Public Sector Organizations (public + sector_organization)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The Experience of Gender Change in Public Sector Organizations

Raewyn Connell
The state has a twofold relationship to gender change in society, through its overall steering capacity and through the gendered character of its constituent agencies. It is therefore important to understand the experience of gender change in state organizations. The findings from a study of gender relations in ten public-sector worksites in New South Wales, Australia are presented. There is a widespread consciousness of gender change linked with new labour processes, restructuring and new patterns of management. These changes are uneven and limits to change are visible. Gender is recognized as an organizational problem in specific circumstances, most visibly where men's resistance to change appears. A number of mechanisms limit the consciousness of gender as a problem. Several trends, including the current strength of neo-liberalism, converge to make the gender-neutral workplace the principal goal of gender reform in the public-sector workplace. This, however, limits the state's steering capacity in regard to societal gender relations. [source]

Identifying, Enabling and Managing Dynamic Capabilities in the Public Sector*

Amy L. Pablo
abstract In this paper, we examine how a public sector organization developed a new strategic approach based on the identification and use of an internal dynamic capability (learning through experimenting). In response to the need for continual performance improvement in spite of reduced financial resources, this organization engaged in three overlapping phases as they shifted to this strategic approach. First, managers identified appropriate latent dynamic capabilities. Next, they used their leadership skills and built on established levels of trust to enable the use of these dynamic capabilities. Finally, they managed the tension between unrestricted development of local initiatives and organizational needs for guidance and control. [source]

Trust as a mediator of the relationship between organizational justice and work outcomes: test of a social exchange model

Samuel Aryee
Data obtained from full-time employees of a public sector organization in India were used to test a social exchange model of employee work attitudes and behaviors. LISREL results revealed that whereas the three organizational justice dimensions (distributive, procedural and interactional) were related to trust in organization only interactional justice was related to trust in supervisor. The results further revealed that relative to the hypothesized fully mediated model a partially mediated model better fitted the data. Trust in organization partially mediated the relationship between distributive and procedural justice and the work attitudes of job satisfaction, turnover intentions, and organizational commitment but fully mediated the relationship between interactional justice and these work attitudes. In contrast, trust in supervisor fully mediated the relationship between interactional justice and the work behaviors of task performance and the individually- and organizationally-oriented dimensions of citizenship behavior. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Analysis of a public sector organizational unit using strategic and operational analysis tools

Malcolm Brady
This paper reports on a project which analyzed the processes carried out by a unit within a public sector organization. The method used a combination of strategic and operational analysis tools. This combination proved to be complementary and effective in practice. The outcome of the study suggests that where a process analysis project has strategic considerations, as many do, then the use of strategic as well as operational analysis tools should be considered. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Evaluating e-government: learning from the experiences of two UK local authorities

Zahir Irani
Abstract. Part of the remit of public sector management includes planning and reflecting on capital expenditure on new technology. With this in mind, the role that information systems play in supporting improvements in e-government service delivery to stakeholder groups continues to attract much attention. The authors of this paper seek to define the scope and role that information systems evaluation plays within the public sector. In particular, the authors assess whether public sector organizations might benefit from the use of established ex-ante evaluation techniques, when applied to analyse the impact of e-government information systems. Following a comprehensive review of the normative literature, an initial conceptual framework for public sector information systems evaluation is proposed, which is then empirically explored within two local government authorities. The conceptual framework is then revised by using the structured case approach, which is dependent on an iterative research cycle where triangulated data are elicited. This then supports the emergence of new concepts during each research cycle that leads to the view that information systems evaluation in the public sector is a process of experiential and subjective judgement, which is grounded in opinion and world views. This leads the authors to challenge the appropriateness of traditional modes of investment appraisal when applied in the public sector. The finalized framework embraces investment decisions, evaluation methods, culture and structure, as well as post hoc evaluation. It emphasizes the importance of situated, interpretive user assessments in evaluating e-government investments. [source]

The Measurement of Success of Activity-Based Costing and Its Determinants: A Study within Canadian Federal Government Organizations,/L'évaluation Du Succès De La Comptabilité Par Activités Et Ses Déterminants: Étude D'Organismes Du Gouvernement Fédéral Du Canada

Anne Fortin
ABSTRACT This research first measures the success of activity-based costing (ABC) implementation within Canadian federal government organizations along five constructs, which are the use and frequency of use of the ABC information, decision actions taken, financial improvements, evaluation by management as to overall success, and a composite measure of the four constructs. Second, it identifies the determinants of ABC success. The success determinants used in this study are organizational culture, involvement of a champion, change process, commitment, controls, and continuous education. Measures of ABC success and determinants were obtained using a survey of managers who have participated in ABC implementation in Canadian federal government organizations. The study found that the benefits derived from ABC implementation within Canadian public sector organizations do not measure up to the efforts invested, although respondents consider that some financial improvements have resulted from the implementations. Controls and culture proved to be the two variables that significantly relate to ABC success. The results could have implications for policymaking organizations such as the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada and the Office of the Comptroller General (OCG). The latter should question the benefits of investments made in management accounting best practices in the federal government. The OCG could also direct departments and agencies to the right environment (success determinants) to be put in place in order to ensure the success of ABC initiatives. RÉSUMÉ Les auteurs évaluent le succès de la mise en ,uvre de la comptabilité par activités (CPA) au sein d'organismes du gouvernement fédéral du Canada selon cinq paramètres, soit l'utilisation et la fréquence d'utilisation de l'information produite par la CPA, les mesures décisionnelles prises, les améliorations financières, l'évaluation du succès global par la direction et une mesure composite regroupant ces quatre paramètres. Ils définissent ensuite les déterminants du succès de la CPA. Les déterminants utilisés dans la présente étude sont la culture organisationnelle, l'intervention d'un défenseur, le processus de changement, l'engagement, les contrôles et la formation continue. Les auteurs obtiennent les critères d'évaluation et les déterminants du succès de la CPA en procédant à un sondage auprès de cadres ayant participé à la mise en ,uvre de la CPA dans des organismes du gouvernement fédéral du Canada. Ils constatent que les avantages découlant de cet exercice au sein des organismes du secteur public canadien ne sont pas à la hauteur des efforts investis, même si les répondants estiment en avoir tiré certaines améliorations financières. Il semble que les variables des contrôles et de la culture soient celles qui se rattachent de façon significative au succès de la CPA. Les résultats de l'étude pourraient avoir des conséquences pour les organismes responsables de l'élaboration des politiques comme le Secrétariat du Conseil du Trésor du Canada et le Bureau du contrôleur général (BCG). Ce dernier devrait s'interroger sur ce que rapportent les sommes investies par le gouvernement fédéral dans les pratiques de comptabilité de management les meilleures. Le BCG pourrait également orienter les ministères et les organismes gouvernementaux vers l'environnement (ou les déterminants du succès) qu'il convient de mettre en place pour assurer la réussite des projets de CPA. [source]

Speaking Softly Without Big Sticks: Meta-Regulation and Public Sector Audit

LAW & POLICY, Issue 3 2003
Colin Scott
Australian government has undergone an "audit explosion" in the last twenty years. This article observes, first, that the constitutional function of public sector audit institutions (AIs) gives them a strong cultural commitment to the assessment of the regularity and legality of public expenditure. New functions connected with performance audit and evaluation of nonfinancial performance indicators are liable to be interpreted through the lens of these more traditional concerns. The second observation is that, if we think in terms of "regimes" of financial control, we find that AIs form only part of the overall regulatory regime. This calls into question the coherence and potential for effectiveness of regimes of financial control. However, AIs could also be conceived as "meta-regulators" with the capacity to steer the self-regulatory capacities of public sector organizations in respect of financial controls. Auditors may be effective as meta-regulators through speaking softly, even though they demonstrably lack big sticks. [source]


In recent times, the UK has witnessed a steady growth in the use of agency workers to fill core professional roles in public sector organizations. Similar trends have been noted elsewhere, particularly in Australia and the US. In this paper our objective is to explore some of the consequences of this growth, drawing on case study research on social services. We point to a number of problems associated with the management of agency workers and to the potentially negative consequences for the quality of services. These problems, in turn, may impact on key aspects of a (largely functional) public service employment model founded on strong internal labour markets, employment stability and collegial ethos. We also note that while there are ways in which public organizations can manage this situation, certain constraints may prevent them from doing so. [source]


This is a conceptual paper whose aim is to relate the development of ,individualization' (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 2002) to organizational leadership. It does this by examining individualization alongside the implicit assumption on which orthodox approaches to leadership are founded, namely that leadership is an individualized phenomenon. Despite the expanding literature on these topics, particularly that on leadership, these concepts have not been examined in relation to one another. This paper seeks to do this in two ways. Firstly, it highlights the increased attention given to leadership in the UK public sector, locating leadership as a continuation of public sector managerialism. Secondly, it discusses the development of the trend of individualization more broadly. The paper's main discussion focuses on leadership as an individual activity and of the consequences of that approach. In particular, it argues that individualized leadership presents a restrictive perspective which does not allow for exploration of a broader range of leadership approaches, particularly that of distributed leadership, which have especial relevance for public sector organizations. [source]


This paper sets out to test the ,convergence thesis' in respect of managers in the public and private sectors in Britain. New Public Management (NPM) initiatives have had the objective of making managerial behaviour in public sector organizations more similar to that in the private sector. Based on unique national surveys undertaken in 1980, 1990 and 2000, using quite large random samples of fellows and members of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), comparisons are made to investigate whether ,convergence' between public and private sector managers has actually occurred. The patterns are found to be complex and, although there are some signs of convergence, the two sectors continue to exhibit similarities, persistent differences and parallel movements evident in managerial attitudes, behaviour and experiences. [source]

Knowledge management and communities of practice in the private sector: lessons for modernizing the National Health Service in England and Wales

S.P. Bate
The National Health Service (NHS) in England and Wales has embarked upon a radical and far,reaching programme of change and reform. However, to date the results of organizational quality and service improvement initiatives in the public sector have been mixed, if not to say disappointing, with anticipated gains often failing to materialize or to be sustained in the longer term. This paper draws on the authors' recent extensive research into one of the principal methodologies for bringing about the sought after step change in the quality of health care in England and Wales. It explores how private sector knowledge management (KM) concepts and practices might contribute to the further development of public sector quality improvement initiatives in general and to the reform of the NHS in particular. Our analysis suggests there have been a number of problems and challenges in practice, not least a considerable naïvety around the issue of knowledge transfer and ,knowledge into practice' within health care organizations. We suggest four broad areas for possible development which also have important implications for other public sector organizations. [source]

Regulation Inside Government: Public Interest Justifications and Regulatory Failures

Oliver James
Regulation is normally thought of as government regulation of the private sector, particularly business. However, there is a developing literature on regulation inside government, exploring the ways in which government regulates itself through a range of bodies which set standards for public sector organizations, monitor them and seek to bring about compliance with those standards. Reading across economic theories of business regulation to regulation inside government, this article suggests that the current wave of reform inside the UK public sector implicitly reflects a public interest view of regulation. However, the analogous public interest justification for the regulation of business has been heavily criticized and regulatory failures have been suggested including regulation in the interest of regulated bodies, regulation in the interest of regulators and the high costs of operating regulatory systems. [source]

Understanding the changing role of public sector performance measurement in less developed countries

Sandra Tillema
Abstract This article develops a framework for understanding changes in the demand for and supply of performance information in public sector organizations in less developed countries (LDCs). New Institutional Sociology (NIS) is used to argue that pressures from specific stakeholders stimulate organizations to produce particular performance information. The article distinguishes three groups of stakeholders (i.e. funding bodies, statutory boards and purchasers), and elaborates on the performance dimensions these stakeholders are interested in. The group of funding bodies, with their interest in financial performance information, used to be the most important group of stakeholders. However, statutory boards and purchasers are gaining importance as a result of recent public sector reforms, which include decentralization, marketization and the implementation of anti-corruption programs. As a consequence of pressures coming from these stakeholders, new performance dimensions, such as the quality and quantity of services and the political governance structure, will be added to organizations' performance measurement (PM) systems. Whether these and other,often more traditional financial,performance dimensions will be balanced and integrated throughout organizations depends on the power positions of the various stakeholders. The arguments presented in this article intend to stimulate public sector organizations in LDCs to design and redesign PM systems as a response to changing stakeholder interests. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Strategic Human Resource Practices: Introducing Alternatives for Organizational Performance Improvement in the Public Sector

Jungin Kim
Can public sector organizations increase productivity through competition in spite of inherent limitations, such as budget constraints? This study addresses that question by examining the impact of four factors that contribute to employees' expectations regarding competitive work environments on organizational performance in terms of overall quality of work and client satisfaction. The four factors measured include rewards for merit such as salary and benefits, opportunities, organizational rules, and the capacity to deal with risks as perceived by employees. Using data on public and nonprofit sector employees, expectations for merit rewards were positively related to employees' perception of organizational performance when the conditions of performance-based organizational rules and risk-taking behaviors were also satisfied. Moreover, employees' perceptions of organizational performance tended to increase when they felt that organizational rules were oriented toward performance plus organizational members and top leaders exhibited greater risk-taking behaviors. However, no correlation was evident between employees' expectations of opportunities and perceived organizational performance. [source]

Buying into our future: sustainability initiatives in local government procurement

Lutz Preuss
Abstract Local government in the United Kingdom is well placed to make a contribution to sustainable development in its area. Although only enjoying partial autonomy from central government without its own constitutional basis, its aggregate purchasing expenditure dwarfs that of central government. Case study research into procurement by local authorities in England reveals a wide range of activities aimed at addressing the challenges of sustainable development, covering environmental and social as well as economic development aspects. However, these initiatives are still of a patchy nature, in terms of both differences between aspects of sustainability and variation between local authorities. Many sustainability initiatives also have cost implications for local government, which may clash with other priorities. To overcome such barriers, local authorities could cooperate with other public sector organizations in the United Kingdom and beyond, as well as with the private sector, to learn from the sustainability experience elsewhere. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]