Transportation Infrastructure as Organization Theory

Paper instructions

Read the case study at the end of chapter 4 (p. 118-121). Provide a brief summary of the case study and answer the questions on page 121-122.

1. Describe theories of public and private organization emerging from reforms of transportation infrastructures. Illustrate your ideas.
2. How are the writings of Max Weber and Luther Gulick realized in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA)?
3. Frederick Taylor saw the shift of power from the bourgeoisie (economic elite) and the proletariat (masses) to the experts (possessors of skills and knowledge). How do the facts of the Big Burb case illustrate this shift?
4. The Process for Transportation Investment Decisions (PTID) calls for promoting shared authority and responsibility and broadening the decision-making process. The writings of which organization theory authors likely influenced the organizations in this case study to develop the PTID?

5. Systems theory originates from structural-functional sociology and promotes an understanding of the social system as a whole. Explain the salience of systems theory for light rail alternatives in Big Burb and the state of Commonwealth.
6. How do normative vectors play out in this case study? Explain.
7. How is freedom of movement grounded in commerce and ease of transportation? Explain.
8. If effective rail modes do not emerge as transportation alternatives, what are the prospects for airplane and airport saturation of personnel, equipment, and costs? Explain and illustrate.
9. How do highway, rail, and air infrastructures contribute to redefinitions of the United States political economy? Explain.
10. Elton Mayo encouraged the perception of organization as a social institution. How would the development of intercity passenger rail systems contribute to new ways of organizing the political economies of Big Burb and the state of Commonwealth? Explain and illustrate.


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