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Institutional Memory as Storytelling: How Networked Government Remembers


Corbett, J and Grube, DC and Lovell, H and Scott, RJ, Institutional Memory as Storytelling: How Networked Government Remembers, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, pp. 78. ISBN 978-1-108-74800-1 (2020) [Authored Research Book]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 the authors

DOI: doi:10.1017/9781108780001


How do bureaucracies remember? The conventional view is that institutional memory is static and singular, the sum of recorded files and learned procedures. There is a growing body of scholarship that suggests contemporary bureaucracies are failing at this core task. This Element argues that this diagnosis misses that memories are essentially dynamic stories. They reside with people and are thus dispersed across the array of actors that make up the differentiated polity. Drawing on four policy examples from four sectors (housing, energy, family violence and justice) in three countries (the UK, Australia and New Zealand), this Element argues that treating the way institutions remember as storytelling is both empirically salient and normatively desirable. It is concluded that the current conceptualisation of institutional memory needs to be recalibrated to fit the types of policy learning practices required by modern collaborative governance.

Item Details

Item Type:Authored Research Book
Keywords:policy change, institutional memory, narrative, networked governance, policy learning, storytelling
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Public policy
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Public sector productivity
UTAS Author:Lovell, H (Professor Heather Lovell)
ID Code:142283
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-01-05
Last Modified:2021-04-07

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