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Connecting Knowledge and Performance in Public Services
From Knowing to Doing

Chris Hood, Kieran Walshe, Gill Harvey, Pauline Jas, Steve Martin, Steven Van de Walle, Wouter Van Dooren, Ian Greener, Carol Propper, Deborah Wilson, Chris Cornforth, Naomi Chambers, George Boyne, Oliver James, Peter John, Nicolai Petrovsky, Jean Hartley, Lyndsay Rashman, Zoe Radnor, Huw Davies, Sandra Nutley, Isabel Walter, Chris Skelcher, Ann Casebeer, Trish Reay, James Dewald, Amy Pablo, Colin Talbot
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  • Date Published: September 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521195461

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  • The performance of public services is now more closely scrutinised than ever before. Every teacher, doctor, social worker or probation officer knows that behind them stands a restless army of overseers, equipped with a panoply of league tables, star ratings, user opinion surveys, performance indicators and the like with which to judge them. This increased scrutiny and performance measurement has undoubtedly produced improved public services. Yet we still have a limited understanding about how this information can be best used to bring about improvements in performance. What goes on inside the 'black box' of public organisations to move from information to action, or from 'knowing' to 'doing'? This book tackles this important question by reviewing a wide range of performance mechanisms. It explores how information about performance can be translated into improvements in services and, conversely, why this does not always happen in practice.

    • Explores the relationship between performance information and performance improvement in public organisations
    • Provides the latest research findings across a range of public services
    • Includes recommendations which will be of relevance to both policy and practice
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A thoughtful collection on the most fundamental challenges of performance management in the public sector. Leading authors grapple in this book with the way that performance management is more than rituals of performance measurement. Why is it that knowing more about what is failing so often fails to reduce failure? This volume breaks new ground with what can be done to connect practice improvement to measurement of outcomes.' John Braithwaite, Australian National University

    'We live in a world overrun by information, with an ever-increasing expectation that public actors will use it to make our lives better. But do they? Under what conditions? When does it lead to positive change? This volume addresses these questions, offering a broad array of insightful models, theories, and empirical findings. It should be read by all who are interested in better connecting knowledge with policy and management processes.' Donald P. Moynihan, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521195461
    • length: 314 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 180 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.8kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 14 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of tables
    List of boxes
    Foreword Chris Hood
    1. Introduction: knowledge and performance - theory and practice Kieran Walshe, Gill Harvey and Pauline Jas
    2. Knowledge from inspection: external oversight and information to improve performance Steve Martin
    3. How is information used to improve public performance? Exploring the dynamics of performance information Steven Van de Walle and Wouter Van Dooren
    4. Citizens, users or consumers: the voice of the public and its influence on improving performance Ian Greener
    5. Competition and contestability: the place of markets in connecting information and performance improvement Carol Propper and Deborah Wilson
    6. The role of corporate governance and boards in organizational performance Chris Cornforth and Naomi Chambers
    7. Change at the top: connecting political and managerial transition with performance George Boyne, Oliver James, Peter John and Nicolai Petrovsky
    8. The role of leadership in knowledge creation and transfer for organizational learning and improvement Jean Hartley and Lyndsay Rashman
    9. Process improvement and lean thinking: using knowledge and information to improve performance Zoe Radnor
    10. Using evidence: how social research could be better used to improve public service performance Huw Davies, Sandra Nutley and Isabel Walter
    11. Absorptive capacity: how organizations assimilate and apply knowledge to improve performance Gill Harvey, Pauline Jas, Kieran Walshe and Chris Skelcher
    12. Knowing through doing: unleashing latent dynamic capabilities in the public sector Ann Casebeer, Trish Reay, James Dewald and Amy Pablo
    13. Conclusions: a puzzle, three pieces, many theories and a problem Colin Talbot
    Index.

  • Editors

    Kieran Walshe, Manchester University
    Kieran Walshe is Professor of Health Policy and Management at Manchester Business School. He is an appointed member of the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence and is Research Director of the Department of Health's National Institute for Health Research service delivery and organisation research programme. His books include Regulating Healthcare (2003), Patient Safety (2005) and Healthcare Management (2006).

    Gill Harvey, Manchester University
    Gill Harvey is Reader in Health Management at Manchester Business School. She has a professional background in nursing and previously worked for the Royal College of Nursing, where she was the Director of their Quality Improvement Programme. She has published widely on the issues of implementation and facilitating quality improvement in practice.

    Pauline Jas, University of Nottingham
    Pauline Jas is Lecturer in Public Policy in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham. She was previously responsible for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations research programme on charitable donations by the general public and the production of The UK Voluntary Sector Almanac 2002.

    Contributors

    Chris Hood, Kieran Walshe, Gill Harvey, Pauline Jas, Steve Martin, Steven Van de Walle, Wouter Van Dooren, Ian Greener, Carol Propper, Deborah Wilson, Chris Cornforth, Naomi Chambers, George Boyne, Oliver James, Peter John, Nicolai Petrovsky, Jean Hartley, Lyndsay Rashman, Zoe Radnor, Huw Davies, Sandra Nutley, Isabel Walter, Chris Skelcher, Ann Casebeer, Trish Reay, James Dewald, Amy Pablo, Colin Talbot

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