Book News: February 11th, 2002

By Barry QuirkCentral government is encouraging councils to change their decision-making systems and to modernize their service. Most of the ensuing debate has been on external ‘incentives’ for progressive change. This paper suggests how progressive change can be achieved from within local government. The author suggests that managers need to encourage an organizational culture that fosters entrepreneurship and a positive sense of organizational efficacy. Community based planning, service targets and disciplined method may not on their own offer the necessary condition for success. Progressive change will only occur when politicians and managers build and sustain a deep sense of collective responsibility for improving local community wellbeing. The author concludes that a feeling of commitment and team spirit – an esprit de corps – needs to be developed amongst politicians, managers and employees if they are to succeed in proving effective local leadership.

Published by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Price 6 pounds. Available from: