chapter  2
18 Pages

The role of expert knowledge in international organizations

ByChristina Boswell

This chapter emphasizes the particular tasks and functions of international bureaucracies, which make them dependent on expert knowledge. It suggests a four-way typology of organizations such as: organizational tasks, information environment, organizational dependency and audience, each of which is associated with a different pattern of knowledge use. The chapter explains that organizational use of knowledge is a function of the complexity or technical nature of the tasks confronting the organization. The populist organization operates in a politicized environment. The expert organization is operating in an unpoliticized area, and tends to orient its actions towards its peer group, or policy community, generally composed of expert, technocratic actors and organizations. Finally, the technocratic organization is similar to the delivery organization in the sense that its outputs are observable and attributable, and it is therefore under pressure to orient its action to achieve the appropriate outcomes.