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Table 1 Ambiguity-Conflict matrix: Policy implementation processes ([28, 32] p. 230)

From: A qualitative exploration of pharmacovigilance policy implementation in Jordan, Oman, and Kuwait using Matland’s ambiguity-conflict model

  Low Conflict High Conflict
Low Ambiguity Administrative Implementation Political Implementation
• Goals are given and a means for problem-solving is known
• A central authority has the information, resources, and sanction capability to enact the desired policy
• Implementation is hierarchically ordered with each link receiving orders from the level above
• The policy is spelt out explicitly at each level and there is agreement on responsibilities and tasks
• Relatively uniform outcomes at the micro-level across many sites
• There is conflict over both goals and means
• The implementation process is a key arena for conflict
• Implementation outcomes are determined by the distribution of power
• Compliance is not automatically forthcoming
• Low ambiguity ensures that monitoring of compliance is relatively easy
High Ambiguity Experimental Implementation Symbolic Implementation
• Outcomes depend largely on which actors are involved
• Variation in outcomes from site to site
• Outcomes are hard to predict
• Opportunities for local entrepreneurs to create local policies
• Compliance monitoring mechanisms are of limited relevance
• The policy may become a low priority
• Ostensibly implausible combination
• Salient symbols can produce high levels of conflict even when the policy is vague
• Outcomes will vary across sites
• Outcomes will depend upon the balance of local coalition strength
• Policy ambiguity makes it difficult to monitor activities