Conclusions and Further Work

as a general and reliable tool for textual analysis.

To our knowledge, while some research is being developed using 
as such a framework for content analysis with potential political application (e.g., Benoit and Laver 2002; Laver et al. 2003; Lowe 2008; Hopkins and King 2007) our use of it for organizational decision-making analysis has not been common so far.

Nevertheless, this book has also shown that, on the one hand, when text is presented in languages with rich inflection rates, default word reduction tools included in this general framework and others may pose some problems for ulterior analyses on text. On the other hand, we have seen that in order to meet our goals a multi-stage strategy had to be developed so that the outcomes delivered by some tools could be used as inputs for other ones. Though the overall result has been evaluated as satisfactory, these operations, in particular those of converting natural language text files into lemmatized text files, can be very time-consuming for users.

Therefore, an integration of most needed textual analytic tasks such as lemmatization or producing term frequency lists and term-document matrices would seem highly useful. In particular, while a library such as tm (Feinerer 2008) has proved excellent to convert textual data into statistically treatable data, no other tool has been found to quickly convert natural language corpora into its lemmatized (not just stemmed) form within the same programming framework.

6.2.2 Organization Design

Regarding the first non-methodological issue for discussion, we may outline the suspension of an organization’s role as a stable and predictable pattern of events as a typical matter of organizational or institutional design. Certainly, some reasons may be argued for defending that the current way in which the on-call service is designed for Spanish judicial settings could leave room for some improvements.

A first and general one would be related to the fact that a necessarily formalized and predictable institution such as any justice administration should be able to assure stable and predictable decisions at all its organizational units and during all decision situations.

A second one deals with the fact the professionals who work within this organization express doubts that in their purely procedural nature sharply contrast with the purely theoretical and substantial content of judges’ educational experience. This perspective would entail, in our opinion, a reflection on the match between current methods for judicial recruitment (i.e., a merely theoretical-based entrance examination) and the actual kind of situations judges must face in their two first years as judges. Let us recall here that Courts of First Instance and Magistrate—junior judges’ working settings—are Spanish citizens’ actual entry to the Spanish judicial system.

We have seen that discussions around this issue have actually been carried out (e.g., Jiménez-Asensio 2001; Poblet and Casanovas 2005). These discussions, as we saw, focus on the method through which judges are recruited.

However, in our opinion one of the main objectives of a new organizational design for the on-call service should also be to provide judges with the kind of procedural information they need to make urgent decisions when they are required. And this task would not be impossible, either through modifications in the entrance system, or through a posteriori interventions.

As a matter of fact, we have seen that judges do generally find solutions to their procedural problems. These solutions may be achieved through their own search or through the consultation with other judges or whoever they feel confident with. Yet when these solutions have been found, they may be used in the future as adaptive rules of behavior, or routines.

The design and implementation of knowledge management tools in the legal domain has been triggered by the need to cope with the volume and complexity of knowledge and information produced by current legal organizations.

Applied to judicial administration, these systems typically help with storing, managing, and keeping track of documents used in or related to legal proceedings. Obviously these documents include judicial decisions (and templates and protocols to produce them), but they are specially designed to enable an efficient management of secondary but highly relevant documents issued by the court personnel—such as court orders, decrees, notifications, and transcripts of declarations. These systems help judicial units maintain the information and knowledge that their members need in order to work effectively on every stage of the procedure.

Yet, legal organizations (and organizations in general) prove less efficient in storing and routinize informal knowledge or knowledge produced while managing improvisation-prone situations.

In this sense, technological advances have been made that enable formalizing, interpreting and storing knowledge so that it can be retrieved when needed. In particular, the construction of a knowledge-based decision-support system for judges such as Iuriservice (Casanovas et al. 2006a, 2006b; Casellas et al. 2006, 2007; Poblet et al. 2008), is to be seen as an excellent research line to explore the unequivocal benefits knowledge technologies can bring to organizational design.

Moreover, Casellas (2011) has recently pointed out the necessity of judges’ participation (as experts) in such technological projects, providing precise guidelines in order to acquire their knowledge, and proposing a data-grounded formalization. Elsewhere Bösser et al. (2005) have provided also examples of judges’ participation in building such a decision-support system. And finally Casanovas et al. (2006a) have presented an empirical assessment of judges’ evaluation of the benefits provided by such a tool when user satisfaction tests have been carried out with a prototype. In addition, relevant contributions have been made during the last decade in Europe on the role of knowledge and information technologies aiding information and knowledge management in courts (Fabri and Contini 2001; Fabri et al. 2003; Langbroek and Fabri 2004; Fabri 2007; Poblet et al. 2008).

Therefore, with regard to this first research field, our contribution in this book seems quite adequate for identifying knowledge-intensive areas when outlining the elements that constitute judges’ problem space in several decision situations. In addition, our use of various text analysis techniques could also help knowledge acquisition processes for the construction of knowledge-based systems aimed at helping decision-makers.

6.2.3 Procedural Rationality, Expertise, and Heuristics

Finally, a third broad line of further research may focus upon the relationship between procedural rationality and expertise, as it was commented in Sect. 3.​3.​6. Our assertion was that routines as we understood them are relevant in our analysis so far they are not only devices for solving immediate problems, but, most important, they are devices for learning and for turning inexperienced professionals into experts. Besides, we therefore regard them as mechanisms for making better decisions.

In this work we have observed that the relationship between adaptive rules of behavior and learning from experience has been related to different aspects of organizational behavior, change, and evolution. In addition, we have also seen that many scholars (e.g., Levitt and March 1988; March 1990

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