ePrints Repository

Does governance perform? Concepts, evidence, causalities, and research strategies

Skelcher, Chris (2008) Does governance perform? Concepts, evidence, causalities, and research strategies. In: Managing to Improve Public Services. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 3-23. ISBN 978-0-521-70827-2

PDF (195Kb)

This chapter explores the relationship between the new forms of public governance and public service performance, and provide an agenda for research. The chapter starts with a discussion of the two key concepts - governance and performance – and then explores the theoretical relationship between them. In the next section, the focus turns to the empirical evidence on the impact of governance forms on organisational performance, which is found to be limited. The chapter then explores two ways forward for research. One approach is to examine the multiple possible causalities between governance and performance. The other is to adopt an interpretivist approach to the critical examination of the sets of governance design solutions embedded in prevailing discourses. The paper argues that this offers practical benefits for those engaged in designing governance arrangements that are intended to enhance performance.

Type of Work:Book Section
Date:2008 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Institute of Local Government Studies

Barber, Benjamin R. (1984) Strong Democracy. Berkeley: University of California Press

Bertelli, Anthony. (2006) ‘The role of political ideology in the structural design of new governance agencies’, Public Administration Review 66(4): 583-95

Blyth, Mark. (2002) Great transformations: Economic ideas and institutional change in the twentieth century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Borys, Bryan and David B. Jemison. (1989) ‘Hybrid arrangements as strategic alliances: theoretical issues in organizational combinations’, Academy of Management Review 14(2): 234-49

Boyne, George, Christine Farrell, Jennifer Law, Martin Powell and Richard M. Walker. (2003) Evaluating public management reforms: Principles and practice. Buckingham: Open University Press

de Bruijn, Hans. (2002) Managing performance in the public sector. London: Routledge

Clarke, John and Janet Newman. (1997) The Managerial State. London: Sage

Considine, Mark. (2000) ‘Selling the unemployed: The performance of bureaucracies, firms and non-profits in the new Australian “market” for unemployment assistance’, Social Policy and Administration 34(3): 274-95

Cornforth, Chris and Charles Edwards. (1999) ‘Board roles and the strategic management of non-profit organisations: Theory and practice’, Corporate Governance 7(4): 346-62
Davies, Jonathan S. (2000) ‘The hollowing out of local democracy and the “fatal conceit” of governing without government’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations 2(3): 414-28

Dunsire, Andrew, Keith Hartley and David Parker. (1991) ‘Organizational status and performance: Summary of the findings’, Public Administration 69(1): 21-40

Edelenbos, Jurian and Erik-Hans Klijn. (2006) ‘Managing stakeholder involvement in decision-making: A comparative analysis of six interactive processes in the Netherlands’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 16(3): 417-46

Elgie, Robert and Iain McMenamin. (2005) ‘Credible commitment, political uncertainty or policy complexity? Explaining variations in the independence of non-majoritarian institutions in France’, British Journal of Political Science 35: 531-48.

Fischer, Frank. (2003) Reframing public policy: Discursive politics and deliberative practices. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Foster, Kathryn A. (1997) The political economy of special-purpose government. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press

Heinrich, Carolyn J. and Laurence E. Lynn Jr. (eds) (2000) Governance and performance: New perspectives. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press

Hill, Carolyn J. and Laurence E. Lynn Jr. (2005) ‘Is hierarchical governance in decline? Evidence from empirical research’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 15(2): 173-95

Kooiman, Jan. (2003) Governing as governance. London: Sage

Koppell, Jonathan G. S. (2003) The politics of quasi-government: Hybrid organizations and the dynamics of bureaucratic control. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Lynn, Laurence E. Jr., Carolyn J. Heinrich and Carolyn J. Hill. (2001) Improving governance: A new logic for empirical research. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press

Mathur, Navdeep and Chris Skelcher. (forthcoming) ‘Evaluating democratic performance: Methodologies for assessing the relationship between network governance and citizens’, Public Administration Review

Mayntz, Renate. (1993) ‘Governing failures and the problems of governability: Some comments on a theoretical paradigm’, in Kooiman, Jan. (1993) Managing public organisations: Lessons from contemporary European experience. London: Sage

Miller, Gary. (2000) ‘Above politics: Credible commitment and efficiency in the design of public agencies’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 10(2): 289-328

Moe, Ronald C. (2001) ‘The emerging Federal quasi-government: Issues of management and accountability’, Public Administration Review 61(3): 290-312

Newman, Janet. (2001) Modernising governance: New Labour, policy and society. London: Sage

O’Toole, Laurence J. Jr. and Kenneth J. Meier. (2004) ‘Public management in intergovernmental networks: Matching structural networks and managerial networking’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 14(4): 469-94

Ostrom, Vincent, Charles M. Tiebout and Robert Warren (1962) ‘The organization of government in metropolitan areas: A theoretical inquiry’ American Political Science Review 55: 831-42

Parker, David. (1995) ‘Privatization and agency status: Identifying the critical factors for performance improvement’, British Journal of Management 6: 29-43

Peters, B. Guy. (2000) The Politics of Bureaucracy. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

Pierre, Jon and B. Guy Peters. (2000) Governance, politics and the state. Basingstoke: Macmillan

Pollitt, Christopher. (2003) ‘Theoretical overview’, in Pollitt, Christopher and Colin Talbot. (2003) Unbundled Government: A critical analysis of the global trend to agencies, quangos and contractualisation. London: Routledge

Pollitt, Christopher, Karen Bathgate, Janice Caulfield, Amanda Smullen and Colin Talbot. (2001) ‘Agency fever? Analysis of an international policy fashion’, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice 3: 271-90

Prabhakar, Rajiv. (2004) ‘Do public interest companies form a Third Way within public services?’ British Journal of Politics and International Relations 6: 353-69.
Reich, Robert B. (1990) Public Management in a Democratic Society. Englewood Cliff, NJ: Prentice Hall
Rhodes, Rod. (1997) Understanding governance: Policy networks, governance, reflexivity and accountability. Buckingham: Open University Press

Skelcher, Chris. (1998) The appointed state: Quasi-
governmental organisations and democracy. Buckingham: Open University Press

Skelcher, Chris. (2005a) ‘Jurisdictional integrity, polycentrism and the design of democratic governance’, Governance 18(1): 89-110

Skelcher, Chris. (2005b) ‘Public-private partnerships and hybridity’, in Ferlie, Ewan, Laurence E. Lynn Jr. and Christopher Pollitt. (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Public Management, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Skelcher, Chris, Navdeep Mathur and Mike Smith. (2005) ‘The public governance of collaborative spaces: Discourse, design and democracy’, Public Administration 83(3): 573-96

Skelcher, Chris. (forthcoming) ‘Does democracy matter? A transatlantic research design on democratic performance and special purpose governments’, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory

Sullivan, Helen and Chris Skelcher. (2002) Working across boundaries: Collaboration in public services. Basingstoke: Palgrave

van Thiel, Sandra. (2001) Quangos: Trends, causes and consequences. Aldershot: Ashgate

Wälti, Sonja, Daniel Kübler and Yannis Papadopoulos. (2004) ‘How democratic is “Governance”? Lessons from Swiss drug policy’, Governance 17(1): 83-113

Weir, Stuart and Wendy Hall. (1994) EGO-Trip: Extra-governmental organisations in the United Kingdom and their Accountability. London: Charter 88

Wettenhall, Robert. (1998) ‘The rising popularity of the government-owned company in Australia: Problems and issues’, Public Administration and Development 18(3): 243-55

Yanow, Dvora. (2000) Conducting interpretive policy analysis. London: Sage

Keywords:governance, performance, public service, government
Subjects:JA Political science (General)
JF Political institutions (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Cambridge University Press
ID Code:792
Export Reference As : ASCII + BibTeX + Dublin Core + EndNote + HTML + METS + MODS + OpenURL Object + Reference Manager + Refer + RefWorks
Share this item :
QR Code for this page

Repository Staff Only: item control page