Institutional change: the unanticipated consequences of action

This article argues that the managerial approaches to development need to be reconstituted through a more comprehensive understanding of how institutional and behavioural change processes occur. Drawing from a case study in Nepal, and by exploring the largely unintended consequences of project actions, this article argues for viewing change as a complex social phenomenon based on people’s interests, motivations, relationships, and actions that are embedded in their historical and cultural situations. In the final analysis, it is argued that the effectiveness of managerial approaches cannot be understood or applied outside an understanding of change processes.