Creating Sustained Performance Improvement

Features: April 27th, 2007

By Peter A Hunter Management theories such as Six Sigma and TQM make some contribution to improving performance, but they come and go. An element that is common to most of them is that managers should feel ownership. The author explores the idea of ownership and describes its importance in improving performance.

The Customer Magazine Going from Strength to Strength

Features: April 20th, 2007

By Bill Jenkinson Public and private organisations have a need to get their message across to customers, but it can be more difficult in the public sector because of limited marketing budgets compared to commercial brands. The author describes how public sector organisations are making progress in cutting through the fragmented media landscape by embracing the customer magazine, which is currently going from strength to strength.

Efficiency and the Information Goldmine

Features: April 13th, 2007

By Brian Sussex Information is power and giving managers a rich picture of what is happening in the organization allows them to use the levers to deliver better results. Children and Young People’s Services in local councils generate vast amounts of data and the author describes how Devon County Council has worked this goldmine of information to bring widespread benefits.

Social Capital from Neighbourhood Play

Features: March 30th, 2007

By Haki Kapasi Negative undesigned outcomes are the hazard feared by policy makers and innovators. Those involved in developing a neighbourhood play toolkit to allow children to play without a threat from traffic or harm by strangers did not expect any wider community impact. The author describes how the pilot projects increased social capital by building networks within the community and expanding partnerships.

A Pain In Your Assets

Features: March 23rd, 2007

By Tim Roots The advent of information technology has increased enormously the assets held by schools. Managing these assets to plan for replacement, prevent fraud and renew licences has moved from an occasional chore to a massive undertaking. The author explains how technology can take much of the pain out of asset management.

Housing Affordability for First Time Buyers

Features: March 16th, 2007

By Steve Wilcox Almost three out of every five younger working households in London, the South East and the South West of England cannot afford to buy a house at current prices. The author produces a disturbing picture of worsening affordability and shows how the problem can be more acute in rural areas where potential houseowners do not have the option of moving to cheaper areas.

Managing Stakeholders

Features: March 9th, 2007

By Janet Grauberg Managing stakeholders is an important function in all areas of the public sector. This article summarises a seminar that considered what could be learnt from private sector models of stakeholder management, and to hear how others had put these lessons into practice. The themes that emerged indicate that stakeholder management has not been universally embraced across the public sector. This article was first published in Public Management and Policy and is reproduced by permission of the Association.

What Makes Parenting Programmes Work In Disadvantaged Areas?

Features: March 2nd, 2007

By Stephen Scott, Thomas O’Connor and Annabel Futh Children raised in poverty do less well than children raised in more favourable circumstances. Yet if children are brought up with warm, firm, encouraging parenting, the evidence is clear that they can succeed even in these more adverse conditions. For this reason the Government is energetically pursuing the parenting agenda with a range of policy initiatives. The authors describe how their Primary Age Learning Study influenced parents and children.

Managing Successfully in a Political Environment

Features: February 23rd, 2007

By Cheryl Miller The party political environment has an enormous impact on managing in government. The author looks at the problems and some solutions across both central and local government. She explores success in a political environment and concludes that local government is out-performing other parts of the public sector because it has got the appropriate balance between the political and managerial leader. This article was first published in Public Management and Policy and is reproduced by permission of the Association.

Struggling To Pay Council Tax: New Perspectives On The Local Taxation Debate

Features: February 16th, 2007

By Michael Orton, Duncan Adam and Rhys Davies. Council tax is under review and the Lyon’s report is due to be published in May 2007. This article provides insights into the impact of the tax on the lower income households who predominate among those who struggle to pay council tax. The authors’ analysis reveals where the tax bites the hardest and leads to conclusions about reshaping future local taxation.

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