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Testing times: exploring staged responses and the impact of blame management strategies in two examination fiasco cases

Testing times: exploring staged responses and the impact of blame management strategies in two examination fiasco cases
Testing times: exploring staged responses and the impact of blame management strategies in two examination fiasco cases
This article examines the responses of ministers facing high levels of blame in the press after serious failures in the public exam system for school-leavers in Scotland in 2000 and England in 2002. It develops a method for systematic analysis and comparison of the behaviour of officeholders facing blame, tests the hypothesis that ministers will accept personal culpability only after other ways of handling blame have been exhausted and uses time series intervention models to show how one can estimate the impact of strategies on the next day's blame level. The basic sequencing hypothesis is partially upheld by the observed behaviour in these cases, though many other kinds of blame responses do not display a clear sequence. The intervention analysis also raises questions about the claimed effectiveness of presentational strategies for managing blame.
0304-4130
695-722
Hood, Christopher
37c09ae1-5715-4188-94b6-3328e374370c
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Dixon, Ruth
79ae116d-26bf-4441-a95b-06f97585181d
Hogwood, Brian
9970dc94-b98c-4428-86a9-8ced13212ac9
Beeston, Craig
6f8ea496-7044-4bd3-b313-d69b64387fcd
Hood, Christopher
37c09ae1-5715-4188-94b6-3328e374370c
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Dixon, Ruth
79ae116d-26bf-4441-a95b-06f97585181d
Hogwood, Brian
9970dc94-b98c-4428-86a9-8ced13212ac9
Beeston, Craig
6f8ea496-7044-4bd3-b313-d69b64387fcd

Hood, Christopher, Jennings, Will, Dixon, Ruth, Hogwood, Brian and Beeston, Craig (2009) Testing times: exploring staged responses and the impact of blame management strategies in two examination fiasco cases. European Journal of Political Research, 48 (6), 695-722. (doi:10.1111/j.1475-6765.2009.01830.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article examines the responses of ministers facing high levels of blame in the press after serious failures in the public exam system for school-leavers in Scotland in 2000 and England in 2002. It develops a method for systematic analysis and comparison of the behaviour of officeholders facing blame, tests the hypothesis that ministers will accept personal culpability only after other ways of handling blame have been exhausted and uses time series intervention models to show how one can estimate the impact of strategies on the next day's blame level. The basic sequencing hypothesis is partially upheld by the observed behaviour in these cases, though many other kinds of blame responses do not display a clear sequence. The intervention analysis also raises questions about the claimed effectiveness of presentational strategies for managing blame.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 30 July 2009
Published date: October 2009
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 336586
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/336586
ISSN: 0304-4130
PURE UUID: 3e267b86-c583-4b12-9992-7c8f79d77480
ORCID for Will Jennings: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9007-8896

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Mar 2012 09:30
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:39

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Contributors

Author: Christopher Hood
Author: Will Jennings ORCID iD
Author: Ruth Dixon
Author: Brian Hogwood
Author: Craig Beeston

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