It is commonly argued, not least by the Conservative Government, that failings in public services stem, not from inadequate financing but from poor management. Accordingly, the Government has initiated a wave of managerial experiment in the public services and has sought to strengthen the managerial function, often by a series of wholescale borrowings from the allegedly better managed private sector. Increasingly, the object of this new managerialism has been to generate a ‘performance culture’ in the public services. The skilful deployment of new management techniques, it seems, will alter attitudes and practices across public services, such that staff become more client or customer focused and committed to the continual improvement of the services they deliver.
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