Headlines: September 22nd, 2003

The drive to joined-up working between public sector organizations is being slowed down by cultural differences. A survey commissioned by LogicaCMG found that over half of local government and health service respondents and nearly 40 per cent from central government departments believe that the many different cultures are inhibiting this new way of working.Bringing different cultures together presents the greatest challenge for middle management according to two thirds of respondents. Any major organisational transformation makes people wary of what lies ahead and this can lead to resistance to change. Middle managers have to manage the change process and get commitment at all levels, but this is proving difficult because of a lack of understanding.

The survey also revealed that communication difficulties between the centre and those working locally are affecting the move towards joined-up working. Around two-thirds of those in the NHS and local government, compared to one-third in central government, feel that communication between public bodies needs to be improved if reform is to be accomplished.

The majority of HR professionals questioned viewed joined-up government as highly beneficial to the provision of staff training. Two-thirds of those questioned agreed that joined-up government will help focus their training needs, and 61 per cent agreed that the management and delivery of training activities will benefit from a joined-up approach.