Abstracts: October 3rd, 2007

This report from the Public Management and Policy Association think-tank looks at the problems involved in translating corporate experiences to a public sector in the process of reform. The issue has arisen out of the modernization of public service delivery.

Central and local government and other public bodies are focusing on open government, improving citizen access and enhancing the quality of the services provided, while retaining the strong traditional focus of government on cost-effectiveness. The challenge for governments is how to handle the increasing expectations of citizens, not to mention the rising numbers of lobbies and other pressure groups. Public service users are now also turning to the media to pressurize the government for better treatment.

The report assesses specific private sector techniques used to manage customers and stakeholders, such as ‘segmentation’ and how these systems can be applied to public services. The authors conclude that most public sector organizations do have a lot to learn from the private sector, but less through copying detailed customer or stakeholder management techniques, and more through a clear-sighted analysis of what is meant by stakeholder management, what models of stakeholder management might be appropriate for them, and how to ensure the full adoption of the chosen model.

Copies of the report are available from: Richard.taylor@cipfa.org