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Chapter 9. Solving Problems Through Poli... > Distinguishing among Policy Statemen...

Distinguishing among Policy Statements, Manuals, and Procedures

There are real distinctions among policy statements, manuals, and procedures, as document types. These distinctions, however, are inconsistently applied within the professional world. The following discussions point out the distinctions among the three types of documents, considering them in a hierarchy by level of detail, beginning with the most general, the policy statement.

Policy Statements

Policy statements are extremely general rules. As rules, they have very general application. “Work shall be done safely” and “Decisions shall not be affected by race, creed, national origin, or gender” are examples of such general rules. Policy statements do not account for their own implications; if a policy is not well implemented, one cannot find the way to implement it within the language of the policy itself. The Ten Commandments provide a good example of some clear policy statements, but what happens to those who break them is a matter of speculation. And exactly how we are to honor our parents is not prescribed, as it would be in a procedure on the subject.


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