The Culture of Prison Management: Measurement of Risk Control Culture in the English and Japanese Prison Services using the Grid and Group Cultural Theory
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Comparative analysis is crucial to academic studies of public administration because it provides understanding of the nature of different types of public service institution: in particular, it helps to show what they do and don’t have in common, what kinds of institution they are, and what kinds of problems they face. However, in order to effectively conduct comparative research of public service institutions it is important that some thought is given to how they can best be compared. Accordingly, it is argued in this study that the differences between public service institutions can be appropriately analysed by examining their respective risk control cultures. This study makes use of the grid and group cultural theory, as developed by Mary Douglas, Aaron Wildavsky and Christopher Hood, to analyse the risk control cultures of the English and Japanese prison services in regard to two specific types of risk, namely suicide and violence. The results show that particular patterns of organizational behaviour within the English and Japanese prison services can be identified with their respective risk control cultures. More specifically, the English prison service tends to try to control risk by using formal rules and granting strong leadership roles to governors. By contrast, the Japanese prison service tends to use informal rules and group pressures to control risk. Furthermore, the peculiar organizational patterns of risk control within both organizations are often not recognised by their members. As a result, the strengths and weaknesses of organizations can be identified by analysing the patterns of risk control behaviour within them.
PhD in Politics