Reputation Management through Organizational Policy Capacity: Learning to Communicate with Citizens on UK Health and Safety
Dunlop, Claire A.
Policy and Society
Reason for embargo
In this article, we examine how agencies build organizational political capacities (OPC) for reputation management, where capacity building is treated as a challenge underpinned by the learning relationships that exist between key governance actors. This challenge requires the development of four types of OPC: absorptive capacity (ACAP); administrative capacity (ADCAP); analytical capacity (ANCAP) and communicative capacity (COMCAP). Analytically, we link each of these capacities to one particular type of policy learning – reflexive learning – which characterises politicised situations where an agencies reputation is under threat and citizens are the main governance partners. Empirically, we demonstrate how agencies learn to develop these OPCs with governance partners using the case of the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which increasingly aims to engage citizens in a dialogue to combat the negative images attached to health and safety regulation. We conclude asking what a learning approach tells us about how agencies can develop OPC.