Public services governance and management beyond public sector organisations.

The Public Services Governance and Management (PSGM) Research Theme focuses on governance of public services across public sector institutions and other organisations from the private and not-for-profit sectors.

  • It explores public sector management and how governance, management structures, and issues of accountability affect organisational performance, including service quality, efficiency and user experience. 
  • It focuses on the transformation of public services, whereby non-state organisations (e.g. cooperatives, charities, and businesses) have played an increasingly important role in the governance and delivery of public services. 
  • It analyses the transformation of public services and their implications across social class and resulting outcomes. 
  • It investigates the transformation of public services in relation to the changing role of professions and professional organisations. 

Members of our theme are engaged in exciting and impactful research

Private management consultancy in the public sector

  • Specifically this research looks at the regulation and governance of management consultants who work in the delivery and design of public services.
  • One project in this area is about management consultants in NHS England. The research focuses on how you can hold consultants to account as they do work for healthcare organisations. 
  • The impact and importance of this research is to guide policy makers as well as health organisations on the contractual arrangements with management consultants so that they can be held to account for the work they do for the national health service.

The role of management consultants in relation to policy entrepreneurship in climate change

  • This research looks at how management consultants can drive policy change in the context of climate change.
  • The focus of this research is also on the different types of expertise, such as internal and external expertise within the public services and how these different forms of expertise can deliver change and transformation.
  • See work by Andrew Sturdy and Andrea Gibson

Research theme leads

Research Theme Lead 
Dr Roberta Bernardi 

Research Theme Champion 
Prof Gianluca Veronesi 

Our theme members are also involved in research at policy level. One stream of research in particular looks at employment law, specifically on the bogus employment of pilots and undeclared work in the aviation industry. This research has been conducted in partnership with EU institutions such as European Platform. The impact of this research is to guide EU member states on how they can change national law of employment in order to tackle the issue of undeclared work in the aviation industry (see work by Peter Turnbull).    

Other areas of research

Clinical leadership in the health service

  • Looking at the implications of clinical leaders for the performance and efficiency of healthcare organisations as well as digital transformation
  • The importance of this research is to guide policy makers and public sector organisations on how they can efficiently implement public sector management reforms and digital transformation to improve their services as well as delivery of the value to citizens

Restructuring of public services and public sector organisations

  • Highlighting the contradictions and mixed results of public sector management reforms, which have imported private sector practices and principles into the public sector
  • The focus of this research is on how these different practices and principles have had an impact on the quality and efficiency of services, particularly in the context of public sector organisations
  • See work by Gianluca Veronesi and Roberta Bernardi

Resilience of social enterprises and hybrid public service organisations

  • Exploring which entrepreneurial strategies and managerial practices help social enterprises, a typical type of hybrid organisation, combat the tensions and challenges in organising hybridity while achieving their social and financial aims during their delivery of public services
  • Through a theoretical lens of resilience, this research identifies the contingencies under which social enterprises can enhance their adaptive capacity to future challenges and thus achieve organisational resilience. The research findings also pave the way for a future research direction on resilient public services
  • Edwina Zhu is one of the guest editors of Global Public Policy and Governance for the special issue: ‘Into the mystic’ the Impact of Digital and AI Transformation on the Delivery of Public Services. She is also one of the chairs of Panel 01 at the International Research Society for Public Management Conference 2022
  • See work by Edwina Zhu 

Crime and corruption in public services