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Public sector ‘Modernisation’: examining the impact of a change agenda on local government employees in England

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journal contribution
posted on 18.04.2018, 11:34 by Russ Glennon, Ian Hodgkinson, Joanne Knowles, Zoe Radnor, Nicola Bateman
Can public sector reform change service performance for the better? This is a hotly contested debate which carries significant theoretical and practical importance. In England, as in many countries, modernisation was at the heart of local government reform and represented an interpretation of New Public Management into a policy framework. This paper examines the role of the modernisation change agenda in England and what this has subsequently meant for ‘service improvement’. Drawing on both document analyses and qualitative interviews with local government employees, we find that while modernisation sought to establish continuous improvement, unintended consequences of modernisation have led to Staff Reductions, Skill Deficiencies, and Loss of a Competent Middle Core in local government, as well as performance outcomes creating an environment for Commissioning, Service Reduction, and Self-Policing. Implications for the lasting roles and behaviours of public managers affected by this national change agenda are discussed, and conclusions for theory and practice are drawn.

History

Citation

Australian Journal of Public Administration, 2018

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of Business

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Australian Journal of Public Administration

Publisher

Wiley

issn

0313-6647

eissn

1467-8500

Copyright date

2018

Publisher version

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1467-8500.12294

Notes

The file associated with this record is under embargo until 24 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.

Language

en

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