Handbook of Innovation in Public Services
Show Less

Handbook of Innovation in Public Services

Edited by Stephen P. Osborne and Louise Brown

Leading researchers from across the globe review the state of the art in research on innovation in public services, providing an overview of key issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Topics explored include: context for innovation in public services and public service reform; managerial change challenges; ICT and e-government; and collaboration and networks. The theory is underpinned by seven wide-ranging case studies of innovation in practice.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 34: Innovations in structure: experience from local government in the UK

Rhys Andrews and George A. Boyne


Structural innovation in the public sector typically involves the amalgamation of small organizations into a new bigger body, the disaggregation of large organizations into smaller units or the development of platforms for the shared delivery of services by several agencies. Such reforms have a long history as a response to both perceived weaknesses in service provision and a desire to reap gains in efficiency (March and Olson 1983). Invariably, debates on the appropriate structures for public service delivery often concentrate on the issue of scale, especially the optimum client population size in terms of its relationship with costs, effectiveness and democratic responsiveness. The impact of this issue has been especially apparent at the local level, particularly in the UK where central government has displayed a predilection for centrally mandated structural innovation in response to the perceived inefficiency of smaller local governments (John 2010). Prior to the advent of devolution of administrative powers to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, innovations in the structure of UK local government had tended to take the form of vertical consolidation and horizontal amalgamation of small units into larger ones, in an attempt to reap scale economies associated with bigger bureaucratic organizations.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.