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Ways of Knowing and Inclusive Management Practices


Martha Feldman is the Roger W. and Janice M. Johnson Chair in Civic Governance and Public Management at the University of California, Irvine.

Anne M. Khademian is an associate professor at the Center for Public Administration and Policy in the School for Public and International Affairs, Virginia Polytechnic University.

Helen Ingram is the Drew, Chace and Erin Warmington Endowed Chair of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine.

Anne Schneider is a professor in the School of Justice Studies and a faculty affiliate with the Center for Urban Inquiry at Arizona State University, where she was dean of public programs for 15 years.


The authors engage structural and agentic perspectives to examine opportunities for deliberation and the purposeful role of managers in creating those opportunities. Drawing on actor-network theory as a way of understanding the process of structuring knowledge, this essay focuses on the continuous enactment and reenactment of networks of human and nonhuman actants and the associations that connect them. This thinking is applied to policy issues, which the authors propose should be understood as ways of knowing. The fluidity of such ways of knowing provides opportunities for public managers to use the inclusive practices associated with boundary experiences, boundary objects, and boundary organizations to facilitate deliberation.