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Management Response to Multiple Rationalities in Courts - A Review


Angela Eicher ,

Kuno Schedler


Courts are multirational organizations in that they are characterized by the coexistence of various rationalities, pursuing divergent goals and following different logical patterns, thus posing additional challenges on management. Rationalities define the distinct way actor groups think, speak and act. Multiple rationalities challenge decision makers in courts as they need to respond by developing practices to deal with the complexity they generate. The objectives of this paper are twofold. First, we intent to critically review and discuss the literature on court management which somehow addresses the phenomenon of multirationality within courts. Second, we draw a nexus between the research fields of court management and New Institutionalism, since the latter is supposed to provide important insights for the former. It is concluded that, although the concept of multirational court management has implicitly already been indicated by some scholars from the field of court management, it has not yet been explicitly mentioned and discussed in sufficient detail. Two research streams are identified. The first stream of research implicitly focuses on multirationality by analyzing the perceptions, attitudes, and relationships of different court actors. Local legal culture is the second stream, which refers to the presence of competing values within courts. For further research, we suggest four types of practices to structure possible managerial responses in courts.
How to Cite: Eicher, A. and Schedler, K., 2012. Management Response to Multiple Rationalities in Courts - A Review. International Journal for Court Administration, 4(3), pp.20–34. DOI:
Published on 15 Dec 2012.
Peer Reviewed


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