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Growing The Productivity Of Government Services

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Growing The Productivity Of Government Services

Patrick Dunleavy , Leandro Carrera

Patrick Dunleavy, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK and Leandro Carrera, Pensions Policy Institute, King’s College, UK

2013 384 pp Hardback 978 0 85793 498 7
2013 Paperback 978 1 78195 610 6
ebook isbn 978 0 85793 499 4

Hardback £75.00 on-line price £67.50

Paperback £25.00 on-line price £20.00

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Description
‘Carrera and Dunleavy provide a crystal clear and comprehensive account of the complex issues involved in how best to improve the productivity of government services. They offer a nuanced but powerful explanation of productivity puzzles, conundrums and dilemmas in the public sector. But they also offer solutions to many of these problems. Finally, I have found a text on public economics that makes sense, gives genuine management insights and offers real suggestions to practitioners as to what to do next.’
– Barry Quirk, Chief Executive, London Borough of Lewisham, UK

Contents
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction: Why has Government Productivity been so Neglected in Economics and Public Management? Part I: Nationally Provided Government Services 2. Studying National Agencies’ Productivity 3. Rapid Productivity Growth – Customs Regulation 4. Growing Productivity Gradually – Tax Services 5. How Productivity can Remain Unchanged Despite Major Investments – Social Security 6. Broadening the Picture – Two National Regulatory Agencies Part II: Analysing Decentralized Government Services 7. Methods and Quality Issues in Analysing Complex and Localized Services 8. Hospital Productivity in England’s National Health Service Part III: Sustainable Increases in Productivity 9. Embracing Digital Change and Enhancing Organizational Learning 10. Pushing through to Productivity Advances References Index

Further information

‘Dunleavy and Carrera have performed a difficult, burdensome, original, practical and innovative service to the public sector practitioners and academic observers of public administration and public sector management. This is a book that simply had to be written, but it took a colossal amount of time, effort and experience to do so, and to do it so well.’
– LSE Review of Books

‘This is an innovative book that aims to address lacunae in both the public administration and management literature. It is an informed disquisition on how to measure and thence to increase productivity in the delivery of public services. (…)The book is both an original research-based treatise and a practical guide to action. In this reader’s eyes it is required reading for both academics and practitioners. (…) …Dunleavy and Carrera have performed a difficult, burdensome, original, practical and innovative service to the public sector practitioners and academic observers of public administration and public sector management. This is a book that simply had to be written, but it took a colossal amount of time, effort and experience to do so, and to do it so well.’
– LSE review of books

‘This is an important book, one that should be read by academics and practitioners alike. . . The authors address what is a central issue both for academic public administration and for the “real thing”. How can the productivity of governments be improved? Given the large sizes of public sectors throughout the OECD [this question] has become an absolutely vital one. The field of public administration and public policy needs more work like this – academically thorough, yet hard-hitting, policy-relevant and willing to come forward with broad proposals for improving how governments run their (our) affairs.’
– Christopher Pollitt, International Review of Administrative Sciences

‘Carrera and Dunleavy provide a crystal clear and comprehensive account of the complex issues involved in how best to improve the productivity of government services. They offer a nuanced but powerful explanation of productivity puzzles, conundrums and dilemmas in the public sector. But they also offer solutions to many of these problems. Finally, I have found a text on public economics that makes sense, gives genuine management insights and offers real suggestions to practitioners as to what to do next.’
– Barry Quirk, Chief Executive, London Borough of Lewisham, UK

‘This book presents a welcome and sobering analysis of productivity performance in UK central government – a subject that has received remarkably little serious academic attention up to now, in spite of decades of general commentary on managerialism.’
– Christopher Hood, All Souls College, UK

‘Leandro Carrera and Patrick Dunleavy have performed an amazing feat in this book through their rigorous examination of a thorny topic that has dogged pundits and academics alike. Just how efficient is government and how well does it do its job? As a result of an impressive – but accessible – set of data analyses, the authors make an authoritative attack on the proponents of the New Public Management, and offer some clear recommendations for reform based on better use of new technology.’
– Peter John, University College London, UK

Productivity is essentially the ratio of an organization’s outputs divided by its inputs. For many years it was treated as always being static in government agencies. In fact productivity in government services should be rising rapidly as a result of digital changes and new management approaches, and it has done so in some agencies. However, Dunleavy and Carrera show for the first time how complex are the factors affecting productivity growth in government organizations – especially management practices, use of IT, organizational culture, strategic mis-decisions and political and policy churn.

With government budgets under stress in many countries, this pioneering book shows academics, analysts and officials how to measure outputs and productivity in detail; how to cope with problems of quality variations; and how to achieve year-on-year, sustainable improvements in the efficiency of government services.



 
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