Institutional approaches are created from the perspective that public policy is made within political and public institutions which design and control its type and dimensions. Institutional research has been recommended by researchers such as Dredge and Jenkins (2003)); Elliott, (1997)) and Tyler and Dinan (2001a and b)) and points towards formal rules and customs, detailing various practices and procedures. It projects the complicated features of policy making, focussing on the environment, which is marred by organisational divisions, with policies being designed at the same time within various fields. Treuren and Lane (2003)) assert the role of the institutional and organisational literature in theory development, which has offered its contribution in examining rationality, decisive thinking (i.e. the concept that organisations create and enforce policies to reduce costs and maximise returns) and normative conceptions like in the process models (e.g. Veal 2002)) where policies are framed and then enforced. Nevertheless, institutional investigation has been scrutinised for underscoring the political and social processes
Stakeholder and network approaches reflect problems that some research is over-rational and not workable to the actual world. Stakeholder approaches project the “plurality of organisational interest groups and the political nature of organisational goal setting and policy implementation”. Network approaches focus on “policy communities” formed of people who communicate within networks.
They examine from the point-of-view of the people who are part of the process and identify that “policy emerges as a result of informal patterns of association” evaluating the dynamics of “complex relationships” by testing them “as they shift and change” (John, 1998, p.91)). Network theory assists to “explain the complexity of the policy arena and the multi dimensional nature of it” (Tyler and Dinan, 2001b, p. 243)). Nonetheless, it is criticized by John (1998)) who argues that networks need to be connected to other elements like stakes, concepts and institutions which decide how networks work. Bramwell (2006));