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La Educación
Número: (117) I
Año: 1994

Objective and Method

The present article is an attempt to investigate the decision-making process which led to initial delay in establishment of the above education project. It investigates one type of negotiations that took place between and among several governmental organizations2 and senior government and private officials in order to have Research Country become eligible for loan effectiveness, and as a result clear the way for implementation of the respective project.

Data for this research were gleaned from two main sources, Government documents and World Bank publications, and were extracted during field work in Research Country in 1991. Official files kept by the Ministry of Education provided the main source of government information on the project. From the World Bank, however, four sources of data were used. The data included the following: the Loan Request (1978); the Loan Agreement (1979a); the Appraisal Report (1979b); and the Implementation Schedule (1979c). All of these data sources were in respect to the project in question.

The data are presented in the form of a scenario in a 21-point, step-by-step record of the major deliberations, activities, decisions, and requests of key governmental organizations, the World Bank, and private institutions in their effort to meet certain deadlines for loan effectiveness. In spite of this effort, loan effectiveness was unduly delayed, and project implementation was severely hindered.

Twelve major players (Table 2) participated in the scenario. Of these, only two, the World Bank and Fiducial Construction Company of the United Kingdom, are external. The other ten participants are internal government organizations in Research Country where the Cabinet is the supreme decision-making institution. Three of the twelve institutions, the World Bank, D.B. Construction, and Fiducial Construction Company, are “private” agencies in the sense that they are not part of the governmental organizational structure functioning under the umbrella of the civil service of Research Country. Finally, the Ministry of Education is the client institution in whose care, according to the Loan Agreement, the major task of project implementation has been entrusted.


As a means of conceptualizing the data, the paper draws upon organizational theory as outlined by commentators in this field of research (Bacharach 1981; Meyer and Scott 1983; Meyer and Rowan 1977; Perrow 1986; and Metz 1978). Principles believed to be relevant to the above problem are outlined, but analysis of the scenario engages only two major concepts: organizational myths and organizational goals. These two concepts provide the basis for coding and analyzing the data presented in the scenario.

The rest of the article is divided into four parts: presentation of certain theoretical principles regarding the behavior of formal organizations; an outline of the data in the form of a scenario of events; analysis and interpretation of the data; and a conclusion.