39: Appendix to Episode 39 - Recreating the Garbage Can Model


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During Episode 39 we explore a famous 1972 article in Administrative Science Quarterly from Cohen, March, and Olsen on the Garbage Can Model of Decision Making, which contained (above all things) a fully-documented computer program written in FORTRAN 66! The sidecast also included details of how they designed the program what its outputs were. As we discuss during the podcast, this was far from an empirical study. They designed the model solely for exploratory purposes—to demonstrate an interesting concept that could apply to actual organizations such as colleges and universities of various sizes. It struck me because present-day articles devote so little time to the models in use, either mentioning minimal details in the text or providing a summary or introduction to them in an appendix. Certainly not something that could be replicated as is copy-pasted from the journal.

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