Contends that public service quality is necessarily a democratic concept. Because the public generally has no choice and/or is disempowered, dependent or excluded in relation to the services it is entitled to, quality, both in its technical and non‐technical dimensions, must be defined through bargaining. Different groups, including citizens and communities as well as individual consumers, need to be empowered to make their needs and desires known. For this, a new kind of organizational infrastructure and culture are needed. These look remarkably like those being developed in current models of decentralization. The key elements in both quality and decentralization are the three building blocks of front and back line (or centre), and, most importantly, the public. The service chain connects them. It is the maintenance of this chain which now needs to be the concern of front‐line managers, to sustain democracy and ensure a holistic and integrated response to need and quality development. Some recent research on decentralized managers reveals the kind of integrative, boundary‐crossing skills which will be relevant, indeed essential, in future quality developments.
Marsh, S. (1996), "Cautionary tales of managing in the internal market: A comparative look at public and private sector experiences of support services", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 69-79. https://doi.org/10.1108/02621719610109168Download as .RIS
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