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The governance and management of public services: an analysis of three rationalities

Skelcher, Chris (1951-) (1998)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The search for enhanced rationality in the governance and management of UK public services is an enduring theme of reform programmes. Three modes of rationality had a significant impact during the period 1977-1997: the rationality of disengagement, which suggests that there are benefits to be derived from the governance of public services by boards of appointed individuals operating at arm's-length to the democratic process; the rationality of integration, which concerns the advantages to be gained from the development of interrelationships between agencies around particular public policy objectives; and the rationality of congruence, which stresses the need for local authorities' policies and service delivery processes to reflect the views and preferences of their communities. The origins and characteristics of these three themes are examined and their effect on public services assessed. Together, they have produced a significant transformation of the management and governance of UK public services. The analysis suggests that, at a macro level, the underlying problems of governance and management each rationality seeks to address recycles over a period of time. Reform strategies materialise through a 'garbage-can' model in which current problems are attached to the prevailing fashionable solutions. However, there is also a developmental process in operation. The intersection of the three rationalities offers an agenda for future research.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Public Policy
Department:Department of Local Government Studies
Additional Information:

This thesis comprises several previously-published works. The full text of those items is not available in the digital version of this thesis.

Subjects:JN101 Great Britain
JS Local government Municipal government
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3936
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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