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Public Administration

Steve Martin, Sandra Nutley, James Downe, Clive Grace
Approaches to performance assessment have been described as 'performance regimes', but there has been little analysis of what is meant by this concept and whether it has any real value. We draw on four perspectives on regimes - 'institutions and instruments', 'risk regulation regimes', 'internal logics and effects' and 'analytics of government' - to explore how the concept of a multi-dimensional regime can be applied to performance assessment in public services. We conclude that the concept is valuable. It helps to frame comparative and longitudinal analyses of approaches to performance assessment and draws attention to the ways in which public service performance regimes operate at different levels, how they change over time and what drives their development...
March 2016: Public Administration
Chris Skelcher, Steven Rathgeb Smith
We propose a novel approach to theorizing hybridity in public and nonprofit organizations. The concept of hybridity is widely used to describe organizational responses to changes in governance, but the literature seldom explains how hybrids arise or what forms they take. Transaction cost and organizational design literatures offer some solutions, but lack a theory of agency. We use the institutional logics approach to theorize hybrids as entities that face a plurality of normative frames. Logics provide symbolic and material elements that structure organizational legitimacy and actor identities...
June 2015: Public Administration
Tamyko Ysa, Vicenta Sierra, Marc Esteve
The literature on network management is extensive. However, it generally explores network structures, neglecting the impact of management strategies. In this article we assess the effect of management strategies on network outcomes, providing empirical evidence from 119 urban revitalization networks. We go beyond current work by testing a path model for the determinants of network outcomes and considering the interactions between the constructs: management strategies, trust, complexity, and facilitative leadership...
September 2014: Public Administration
Keith Dowding, Peter John
Using data from a five-year online survey the paper examines the effects of relative satisfaction with health services on individuals' voice-and-choice activity in the English public health care system. Voice is considered in three parts – individual voice (complaints), collective voice voting and participation (collective action). Exercising choice is seen in terms of complete exit (not using health care), internal exit (choosing another public service provider) and private exit (using private health care)...
2011: Public Administration
Isabella M Nolte, Silke Boenigk
During disasters, partnerships between public and nonprofit organizations are vital to provide fast relief to affected communities. In this article, we develop a process model to support a performance evaluation of such intersectoral partnerships. The model includes input factors, organizational structures, outputs and the long-term outcomes of public–nonprofit partnerships. These factors derive from theory and a systematic literature review of emergency, public, nonprofit, and network research. To adapt the model to a disaster context, we conducted a case study that examines public and nonprofit organizations that partnered during the 2010 Haiti earthquake...
2011: Public Administration
Michael Marinetto
This paper explores the issue of joined-up governance by considering child protection failures, firstly, the case of Victoria Climbié who was killed by her guardians despite being known as an at risk child by various public agencies. The seeming inability of the child protection system to prevent Victoria Climbié's death resulted in a public inquiry under the chairmanship of Lord Laming. The Laming report of 2003 looked, in part, to the lack of joined-up working between agencies to explain this failure to intervene and made a number of recommendations to improve joined-up governance...
2011: Public Administration
Thomas Biebricher
The task of this paper is to offer an analysis of the Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI) established by George W. Bush and continued under the Obama administration based on a critical and decentred approach to governance (networks). The paper starts out by placing FBCI in the context of the welfare reform of 1996 arguing that both share certain basic assumptions, for example, regarding the nature of poverty, and that FBCI can be interpreted as a response to the relative failure of some aspects of the reform of 1996...
2011: Public Administration
Martin Smith, David Richards, Andrew Geddes, Helen Mathers
For all governments, the principle of how and whether policies are implemented as intended is fundamental. The aim of this paper is to examine the difficulties for governments in delivering policy goals when they do not directly control the processes of implementation. This paper examines two case studies – anti-social behaviour and street crime – and demonstrates the difficulties faced by policy-makers in translating policy into practice when the policy problems are complex and implementation involves many actors...
2011: Public Administration
Lotte Bøgh Andersen, Mads Leth Felsager Jakobsen
In terms of clinical procedures (to take the example used in this article, hip operations), both public and private organizations provide highly professionalized services. For this service type, our knowledge about ownership differences is sparse. To begin to fill this gap, we investigate how the ownership of hip clinics affects professional behaviour, treatment quality and patient satisfaction. The comparison of private and public hip clinics is based on data from the Danish Hip Arthroplasty Register and the Danish Central Patient Register combined with 20 semi-structured interviews...
2011: Public Administration
Marianna Fotaki
The causes and effects of marketization of public services have been analysed extensively in the literature, but there is relatively little research on how those policies impact on the development of new forms of governance, and the role of users in these new arrangements. This study reviews examples of competition, freedom of choice and personalized care in health and social services in England and Sweden, in order to examine the type of relationships emerging between the user/consumer vis-à-vis market driven providers and various agencies of the state under the marketized welfare...
2011: Public Administration
Graham P Martin
The ‘modernization’ of British public services seeks to broaden public sector governance networks, bringing the views of third sector organizations, the public and service users (among others) to the design, management and delivery of welfare. Building on previous analyses of the contradictions generated by these roles, this paper draws on longitudinal qualitative research to enunciate the challenges faced by one third-sector organization in facilitating service user influence in a UK National Health Service (NHS) pilot programme, alongside other roles in tension with this advocacy function...
2011: Public Administration
Amund Lie
In 2004 Norway implemented a food safety reform programme aimed at enhancing inter-organizational coordination processes and outcomes. Has this programme affected inter-organizational coordination processes and outcomes, both vertically and horizontally – and if so how? This article employs the concept of inter-organizational coordination as an analytical tool, examining it in the light of two theoretical perspectives and coupling it with the empirical findings. The argument presented is that the chances of strong coordination outcomes may increase if inter-organizational processes feature a clear division of labour, arenas for coordination, active leadership, a lack of major conflicting goals, and shared obligations...
2011: Public Administration
Eivor Oborn, Michael Barrett, Mark Exworthy
The development of health policy is recognized as complex; however, there has been little development of the role of agency in this process. Kingdon developed the concept of policy entrepreneur (PE) within his ‘windows’ model. He argued inter-related ‘policy streams' must coincide for important issues to become addressed. The conjoining of these streams may be aided by a policy entrepreneur. We contribute by clarifying the role of the policy entrepreneur and highlighting the translational processes of key actors in creating and aligning policy windows...
2011: Public Administration
This paper documents the early evolution of UK organic food and farming policy networks and locates this empirical focus in a theoretical context concerned with understanding the contemporary policy-making process. While policy networks have emerged as a widely acknowledged empirical manifestation of governance, debate continues as to the concept's explanatory utility and usefulness in situations of network and policy transformation since, historically, policy networks have been applied to "static" circumstances...
2010: Public Administration
Keith Jacobs
This paper draws on the findings from a research project on partnership arrangements between the police and housing departments on three Australian public housing estates to tackle problems associated with illicit drug activity and anti-social behaviour (ASB). The analysis focused on the setting up of the partnerships and the interactions that followed from these institutional arrangements. The assumption that informs the paper is that when studying partnerships there is a need for a more critically framed analysis...
2010: Public Administration
Charlotte Bax, Martin de Jong, Joop Koppenjan
In the early 1990s, in order to improve road safety in The Netherlands, the Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV) developed an evidence-based "Sustainable Safety" concept. Based on this concept, Dutch road safety policy, was seen as successful and as a best practice in Europe. In The Netherlands, the policy context has now changed from a sectoral policy setting towards a fragmented network in which safety is a facet of other transport-related policies. In this contribution, it is argued that the implementation strategy underlying Sustainable Safety should be aligned with the changed context...
2010: Public Administration
Valentina Mele, Amelia Compagni
The approval (2003) and enforcement (2005) of a smoking ban in Italy have been viewed by many as an unexpectedly successful example of policy change. The present paper, by applying a processualist approach, concentrates on two policy cycles between 2000 and 2005. These had opposing outcomes: an incomplete decisional stage and an authoritative decision, enforced two years later. Through the analysis of the different phases of agenda setting, alternative specification and decision making, we have compared the quality of participation of policy entrepreneurs in the two cycles, their political strategies and, in these, the relevance of issue image...
2010: Public Administration
Chris Lonsdale, Ian Kirkpatrick, Kim Hoque, Alex de Ruyter
The worldwide expansion in the use of private firms to deliver public services and infrastructure has promoted a substantial literature on public sector contract and relationship management. This literature is currently dominated by the notion that supplier relationships should be based upon trust. Less prominent are more sceptical approaches that emphasize the need to assiduously manage potential supplier exploitation and opportunism. This article addresses this imbalance by focusing upon the recent experience of the English National Health Service (NHS) in its dealings with its nursing agencies...
2010: Public Administration
Petra Hejnova
Networks are becoming a popular organizational form for structuring human activities. To date, scholars have addressed networks in a variety of fields, including sociology, economics, public administration, criminology, political science, and international security. However, little has been done so far to systematically examine the similarities, differences, and connections between network forms of organization across different academic disciplines. This has important implications for both theory and practice...
2010: Public Administration
Robert McMurray
For over three decades public services have been the subject of unprecedented change. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the English National Health Service (NHS) where despite the effort expended on change there is growing evidence that such restructuring is largely ineffective. Drawing on a study of culture modification in the English NHS, this paper utilizes Chia's (1999) account of the metaphysics of processual change to consider why attempts to restructure public services are not always successful...
2010: Public Administration
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