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About this book

From the 'Third Way' reforms of the 1990s to today's prospect of a post-bureaucracy era, the management of the UK's public services has been radically overhauled in recent decades. This important new text provides a complete introduction to the key themes and developments in public management and the changing relationship between governments, public service providers and the public.

June Burnham and Sylvia Horton examine the key components of public management in the UK, including strategic management and the introduction of new performance management techniques as well as financial and human resources management. The book assesses how wider forces such as Europeanization, globalization and the global economic crisis have affected both the structure and role of the state and the way public services are managed. It also looks back to examine the transition from public administration to public management and considers how different ideologies have influenced and driven reform.
Distinctively, the authors provide a full assessment of how devolution has affected public services across all parts of the UK. Providing an insightful and accessibly written introduction, this book will be ideal reading for all students of public management.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Public Management: Change or Continuity?

Abstract
What’s in a name? That was the question in the 1980s when public management started to replace public administration. Was it a new label for an old practice or a new practice replacing an old one? Old wine in new bottles or new wine and new bottles? The label ‘new public management’ (NPM) emphasized the newness. Gunn (1988) suggested it was rooted in the movement to introduce private-sector management into public organizations and was about making the public more like the private. Perry and Kraemer (1983), however, thought it was a new approach to managing public organizations — and was a merger between traditional public administration and private-sector general management; in other words, it was sui generis and unique. Pollitt (1990) saw it as an ideology of managerialism based upon a belief in the superiority of the market. Yet a few decades later, Lynn (2006) was rather sceptical that a clear distinction could be found between public administration and public management. These debates are examined and developed further in the early chapters of the book.
June Burnham, Sylvia Horton

Chapter 2. The Politics and Theories of Public Management in Britain

Abstract
If ‘the Big Society’ promoted by David Cameron turns out to be more than a campaign slogan, it will be the third reform agenda for the public sector in Britain in thirty years. The Big Society gives the major responsibility for public services to social groups, not the state. By labelling the era in which this system would prevail as ‘the post-bureaucratic age’, Cameron (2010a, 2010b), as we saw in Chapter 1, made a contrast with a ‘bureaucratic age’ which had its heyday in Britain after the Second World War. Public bodies were characterized as working to an organizational model that was hierarchical, impersonal and operated according to standardized procedures that ensure accountability but give rise to the form-filling routines with which the word ‘bureaucracy’ is popularly associated.
June Burnham, Sylvia Horton

Chapter 3. The Institutional Framework of Public Service Provision

Abstract
The organization of public service provision in Britain was complex even before the Coalition Government invited neighbourhoods, social enterprises and groups of public sector workers to become involved and offer alternative services (Cabinet Office 2010: 29). The NHS is being restructured again, another type of school has been introduced, and new regimes are being installed for police authorities and large cities. The relatively simple structures of the 1970s — central departments, local authorities, the NHS, the nationalized industries and other public corporations — were sub-divided in the 1980s into self-managing units, or contracted-out or privatized, in the pursuit of economy, efficiency and effectiveness. The Labour Government then argued for more joined-up, responsive services. It said people had become used to products being available when they wanted them; that level of service should be available in the public sector too, and without users having to know which branch of government to deal with (Cabinet Office 1999a: 23). Labour linked some organizations in a variety of partnerships while separating others differently or reconstituting them under different names. Networks and relationships between bureaucratic organizations became as important as the organizations themselves.
June Burnham, Sylvia Horton

Chapter 4. Delivering Public Services: Processes and Problems

Abstract
Decentralization, devolution, deconcentration, delegation and delayering represent one set of processes central to the rhetoric of public management since the 1980s. They are seen as ways to improve public services, taking them closer to the people they are meant to serve and moving decision making closer to front-line delivery. A second set of processes have been transferring the supply of services from public bureaucracies to other agents. While the New Right preferred delivery through the private sector, New Labour supported the voluntary sector and David Cameron talks about the ‘Big Society’ and the ‘post-bureaucratic state’ described in Chapter 1. Other contemporary processes affect society in general but have a special impact on public services: the use of information and communication technologies with their potential for better but more intrusive governance; and internationalization, especially Europeanization, most explicitly in the liberalization of public utilities, but also in imposing new rules on terms of employment and public procurement.
June Burnham, Sylvia Horton

Chapter 5. Strategic Management and Leadership

Abstract
Systems of government in the UK and throughout most OECD countries have been transformed in recent years. The reasons for this have been discussed in Chapter 1 and the influence of private sector management ideas and practices on these transformations have been examined in Chapter 2. The relevance of these practices and ideas to the public sector, however, has been and still is hotly debated (Greener 2009). But strategic management, initially seen as a vehicle for transforming the traditional public administration culture to a new managerialist one, is now at the core of that new culture and is accepted as an essential approach to dealing with the turbulent and dynamic environments in which public organizations now operate.
June Burnham, Sylvia Horton

Chapter 6. Performance and Quality Management

Abstract
The strategies of recent UK governments with respect to public services have been focused on how to improve their performance — how to get more for less, how to ensure that resources are being used in the most efficient and effective way, how to be more responsive to the public’s needs and expectations, and how to ensure that quality is central to the workings of all public organizations. This reflects governments’ preoccupations with outputs and the need to demonstrate how they are using public money. In fact, performance measurement has become a core element of public management reform not only in the UK but world wide (Pollitt and Bouckaert 2000; Bouckaert and Halligan 2007; OECD 2009c).
June Burnham, Sylvia Horton

Chapter 7. Financial Management and Economic Regulation

Abstract
Financial management is a crucial component of strategic management, as has become clear following the economic crisis of 2008 and the severe budgetary cutbacks imposed in 2010. Yet, even when the economy and budgets are expanding, it is no longer adequate to raise funds efficiently, allocate them according to the political choices made, and record their expenditure faithfully. Public finances must always be managed actively and intelligently to make the most of what might be available from an array of sources. Nevertheless, many of the innovations described below were made during periods of financial pressure. Having presented the UK’s budgetary procedures below, we show how it has become a more strategic and effective process and also more transparent. The Coalition Government was able to profit from and build on this modernized system in tackling the budget deficit as it sought to balance the needs of the public sector with those of the economy. The finances of devolved governments and local governments are heavily dependent on the UK budget as we shall see, but they, like central government, seek new sources of funding in difficult times, which in the past few decades has meant turning to the private sector in a variety of ways we consider below.
June Burnham, Sylvia Horton

Chapter 8. Human Resource Management in the Public Sector

Abstract
The public sector is very labour intensive — around 60 per cent of the budgets of most public organizations are spent on staff. Both public and private organizations now recognize that people are their most important asset and resource, and that human resource management is very important to the success of their organizations. Public organizations want to become employers of choice and to attract people to work in the public sector that have the skills and competencies it needs. The management of human resources has high priority not only because of the high cost of staff but also because human resources are the agents of all government activities. In 2011, some six million people were employed in the UK public sector, 20 per cent of all official employment. There have been significant changes in the way people are managed in the public sector over the last 30 years, which coincides with the introduction of new public management (NPM) and especially performance management but also with changes in the role of the public sector and its relationship with the private and voluntary sectors. As traditional public administration and government has given way to NPM and governance, so traditional personnel management (TPM) has given way to new forms of people management collectively referred to as human resource management (HRM). This chapter examines the reasons for that change and its effect on how public officials are currently organized, recruited, trained, developed, appraised, rewarded and managed in the various public services. Finally, it highlights some of the major issues confronting HRM in the public sector today in the context of public sector contraction and austerity.
June Burnham, Sylvia Horton

Chapter 9. Regulation, Audit and Inspection inside Governance

Abstract
Regulation, audit and inspection are not new but they have increased dramatically over the last thirty years. The reform of the public sector since 1979 has seen significant changes in its structure and complexity as a result of the de-monopolization, marketization and managerialization movements (see Chapter 3). These reforms of public services have fractured the traditional hierarchical forms of accountability and been accompanied by an ‘audit explosion’ and a proliferation of inspectorates, which has simultaneously led to a blurring of boundaries between audit, inspection, organizational design and consultancy (Clarke 2009: 199). Many writers have claimed that we now live in the age of a new ‘regulatory state’ (Hood et al. 1999; Braithwaite 2000; Scott 2002; Moran 2003; Oliver, Prosser and Rawlings 2010). We need to distinguish, however, between the regulation of those bodies outside of government, which operate within competitive private markets, and those organizations delivering publicly funded or subsidized services which are inside government. Chapter 7 examines the economic regulation of the former nationalized industries and public utilities and those parts of the economy which need to be controlled in the public interest. This chapter examines the growth and proliferation of audit and inspectorate bodies inside government involved in scrutinizing government organizations and those private and third sector bodies delivering public services. It also examines the debates and issues which fuelled the demand for their rationalization and the response of the Coalition Government after 2010.
June Burnham, Sylvia Horton

Chapter 10. Conclusion: Public Management in the UK Today

Abstract
In a book that seeks to explain ‘public management in the UK’, Chapter 1 had to start with the UK’s unusual territorial arrangements, because it is no longer possible to talk about ‘public management in the UK’ as a single system. Among the novel aspects of the Blair Government was the decision to allow patterns of public management to vary to fit the ways people in different regions would like public services delivered. The Brown Government agreed to pass even stronger powers to Scotland, which the Coalition Government quickly put into legislation. However, too much should not be made of this diversity. UK government ministers still hold the public purse-strings, particularly significant at a time of recession and cutbacks. They are still in command throughout the UK of high-spending policies such as social welfare (though not of health or education). More generally, the historical development of public services was largely shared across the four territories, and has provided an inheritance of a common UK style of public management.
June Burnham, Sylvia Horton
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