Archives for October 2001

DEVOLVED APPROACHES TO LOCAL GOVERNANCE

Book News, PublicNet: 25 October, 2001

By Paul Burgess, Stephen Hall, John Mawson and Graham Pearce.Modernising Local Government and Neighbourhood Management are policy initiatives which are seeking to reinvigorate local democracy and ensure that government is more responsive to local needs. Drawing on research findings and current practice and the authors’ direct experience, this report explores the issues surrounding the modernisation of local government. It presents an overview of the issues faced by public, private and voluntary organizations, community groups and residents engaged in neighbourhood renewal and management. It will also be of interest to policy makers at central, regional and local government level who are concerned with tackling these issues.

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SAVINGS INITIATIVE QUESTIONED

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 October, 2001

A new report questions some of the aims and likely outcomes of the Government’s plans to introduce new measures to build savings for very young children.The Institute of Fiscal Studies has examined the plans to introduce two new ‘asset-based welfare’ policies during the current parliament – the Child Trust Fund and the Saving Gateway.

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INDIVIDUAL LEARNING ACCOUNTS SUSPENDED

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 October, 2001

The Department of Education and Skills has taken the embarrassing step of suspending its Individual Learning Account (ILA) programme.No new learners will be accepted onto the programme for the time being, but existing learners can continue with their plans, provided they are booked on to an approved course by December 7.

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UK FIFTH IN WORLD FOR E-GOVERNMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 October, 2001

The UK has been ranked fifth in the world for its progress in implementing e-government. The ranking comes in a survey conducted by World Market Research Centre, which evaluated the services governments offer online.The UK trailed behind the US, which came in at number one, Taiwan at number two and Australia and Canada in third and fourth places respectively.

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PRIMARY CARE TRUSTS SHOULD HANDLE PPPS WITH CARE

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 October, 2001

Primary care trusts should only embark on partnerships with the private sector if they can be sure they will benefit patients – without harming staff or other health services, says a new joint policy paper from the NHS Alliance and the King’s Fund.The paper calls on primary care trusts (PCTs) to experiment carefully with PPPs.

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CORPORATE IDEOLOGY – MEANINGS AND CONTRADICTIONS FOR MIDDLE MANAGERS

Abstracts, PublicNet: 24 October, 2001

This paper describes an investigation into corporate ideology and control and the responses of the ‘middle managers’ in a large engineering corporation. The paper explores the creation of meaning and values in the organization through a large-scale ‘corporate values’ programme aimed at 1500 middle managers, and asks to what extent the priorities of these managers match those of the organization, and whether the creation of meaning through an ideological values programme carries risks that have not been considered by the organization adopting this approach. The findings suggest six individual response types amongst the delegates on the programme: ‘evangelists’, ‘actors’, ‘sceptics’, ‘open cynics’, ‘critical thinkers’ and ‘untouched professionals’. The influences upon these responses are considered, and a number of key factors identified as important in affecting perceptions of and response to the programme. The paper concludes that today more than ever, corporate ideologies are becoming an increasingly dominant influence on our organizations, causing mixed and confused responses amongst the middle managers who are required to disseminate these messages.

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NEW BODY TO PROMOTE E-GOVERNMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 October, 2001

A new cross-sector forum offers those in the public sector grappling with the e-government challenge access to the ideas, tools and guidance they will need to effect real change in their organisations.So promises its sponsor, the Institute of Public Finance, (IPF) which will launch the project in Central London on November 1.

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DTI NOT DELIVERING FOR BUSINESS

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 October, 2001

A right wing think tank has produced a critical report on the DTI, saying that its confused agenda, in supporting both economic and social objectives, makes it ineffective.”A Department for Business: the DTI in the 21st century”, produced by the Centre for Policy Studies, has come out just ahead of the department’s own internal review.

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MANAGING CREATIVITY: THE DYNAMICS OF WORK AND ORGANIZATION

Book News, PublicNet: 22 October, 2001

By Howard Davis and Richard ScaseThe creative industries are a growing economic as well as cultural force. This book investigates their organizational dynamism and shows how organizations structure their work processes to incorporate creative employees’ needs for autonomy while at the same time controlling and coordinating their output. Research in television and radio broadcasting, publishing, advertising, the recorded music industry and the performing arts is used to show the variety of ways in which organizations respond to the creative imperative. The authors help to answer a larger question which has been neglected in theories of management and organizational behaviour, namely: what should replace the management principles and practices inherited from industrial society in the types of organization which predominate in post-industrial society?

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DEVELOPING PROCUREMENT CAPACITY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 October, 2001

The CBI and a local government think tank group are jointly organising a series of roadshows to show what has been achieved by the first strategic partnerships between business and councils.These partnerships deliver much more than a simple contracting out of services. Case studies to be discussed at the roadshows include Kent’s link with commercial firm Babtie in improving the county’s engineering consultancy and transport services. The improvement has not been at a cost to employees – transferred staff have improved job security achieved through being able to work on new business.

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