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Law as Last ResortProsecution Decision-Making in a Regulatory Agency$
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Keith Hawkins

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243891

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243891.001.0001

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The Organizational Frame: Prosecuting as Advertising

The Organizational Frame: Prosecuting as Advertising

Chapter:
(p.305) 10 The Organizational Frame: Prosecuting as Advertising
Source:
Law as Last Resort
Author(s):

Keith Hawkins

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243891.003.0010

Prosecution is a special display of organizational activity, announcing the behaviour not simply of organizations themselves, but of individuals within organizations. It allows officials to make statements and create images within an organizational context, because they have audiences within the regulatory organization to whom they need to display their activity and competence. This internal audience is often a powerful source of influence on inspectors' decision-making. The result is that some prosecutions are taken not because of any compelling intrinsic merit, but in satisfaction of bureaucratic expectations. This chapter discusses such organizational expectations, the performance indicators which allow supervisors to assess the extent to which inspectors fulfil their expectations, and the restrictions of resources and organizational customs which may constrain inspectors' decision-making behaviour. Finally, further constraints on inspectors' use of discretion in the form of organizationally determined caseload effects are analysed.

Keywords:   organizational activity, organizational imagery, organizational audience, organizational expectations, performance indicators, resource constraints, organizational custom, caseload effects

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