Archives for July 17th, 1998

IN PURSUIT OF A RE-ENGINEERING AGENDA IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

Abstracts, PublicNet: 17 July, 1998

Willcocks L P, Currie W, Jackson S
Public Administration, (UK), Winter 97 (75/4)
Start page: 617 No of pages: 33

Assesses the applicability of business process re-engineering to the UK public sector and asks if its prescriptions and practices are suitable for radical organizational change in this context. Studies three major information technology projects, one in the health service and two in different parts of the postal service, which used a business process re-engineering approach. Identifies five factors which affect the outcome of organizational change – the pressure to act, locus of support; levers for change; themes, i.e. messages used in the rhetoric of change; and approach. Uses these as a framework to analyse the cases under study, assessing three aspects of the change: the level of risk in a business process re-engineering project; the role of information technology; and the influence of human cultural and political issues on the process. Concludes that it is unrealistic to undertake such widespread change without recognizing the traditions and practices which will influence and inhibit the change and emphasizing the importance of human, cultural and political issues in any change project. Cautions managers against trying to take a unitary, clean sheet approach to organizational change such as that prescribed by business process re-engineering, stressing instead the importance of continuity as a basis for change.

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LOCAL COUNCILS AND NHS SHOULD ‘KNOCK HEADS TOGETHER’

Headlines, PublicNet: 17 July, 1998

A senior figure in both the health and local government sectors has called upon councils to be a force for the future improved health of the population.

Lord Philip Hunt, who spent his working career in the NHS but has also served extensively as a councillor, said the key area in which the two sectors could come together was in acting together in the best interests of people using services.

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SURE START TO CO-ORDINATE FAMILY WORK, HEALTH AND LEARNING

Headlines, PublicNet: 17 July, 1998

More evidence of the move to cross-sector working has emerged in further detail on the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

Among the initiatives to benefit from a three-year settlement bringing an extra five percent to the education budget, is a Sure Start programme.

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THE EVOLUTION OF PUBLIC MANAGEMENT

Book News, PublicNet: 17 July, 1998

Concepts and Techniques for the 1990s

Edited by: Colin Duncan, Lecturer in Industrial Relations, Department of Business Studies, University of Edinburgh

This book addresses the convergence of public administration and business management concepts in public management processes. As well as policy and reform issues, readings deal with how business concepts and techniques may be practically applied to public sector activities. There are chapters on quality; marketing; model building; competitive tendering; cost benefit analysis; social accounting; pay and motivation; and stress management. It includes a case study of the recent ‘crisis’ in the NHS that challenges conventional accounts and the wisdom of current reforms.

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