American sociologist Sherry Arnstein came up with the idea of a ladder to represent approaches to community involvement as successive rungs towards ‘citizen empowerment’ 40 years ago. But is ‘empowerment’ always the most important aim of community involvement. And is more community involvement always the right ingredient for better public services? Successful public services are [...]
Frederick Winslow Taylor, born in the mid‐19th century, was an engineer, one of the first management consultants and the intellectual leader of the ‘Efficiency Movement’ which held that inefficiency in industry and society at large could be removed by the rule of experts. In formulating management as an academic discipline, Taylor invented ‘scientific management’ ‐ a tool for greater efficiency. Scientific management focused on finding the one best way of doing any task and standardising it regardless of human factors. It shiftsed decision making from employees to ‘expert’ managers. The production line is its perfect form. Here tasks are made more efficient by progressive standardisation, specialisation and ‘deskilling’.
We tend to think of coproduction in relation to public services. In the UK, in particular, recent interest in the potential of coproduction on the part of policy-makers and public service agencies is focused through the prism of public spending cuts and the government’s ‘Big Society’ idea. Big Society being a way of expressing the [...]
Coproduction is… ‘the process by which inputs used to produce a good or service are contributed by individuals who are not ‘in’ the same organisation’. This is the definition given by the leading expert in what economists call ‘common pool resources’ and 2009 Nobel economics laureate Elinor Ostrom. Ostrom made studies of collective action in [...]
Announced on 14 May 2012, this is the Cabinet that will form the Executive of the Council agreed by members of the Labour group of councillors. The chairs of District Committees will also serve as non-Cabinet members of the Executive. Following the elections on May 3, Labour will chair 7 district committees, the Conservatives will [...]
Neighbourhood Forums, Community First panels and other groups interested in setting up local websites in Birmingham are invited to take up support from Chamberlain Forum and Community Network 4 Birmingham. Any local group can set up, and get support to manage, a neighbourhood website for free as part of a project to extend local websites to cover 100 city neighbourhoods.