Purpose – Reform, transformation and restructuring have become endemic in public services. This paper aims to examine the central “modernisation” and improvement themes of public service reform in Denmark and the UK. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on the authors' reflections on experience and analysis, drawing on the UK and Denmark as sites where there have been substantial efforts to undertake public services reform. It argues that there has been a weakening of the hierarchically organised state in favour of more differentiated governance regimes that cut across the public, private and voluntary sectors. However, the new dynamic image of public leadership and the apparently enlarged opportunities for managerial discretion seem to be counter‐balanced by a strengthening of central interventions and controls. Findings – The paper identifies that managing the tensions and paradoxes of governance regimes has become a key element of the work of public service managers, and that this means that three sets of dynamics need to be worked with. First, the dynamics of self‐creation means that authority is not solely formal but that self‐constitution is necessary. Second, the dynamics of strategising means that managers cannot rely on a fixed legal or professional set of values but must be able to decode, challenge and develop varied sets of values and goals, working with varied rationales for action. Third, the dynamics of networking and negotiation mean that management and leadership positions are partly created through negotiated relations in a network‐like governance structure. Practical implications – These dynamics mean that teaching and learning have to address new challenges if programmes for public service leaders and managers are to be enabling. Originality/value – The paper highlights the challenges facing public sector leaders and managers.
International Journal of Public Sector Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 30, 2008
Keywords: Governance; Leadership; United Kingdom; Denmark; Public sector organizations
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera