Toward a revised urban managerialism: local managers and community development block grants

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Geographers have recently noted the need for a theoretically informed institutionalist analysis. In response to this call, this paper begins to resuscitate the urban managerialist theoretical perspective by recasting the concept within a framework which incorporates structure/agency influences. This is accomplished by extending the social constructionist thesis of Mickey Lauria and Lawrence Knopp to the realm of managerial inquiry. With a focus on the Community Development Block Grant Program in 1985, the paper demonstrates that structural properties embedded in institutions are both end products and shapers of everyday managerial practices. The results suggest that managers constantly reproduce/rearrange institutional structure, the result of evolving managerial values meeting structural rules and resources. Far from being fixed or permanent, institutional structure reflects the ongoing interaction of organizational arrangements and individual practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-41
Number of pages21
JournalPolitical Geography Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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