The difference between normative economics and positive economics comes from Deirdre McCloskey, How to Be Human Though an Economist (U. of Mich. 2000) at 62-63. As the distinction applies to managers of in-house lawyers, a normative view says whether a management decision is good or bad (practically, morally, financially, etc.). A positive view merely describes the management decision and its context, but does not evaluate it.
Stated differently elsewhere: “Positive theory attempts to describe the world; normative to offer prescriptions for action.” The latter version comes from William Breit and Barry Hirsch, Lives of the Laureates – Twenty-three Nobel Economists (MIT 2009) at 173 (William F. Sharpe speaking).
Much of this blog falls into the positive camp; I describe a practice or a perspective and stop. Relatively few of the blog posts here are explicitly normative; I am wary of recommendations out of context and best practices out of touch.