Managing Public Services: Competition and Decentralization is intended for public sector managers to help them assess their situation and assist them to think creatively about different approaches for the future. The book begins on the general principle that business is good and bureaucracy is bad. This topic is followed by detailed studies of organizations, whether these are in a competitive environment, victims of market rhetoric, or in another competitive spectrum. Public sector managers are then encouraged to analyze their own organizations so appropriate actions can be applied into their situation. The extent to which competition is happening is explained, and if competition does not work well, then the concept of decentralization may be adopted. To what extent decentralization can then be used to increase the motivation and commitment of their employees is explained. The authors believe that new ways and methods of working will follow. But, any successes of these changes have to be measured by an important gauge: the impact upon the recipients of the new and improved services. In any undertaking, failures are bound to happen, and the authors suggest that public sector managers should be more tolerant. Finally, the book notes that to achieve delivery of quality service, whether these are for customers or clients, an important approach to managerial action is the design towards a good experience. Public administrators, heads and CEOs of public institutions and private firms, professors and students in public administration, policymakers, and sociologists will find this book valuable.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Competitive Environment 3. Competitive Behavior 4. Decentralization 5. The Impact on the Customer 6. Good Customer Service 7. Making Change Happen
Appendix 1. Summary of Reforms 2. Public Sector Agency Research Project