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  • Author or Editor: Rhys Andrews x
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It is often asserted that the representation of women in leadership positions within public service organisations is likely to result in improved outcomes for other women within those organisations. However, there has been little systematic research devoted to understanding whether this argument holds for the nonprofit organisations that now provide many public services. To cast light on this important issue, this article presents an analysis of the representation of women in leadership roles and the gender pay gap in Welsh housing associations – registered societies responsible for providing more than half of the social housing within Wales. The findings show that nonprofit service providers led by women in the most senior organisational positions may be more likely to have a lower gender pay gap, confirming arguments about the importance of actively representing female interests. At the same time, it seems that representation in the upper echelons in general is not likely to influence gender pay equality, which raises questions about whether a glass ceiling may be present, as has been observed in state-led public service provision. These findings suggest a need for more in-depth, multi-method research which systematically evaluates the way in which female leaders actively represent women’s interests in the myriad organisations that provide public services. This article has important implications given a renewed period of austerity in the public sector, which, as in the past, may threaten further progress on equality for those women who provide and receive public services.

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Modernisation of the fire service in England was intended to drive fire performance upwards through the implementation of an extensive managerial reform programme. This article explores the impact of modernisation using panel data for 46 English local fire authorities between 2001 and 2006. The panel regression results suggest that in the post-modernisation period the performance of English fire authorities improved relative to their previous levels. Further analysis indicates that the introduction of the Integrated Personal Development System and Integrated Risk Management Plans, in particular, is associated with improvements on key measures of performance.

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In this article, we evaluate workforce diversity in the United Kingdom civil service by investigating the organisational determinants of the representation of women, black and minority ethnic and disabled people in central government departments. To do so, we draw on workforce data for 21 departments between 2007 and 2009. Our study reveals the presence of statistically significant variations in rates of representation across departments and that key organisational characteristics, such as size, administrative, part-time and temporary employment, and autonomy account for a sizeable portion of this variation but often affect under-represented groups differently. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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By working with business, public organisations are assumed to benefit from: a more contestable procurement process; access to private sector entrepreneurialism and the realisation of previously untapped scale economies. Nevertheless, realisation of these benefits may be contingent upon an expansion of management capacity to cope with vastly increased transaction costs. We examine the relationship between a commitment to public-private partnerships, management capacity and the productive efficiency of a set of English local authorities. We find that only those governments with very strong management capacity are able to realise productive efficiency gains from publicprivate partnership. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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Government efforts to increase civic engagement are predicated, in part, on the belief that this will lead to better public services. This assumption is tested by analysing the impact of different approaches to supporting active citizenship in English local authorities on their recorded service performance in 2005. Performance and support for active citizenship are modelled using data drawn from a national survey and secondary sources. The results suggest that councils which aim to promote understanding of citizenship among the public are more likely to have higher service performance, but that those which aim to increase citizen engagement in local governance are associated with lower performance in deprived areas.

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Under the Labour government, Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) in England were responsible for the delivery of Local Area Agreements (LAAs) – agreed targets between central and local government. This paper uses statistical techniques and local authority case studies to explore the impact of LAAs on LSPs’ efforts to promote social cohesion. The results suggest that LSPs with a LAA for social cohesion experienced a better rate of improvement in community cohesiveness than those without, and that tougher targets resulted in stronger improvement. The impact of changes in LSPs’ approaches to promoting social cohesion appears to be responsible for this finding.

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The increased recognition of diversity within Western democracies has resulted in particular attention being paid to the representativeness of staff within public organisations. However, little systematic research has been conducted into workforce diversity in public organisations in the UK. In this article we develop criteria of performance on workforce diversity, and analyse the Best Value Performance Indicators for 2001–03 to evaluate whether employment in English local government is equitable with respect to gender, minority ethnicity and disability. Our analysis shows that the relative performance of councils varies markedly, depending on the dimension of diversity and the criterion of performance that is applied.

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The participation of citizens in public policy-making has become a key aim for national and supranational institutions across Europe, but the relative importance policy-makers actually accord citizen participation arguably varies due to the alternative administrative traditions within different countries. Using data drawn from a large-scale survey of senior public managers in France, Germany, the United Kingdom (UK) and Norway, we find support for the idea that administrative tradition influences the participation of citizens in public policy. We also identify key institutional factors determining the importance of citizen participation. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

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Since the expansion of the European Union (EU) in 2004 it has been widely assumed that the quality of UK public services has suffered due to high levels of worker migration from Eastern Europe. This article explores the effects of immigration on the service achievements of English local authorities between 2006 and 2007, and citizen satisfaction in 2006. The statistical results suggest that high levels of worker migration from EU A8 countries are associated with lower service performance, but that this negative relationship may be moderated by prior experience of dealing with European immigrants. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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