Seeking out new ways to exploit opportunities to increase productivity and enhance the performance of public bodies is at the heart of a new research initiative. AIM, the UK management research initiative, has appointed twelve academics to carry out what is claimed to be the first large scale public sector management research project. AIM is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).Anne Sigismund Huff, director of AIM, said: “Delivering better public services is an important focus of domestic policy debate. A long term investment in research on the public services is required, not least because of difficult methodological and data collection issues, especially for research involving international comparisons.”
The twelve appointees will purse research in specific areas of the public sector as well as on ‘across the board’ themes. The area specific projects include frameworks for priority setting in the NHS and placing a monetary value on survival and the quality of life. There will also be a project on financial and performance management in the police.
The ‘across the board’ themes include generating innovation across public services, target setting and goal achievement, the ways in which public services are governed, the role of performance measures in inter-organizational collaboration and the implementation of electronic local government.