions on policy matters on a frequent basis (once every two months)" (1981:56). - 204 -With respect to the second aspect of the total process, the detail of i t within the community, this is s t i l l to be worked out. However, some of the stated "Principles for Participation by Citizen and Other Organizations" provide an indication of what the detail will be aimed at (1981:38-43): 1) involvement of the public through individual citizens and groups in the design and implementation of the citizen participation process; 2) definition of the roles and responsibilities of a l l participants in the process; 3) designing the process so that i t can accommodate the different levels of interest, resources, capabilities, or interests of citizens and groups; 4) involvement of - CCCs and other interest groups, or individuals, in evaluating and modifying the process; 5) contribution to the identification of planning issues and opportunities, the generation of alternative concepts and criteria for evaluating these alternatives, and the selection of a preferred alternative; 6) assistance in efforts to resolve conflicts within the community regarding goals, objectives, and/or planning decisions; 7) providing information to citizens and groups on a regular basis regarding progress on plans; and 8) encouraging broader roles and responsibilities to be assumed by the CCCs over time. An example of the type of detailed activity is the activity to be undertaken in relation to the first of these principles stated above. The means - 205 -by which the citizen participation process comes into being is in itself a participative process. It is to be based on the need to achieve an open process through the provision of information, actively soliciting involvement of interest groups, and being responsive to community needs and proposals for change (1981:52) A series of steps is proposed (1981:52-55): 1) identification, and establishment of communication with, likely groups, organizations, and interests within the district; 2) a widespread distribution of information respecting the proposed citizen participation and District Planning process within each district, to groups, interests, and organizations; 3) the conducting of a series of public workshops within districts, for the purposes of presenting information respecting the processes and structures proposed, identification of other key interest groups, and the like; 4) preliminary identification, through a participatory process, of the details of an ongoing participatory process which is appropriate for the district; 5) preparation of the terms of reference for the process within each district; 6) the conducting of a second series of public workshops within each district, where the terras of reference will be presented and changed as desired and feasible; and 7) the submission of the terms of reference to the City Council for approval and formal establishment of the individual district citizen participation and District Planning processes. - 206 -With respect to the t h i r d aspect of the t o t a l process, the manner i n which City s t a f f i n t e r a c t with the community, a number of points have been noted already. To recap: f i r s t l y , since the p r i n c i p a l s p e c i f i c function of the c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n process and the CCCs i s to be d i s t r i c t planning and r e l a t e d land-use concerns (1981:27), the Planning Department's involvement i s su b s t a n t i a l ; secondly, i n t e r a c t i o n i s to be f a c i l i t a t e d through the p h y s i c a l f u l l - t i m e d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of a s i g n i f i c a n t number of planning s t a f f ; and t h i r d l y , the s t a f f decentralized to f a c i l i t a t e i n t e r a c t i o n i s to be highly q u a l i f i e d and p r o f e s s i o n a l . In t h i s l a t t e r respect, the desired a t t r i b u t e s of the s t a f f are stated (1981:68); they involve not only t e c h n i c a l planning com-petence and managerial s k i l l s , but also strong interpersonal, p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and c o n f l i c t r e s o l u t i o n s k i l l s . Beyond these points, there i s an emphasis on " d i r e c t contact between the planners and the C i t i z e n Community Councils", with no intermediary used or required (1981:58). There i s also a c l e a r r e a l i z a t i o n that the i n t e r a c t i o n i n the process must not be l i m i t e d to the CCC structure. For example, the s t a t e -ment i s made that although community leagues are assured of representation on the CCCs, i n d i v i d u a l community leagues w i l l a lso be approached d i r e c t l y to i d e n t i f y and discuss issues or p o l i c i e s . As well, the geographic area covered by groups of three to four community leagues w i l l be used as a basis for organizing and conducting workshops, enhancing the a b i l i t y of community leagues to be involved i n the planning process (1981:59). Moreover, i t i s recognized that groups or i n t e r e s t s not involved through the CCC structure cannot be overlooked by planning s t a f f : The composition of membership on the C i t i z e n Community Councils s p e c i f i c a l l y excludes l i m i t e d partisan i n t e r e s t groups such as business associations, i n s t i t u t i o n a l groups or f r a t e r n a l groups. Therefore, the plan teams must give p a r t i c u l a r attention to i d e n t i f y and a t t r a c t the involvement of representatives from these types of organizations (1981:59). - 207 -D. The Process within the P o l i t i c a l System There i s nothing within the proposed formalized c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n process i n the City of Edmonton to suggest that the process w i l l replace the decision-making authority of the City Council. The elected p o l i t i c i a n s w i l l r e t a i n t h e i r authority to govern, and to make the decisions which are necessary whether or not they have come up through the p a r t i c i p a t i o n process. In f a c t , the process envisaged w i l l e x i s t because of City Council's decision i n approving concepts and p o l i c i e s contained within the General Municipal Plan; those concepts and p o l i c i e s can be revoked or amended by City Council at any time. Moreover, a l l the usual and more t r a d i t i o n a l processes by which the public p a r t i c i p a t e s i n or influences decision-making w i l l continue to e x i s t . I f the p u b l i c i s d i s s a t i s f i e d , f o r any reason, with the e f f e c t s of the formalized p a r t i c i p a t i o n process, the opportunity w i l l be there for the public to make i t s representations to p o l i t i c i a n s , by legitimate means outside the formalized pro-cess, to change or do away with that process. In recognition of t h i s , and to ensure that the p o l i t i c a l decision-makers r e t a i n a commitment to' the process by v i r t u e of t h e i r knowledge of i t and sense of being a part of i t , the proposal intends that the formalized process w i l l not e x i s t separately from the con-tinui n g formal p o l i t i c a l processes. They must i n t e r f a c e . At the d i s t r i c t l e v e l , f o r example, i t i s suggested that "there are a v a r i e t y of ways i n which t h i s i n t e r f a c e can be accomplished ranging from representation of ward aldermen on the C i t i z e n Community Councils to formal p o l i c y conferences" (1981:57). I t i s also proposed that there must be the opportunity for City Council to provide d i r e c t i o n or decisions at key decision points, and to provide i t s own inputs i n the development and evaluation of goals and objectives, a l t e r n a t i v e concept plans, and p o l i c i e s (1981:43). - 208 -Within that context, however, the formalized process c l e a r l y represents the e x p l i c i t establishment of an a d d i t i o n a l communication process within the urban p o l i t i c a l system. I t s benefits are seen as follows (1981:22): 1. education of the public and government; 2. better decision-making; 3. strengthening of the democratic process; 4. encouraging leadership, i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n and community s e l f - h e l p ; and, 5. ensuring implementable actions and p o l i c i e s through securing a broad base of awareness and understanding during the p o l i c y development phase. These benefits w i l l come about p r i n c i p a l l y through the i n t e r a c t i o n of the public and the public planning agency leading to a more e f f e c t i v e functioning of the p o l i t i c a l system. 

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