Analysing public sector continuous improvement: a systems approach
International Journal of Public Sector Management
Article publication date: 8 January 2018
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the complexities involved in implementing continuous improvement (CI) initiatives in public sector organisations.
This paper is based on a case study of a private sector organisation based in New Zealand and its efforts in implementing CI activities in its public sector clients. In total, 12 semi-structured interviews were followed by group model building exercises based on system dynamics that led to the development of a systems model.
CI initiatives using public-private partnerships were successful in steadily improving the operational excellence and end-user satisfaction in this case. But client satisfaction was only increasing at a much slower rate. The underlying structure responsible for this behaviour was captured using a causal loop model and explained using seven interacting feedback loops.
The major limitation of this research is that it is confined to one private sector organisation and its public sector clients. Thus, the generalisability cannot be utilised for future reference.
This paper illustrates the development of strategic initiatives based on a participative model building approach. It provides a practical method for initiating long-term structural changes while managing CI activities in public sector organisations.
This paper contributes a New Zealand case of public-private partnerships for implementing CI initiatives. It illustrates a systems approach to analyse the complexities involved in implementing CI initiatives in public sector organisations.
Elias, A.A. and Davis, D. (2018), "Analysing public sector continuous improvement: a systems approach", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 2-13. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPSM-08-2016-0135
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