Political management and local performance: a testing relationship?

Fenwick, John and Johnston Miller, Karen (2012) Political management and local performance: a testing relationship? International Journal of Public Sector Management, 25 (3). pp. 221-230. ISSN 0951-3558

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09513551211224261

Abstract

Purpose
Reform of local political management continues to be part of the international agenda for change as governments seek to create the conditions for better performance in local government. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of changes in political management upon the performance of local government, with England as a case study, and the implications for local government reform elsewhere.

Design/methodology/approach
Using statistical data derived from the system of comprehensive performance assessment (CPA), the analysis uses Kendall’s tau to correlate CPA score per local authority against the respective political governance arrangement of each local authority in England.

Findings
As the correlation coefficient did not reach the level of statistical significance, the principal finding is that the relationship between different political governance arrangements and local authorities’ performance is not demonstrated. The implications of this for governments’ reforms of political management are discussed.
Research limitations/implications – The data are based upon English sources and point to the importance of conducting comparable analysis in other societies that have undergone similar changes in local political management.
Practical implications – In instituting reforms of local governance, governments rarely pay serious attention to measurable outcomes and the paper suggests the value in so doing.

Originality/value
The specific relationship between local political management and performance has not previously been measured in precisely this way.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Change management, Local governance, Local government, Performance, Performance (public administration), Political management, Public sector reform, United Kingdom
Subjects: L200 Politics
N200 Management studies
N600 Human Resource Management
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School > Corporate and Executive Development
Depositing User: Helen Pattison
Date Deposited: 23 May 2012 15:36
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 10:59
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/7377

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