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Explicit reforms, implicit theories and public service improvement

Boyne, George Alexander, Martin, Stephen James ORCID: and Walker, Richard 2004. Explicit reforms, implicit theories and public service improvement. Public Management Review 6 (2) , pp. 189-210. 10.1080/1471903042000189092

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A framework for the explication of the theoretical basis of public management reforms is developed. The framework is applied to the Best Value regime in UK local government. The implicit assumptions of policy makers are that the Best Value regime will generate service improvements through changes in organizational structures, processes, culture and strategy content. Empirical evidence on the relationship between these variables and organizational performance is critically reviewed, and policy makers' implicit ‘theories in use’ are made explicit in the form of a simple additive model of public service improvement. In practice the actual pattern of change is likely to be mediative, reciprocal and contingent on local organizational circumstances. However, theorizing public management reforms in this way is valuable because it provides a basis for evaluating the logic of programme design, predicting effectiveness and generating testable models of the relationship between public policies, organizational changes and public service improvement.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Uncontrolled Keywords: Best Value; public management reform; public service improvement
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1471-9037
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 10:16

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