The Social Construction of Rationality: Policy Debates and the Power of Good Reasons

Research output: Book / ReportBookAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

There are many different forms of rationality. In current economic discourse the main focus is on instrumental rationality and optimizing, while organization scholars, behavioural economists and policy scientists focus more on bounded rationality and satisficing. The interplay with value rationality or expressive rationality is mainly discussed in philosophy and sociology, but never in an empirical way. This book shows that not one, but three different forms of rationality (expressive, social and instrumental) determine the final outcomes of strategic decisions executed by major organizations.

Based on an argumentation analysis of six high-profile public debates, this book adds nuance to the concept of bounded rationality. The chapters show how it is socially constructed, and thus dependent on shared beliefs or knowledge, institutional context and personal interests. Three double case studies investigating the three rationalities illustrate how decision makers and stakeholders discuss the appropriateness of these rationalities for making decisions in different practice contexts. The first touches more on personal concerns, like wearing a niqab or looking at obscene art exposed in a public environment; the second investigates debates on improving the rights and position of specific minorities; and the third is based on the agreement on instrumental reasons for two kinds of investments, but the cost arguments are regarded less relevant when social norms or personal interests are violated.
LanguageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Number of pages202
ISBN (Electronic)987-1-138-72437-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-85108-5
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Frontiers of Political Economy
No.228

Fingerprint

social construction
rationality
value rationality
instrumental rationality
Social Norms
argumentation
economist
decision maker
sociology
stakeholder
minority
art
decision making
organization
discourse
costs
economics

Keywords

  • Rationality
  • Rhetoric
  • Argumentation
  • Policy-Making
  • Decision making

Cite this

Bouwmeester, O. (2017). The Social Construction of Rationality: Policy Debates and the Power of Good Reasons. (Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy; No. 228). London: Routledge.
Bouwmeester, Onno. / The Social Construction of Rationality : Policy Debates and the Power of Good Reasons. London : Routledge, 2017. 202 p. (Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy; 228).
@book{2b22bad3eb594330ad7c1a4b298ec083,
title = "The Social Construction of Rationality: Policy Debates and the Power of Good Reasons",
abstract = "There are many different forms of rationality. In current economic discourse the main focus is on instrumental rationality and optimizing, while organization scholars, behavioural economists and policy scientists focus more on bounded rationality and satisficing. The interplay with value rationality or expressive rationality is mainly discussed in philosophy and sociology, but never in an empirical way. This book shows that not one, but three different forms of rationality (expressive, social and instrumental) determine the final outcomes of strategic decisions executed by major organizations.Based on an argumentation analysis of six high-profile public debates, this book adds nuance to the concept of bounded rationality. The chapters show how it is socially constructed, and thus dependent on shared beliefs or knowledge, institutional context and personal interests. Three double case studies investigating the three rationalities illustrate how decision makers and stakeholders discuss the appropriateness of these rationalities for making decisions in different practice contexts. The first touches more on personal concerns, like wearing a niqab or looking at obscene art exposed in a public environment; the second investigates debates on improving the rights and position of specific minorities; and the third is based on the agreement on instrumental reasons for two kinds of investments, but the cost arguments are regarded less relevant when social norms or personal interests are violated.",
keywords = "Rationality, Rhetoric, Argumentation, Policy-Making, Decision making",
author = "Onno Bouwmeester",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
day = "29",
language = "English",
isbn = "978-1-138-85108-5",
series = "Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "228",
address = "United Kingdom",

}

Bouwmeester, O 2017, The Social Construction of Rationality: Policy Debates and the Power of Good Reasons. Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy, no. 228, Routledge, London.

The Social Construction of Rationality : Policy Debates and the Power of Good Reasons. / Bouwmeester, Onno.

London : Routledge, 2017. 202 p. (Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy; No. 228).

Research output: Book / ReportBookAcademicpeer-review

TY - BOOK

T1 - The Social Construction of Rationality

T2 - Policy Debates and the Power of Good Reasons

AU - Bouwmeester, Onno

PY - 2017/3/29

Y1 - 2017/3/29

N2 - There are many different forms of rationality. In current economic discourse the main focus is on instrumental rationality and optimizing, while organization scholars, behavioural economists and policy scientists focus more on bounded rationality and satisficing. The interplay with value rationality or expressive rationality is mainly discussed in philosophy and sociology, but never in an empirical way. This book shows that not one, but three different forms of rationality (expressive, social and instrumental) determine the final outcomes of strategic decisions executed by major organizations.Based on an argumentation analysis of six high-profile public debates, this book adds nuance to the concept of bounded rationality. The chapters show how it is socially constructed, and thus dependent on shared beliefs or knowledge, institutional context and personal interests. Three double case studies investigating the three rationalities illustrate how decision makers and stakeholders discuss the appropriateness of these rationalities for making decisions in different practice contexts. The first touches more on personal concerns, like wearing a niqab or looking at obscene art exposed in a public environment; the second investigates debates on improving the rights and position of specific minorities; and the third is based on the agreement on instrumental reasons for two kinds of investments, but the cost arguments are regarded less relevant when social norms or personal interests are violated.

AB - There are many different forms of rationality. In current economic discourse the main focus is on instrumental rationality and optimizing, while organization scholars, behavioural economists and policy scientists focus more on bounded rationality and satisficing. The interplay with value rationality or expressive rationality is mainly discussed in philosophy and sociology, but never in an empirical way. This book shows that not one, but three different forms of rationality (expressive, social and instrumental) determine the final outcomes of strategic decisions executed by major organizations.Based on an argumentation analysis of six high-profile public debates, this book adds nuance to the concept of bounded rationality. The chapters show how it is socially constructed, and thus dependent on shared beliefs or knowledge, institutional context and personal interests. Three double case studies investigating the three rationalities illustrate how decision makers and stakeholders discuss the appropriateness of these rationalities for making decisions in different practice contexts. The first touches more on personal concerns, like wearing a niqab or looking at obscene art exposed in a public environment; the second investigates debates on improving the rights and position of specific minorities; and the third is based on the agreement on instrumental reasons for two kinds of investments, but the cost arguments are regarded less relevant when social norms or personal interests are violated.

KW - Rationality

KW - Rhetoric

KW - Argumentation

KW - Policy-Making

KW - Decision making

M3 - Book

SN - 978-1-138-85108-5

T3 - Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy

BT - The Social Construction of Rationality

PB - Routledge

CY - London

ER -

Bouwmeester O. The Social Construction of Rationality: Policy Debates and the Power of Good Reasons. London: Routledge, 2017. 202 p. (Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy; 228).