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Policy as boundary object: a new way to look at educational policy design and implementation


Emad, G and Roth, W-M, Policy as boundary object: a new way to look at educational policy design and implementation, Vocations and Learning, 2 pp. 19-35. ISSN 1874-785X (2009) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1007/s12186-008-9015-0


Policy implementation research in general and educational policy in particular is loosely connected to policy-making processes. There is a gap particularly in the field of vocational education. This often leads to conflicts and contradictions between policy-maker objectives and end-user implementation. To avoid such a disconnect, the relation between the world of end users and the world of decision-makers should be carefully constructed. This might be done through connecting the process of decision-making to implementation and carefully developing methods that encompass the demands of decision-makers and the needs and informational requirements of end users. Our intensive case study research on the process of a vocational education reform in the marine sector confirms that the lack of robust connection and active engagement of implementers as the end-users in the design of the policy created challenges for its implementation. Using a theoretical framework based on the notion of boundary objects we bring an alternative to current practice by creating the potential to illuminate and remove tensions and challenges for policy implementation. From there we infer that adopting this concept for policy design may prevent such conflicts and contradictions and result in successful implementation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Maritime domain . Vocational education . Boundary organization . Educational policy . Boundary objects . Policy design . Policy implementation
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Higher education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Schools and learning environments not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Emad, G (Dr Reza Emad)
ID Code:115425
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Seafaring and Maritime Operations
Deposited On:2017-03-23
Last Modified:2017-04-20

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