Decentralising Public Service Management by Johnston Birchall, Keith Putman, Visit Amazon's Christopher

By Johnston Birchall, Keith Putman, Visit Amazon's Christopher Pollitt Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Christopher Pollitt,

Decentralise authority and permit managers deal with' has been a virtually common message in united kingdom public providers during the last 15 years. yet does it fairly paintings? Drawing all alone - and a variety of different study - the authors exhibit that at the back of the ministerial rhetoric the reports of NHS trusts, provide maintained faculties and housing institutions have been in perform extraordinarily combined. The publication deals a worldly theoretical research of the origins and result of decentralised public administration within the united kingdom.

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For top officials, however, the level of job security is already high and career positions have to a considerable extent already been achieved. For them, increasing the interest and status of their work is more likely to come from enhancing the power, influence and patronage of the bureau, all of which are served by creating slack in the bureau budget so as to be able to improve relations with clients or contractors and generally exert more influence through enhanced 'purchasing power'. Unlike Niskanen, Dunleavy has made extensive attempts to apply his model in practice, that is, to test it against empirical data.

Competition with other agencies. If agencies are in a situation where they are obliged to compete with other agencies, then a rational strategy would be to try to export low-status, routine tasks to their rivals, whilst maximising their own command of high-status tasks. For service delivery agencies this might well be translated into an attempt to capture more high-status service users and export low- Theories and Concepts 23 status (difficult, costly, controversial) service users to other agencies that provide the same service.

Pp. 203-5) suggests that there are five bureau-shaping strategies that are likely to prove particularly popular: • Major internal reorganisations. These can be aimed at demarcating, protecting and resourcing high-status, policy- and strategy-making functions. In other words, a stronger organisational distinction can be drawn between policy making and operations within a particular agency or, better still, routine operations can be hived off to a separate and subordinate organisation. • Internal work practices can be reformed by introducing more sophisticated management and policy analysis systems.

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