cascade

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rositakay

Senior Member
Arabic
Hi,

On asset registration, there is a basic function of registering "state properties" under "Amlak al Dawleh" unit within the MoF and recently an Asset Management department was established at MoF. Some activities were initiated to register assets and a software (Oracle) purchased but the process is in its infancy. To date, there is no asset management strategy that cascades to decisions on scope, accounting methodologies and measurement formulas.

This is a document talking about Kuwait governmental agencies.

Can i know please the meaning of cascade in this context?

Thanks,
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    This is not, as far as I know, a standard use, so I could only guess at the meaning as "extends."

    "Cascade" seems to be turning into an infamous new favorite of those who use bureaucrat-ese and corporate jargon.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    It's an expression I've been familiar with in organisational contexts (business, government, education, etc) for a long time. I'd say it's well enough established in a wide enough spectrum not to be dubbed as jargon. It has a specific meaning: to pass on information to a succession of people (usually 'downwards' if it's in a classic pyramid organisation, and to a widening 'audience'). It's a useful word: without it you'd need to use a lengthy phrase.

    That said, it does seem to be misused in rositakay's document: I don't see how a strategy can cascade, or even be cascaded, to decisions. I think that by 'cascades to' the author may have meant dictates, controls, affects, influences, or some such appropriate word.

    Ws:)
     
    From M-W unabr:

    [for the noun]

    2d : something arranged or occurring in a series or in a succession of stages so that each stage derives from or acts upon the product of the preceding one [...]


    < … the opening of the channel—triggered by a stimulus from two neurons—begins a biochemical cascade that results in memory retention and learning. — Ken Howard, Scientific American, November 1999>
    I would add that the later stages represent, often a widening of effect, as in the first post--e.g. there are often more and more (resultant stages) at later points.

    Biblio's, 'extends' is not bad, but I'd say, "gives rise to and informs" would fit the present context. Wordsmyth's 'dictates' or 'controls' has roughly the idea, but is too strong, in my opinion.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    [...] Wordsmyth's 'dictates' or 'controls' has roughly the idea, but is too strong, in my opinion.
    Quite possibly, benny (strategies are sometimes applied mandatorily, but certainly not always); hence my softer suggestions of 'affects' and 'influences' as other possibilities.

    "Gives rise to" would certainly work, and I think it views the situation from a slightly different angle. My thinking was that such decisions would have to be made anyway, but that a strategy would have some effect on them. "Gives rise to" seems to suggest that decisions would be made because of the strategy — which is also entirely possible. I guess biblio's "extends to" would fit either viewpoint.

    One thing seems clear: "cascades" wasn't a good choice of word in the given context.

    Ws:)
     
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