Salami tactics and the implementation of large-scale public projects

Hinterleitner, Markus (2018). Salami tactics and the implementation of large-scale public projects. Journal of European public policy, 26(11), pp. 1696-1714. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/13501763.2018.1544654

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This article builds on the literature on policy failure and blame management to analyse the implementation of large-scale public projects, which frequently suffer from cost overruns and delays. The article addresses a hitherto neglected blame management strategy used by politicians overseeing implementation: the stepwise announcement of delays and/or cost overruns, often referred to as ‘salami tactics’. I assert that politicians apply salami tactics in order to reduce and deflect the blame for a project that turns out to be more expensive, or takes longer to complete, than initially communicated. The empirical section examines the use of salami tactics in two large-scale public projects that resulted in delays and cost overruns: the Berlin Brandenburg Airport in Germany and the Swiss National Exposition Expo.02. Both cases confirm my arguments regarding the blame-reducing and blame-deflecting effects of salami tactics and reveal that this strategy can cause projects to lock-in on a self-undermining path.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

11 Centers of Competence > Center of Comptetence for Public Management (KPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Hinterleitner, Markus

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 350 Public administration & military science
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science

ISSN:

1350-1763

Publisher:

Taylor & Francis

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Markus Hinterleitner

Date Deposited:

13 Feb 2019 15:33

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 07:39

Publisher DOI:

10.1080/13501763.2018.1544654

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.126289

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/126289

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