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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Chris Mason, Michael J. Roy and Gemma Carey

This paper aims to explore how social enterprises are treated in scholarly research on quasi-markets. In so doing, the paper aims to show that a number of critical…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how social enterprises are treated in scholarly research on quasi-markets. In so doing, the paper aims to show that a number of critical knowledge gaps persist which require deeper engagement from researchers, practitioners and policymakers alike.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a conceptual analysis of the existing literature concerning social enterprises and quasi-markets.

Findings

The paper finds that there are four main knowledge gaps in this area. First, there are moral dilemmas created by boundary shifts, arising from the development of quasi-markets. Second, the phenomenon of “tactical mimicry” (Day and Teasdale 2016) represents a key theoretical platform not yet fully explored. Third, the lack of clear, comparative assessments of social enterprises across quasi-markets, and other types of service providers is also apparent despite offering a significant methodological opportunity for scholars. Fourth, there is the issue of how social enterprises engage in, and resource the operational functions that will support their management of conflicting logics, especially rigorous impact measurement.

Originality/value

This paper uses a synthesis of key social enterprise and quasi-market studies to extend current debate in this area, which tends to be diffused and complex. By focussing on critical knowledge gaps, the paper contributes a meta-level appraisal of the key areas for future research, providing a focussed agenda for scholars to target their efforts in growing this important body of knowledge.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 5 January 2006

Mark Harrison

This paper is about how a command system allocated resources under profound uncertainty. The command system was the Soviet economy, the period was Stalin's dictatorship…

Abstract

This paper is about how a command system allocated resources under profound uncertainty. The command system was the Soviet economy, the period was Stalin's dictatorship, and the resources were designated for military research & development. The context was formed by the limits of the existing aviation propulsion technology, the need to replace it with another, and uncertainty as to how to do so. We observe the formation of a quasi-market in which rival agents proposed projects and competed for funding to carry them out. We find rivalry and rent seeking, imperfectly regulated by principals. As rent seeking spread and uncertainty was reduced, the quasi-market was closed down and replaced by strict hierarchical allocation and monitoring. In theory, a dictator cannot commit to refrain from taxing the returns from today's effort tomorrow; therefore, we expect agents in a command system to seek only short-term returns from quasi-market activity. Agents’ willingness to invest in the Soviet quasi-market for inventions is ascribed to a reputation mechanism that enforced long-run returns.

Details

Research in Economic History
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-379-2

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1997

Martin Kitchener and Richard Whipp

Examines the process of change in hospitals that has emerged following the introduction of the health quasi‐market in 1991. Blends empirical evidence with Greenwood and…

594

Abstract

Examines the process of change in hospitals that has emerged following the introduction of the health quasi‐market in 1991. Blends empirical evidence with Greenwood and Hinings’ archetype and tracks of change concepts to analyse the process which is labelled quasi‐market transformation (QMT). Argues that, before 1991, hospitals tended to operate within structures and systems underpinned by an interpretive scheme. Represents these similarities of configuration as the directly‐managed (DM) hospital archetype. When change initiatives challenged this configuration, the outcomes were negotiated and resulted in “adjustmental” change. In contrast, shows the introduction of the quasi‐market to have involved the first transformation of the DM archetype’s interpretive scheme, systems and structures. Analyses four years of transition to reveal that QMT has been interpreted differently within hospitals. However, presents data to suggest that many hospitals now display significant similarities in terms of configuration. Represents these similarities within the emerging Trust hospital archetype.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 10 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 July 2007

Thomas Bredgaard and Flemming Larsen

The purpose of the article is to analyse the interconnections between formal policy reforms and operational policies, specifically between new governance and employment…

1903

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the article is to analyse the interconnections between formal policy reforms and operational policies, specifically between new governance and employment policy. The main question is what happens to public employment policies when they are contracted out to non‐public (for‐profit and not‐for‐profit) agencies?

Design/methodology/approach

The case is the contracting out of the public employment services in Australia, Holland, and Denmark. The data consists of in‐depth interviews with key respondents in the three countries, observations at service delivery agencies, and desk studies of existing research.

Findings

The new quasi‐market models seem to have difficulties in living up to the preconditions for a well‐functioning market, as well as political expectations. Contracted out employment systems do not seem to create higher efficiency, innovation, quality, and less bureaucracy than previous public bureaucracies. But a quasi‐market model, on the other hand, does seems to create a new type of employment policy, and new conditions for steering and governing the labour market and employment policy. This implies that choosing a quasi‐market model involves much more than a discussion about “technicalities” like (cost) efficiency and productivity. Some of the most important – but often neglected and depoliticised – policy changes seem to emerge from changes of the institutional set‐up rather than changes of specific laws and ministerial orders.

Originality/value

The article is innovative in trying to identify relationships between management structure and policy content. Often these changes are analysed in separate disciplines, and isolated from each other. In this article we provide an integrated and multidisciplinary approach.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 27 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 16 August 2019

Agneta Ranerup and Helle Zinner Henriksen

Many countries today, especially in Europe, provide publicly funded public services in quasi-markets. As these markets commercialize, agencies of various types are…

1191

Abstract

Purpose

Many countries today, especially in Europe, provide publicly funded public services in quasi-markets. As these markets commercialize, agencies of various types are providing technologies that support citizens’ choice of services. Citizens’ use of technologies for service provision is studied as e-government under labels of channel management, e-service uptake or adoption. In contrast, by using actor–network theory (ANT), the purpose of this paper is to focus on the marketing devices that are used to enroll citizens to choose technologies in a context with large penetration of quasi-market arrangements.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a Swedish case study, this paper uses qualitative data from 11 occurrences of technologies to support citizens’ choice (“market devices”) in education, healthcare and public pension in an analysis of the means taken (“marketing devices”) to increase their use. The study formulates a tentative typology of these devices.

Findings

The marketing devices are intended to attract citizens’ attention to the possibility of choice (e.g. catalogs, postcards and commercials), invite interaction (e.g. various social media platforms), improve the technological support in line with user needs (e.g. user participation in development), increase visibility of technological support (e.g. search optimization) or directly connect citizens to technological support (e.g. via links).

Originality/value

The paper contributes to e-government research through a typology of means taken to increase citizens’ technology use based on selected concepts from ANT, and to a discussion of technologies and humans.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Benedetta Trivellato, Mattia Martini, Dario Cavenago and Elisabetta Marafioti

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the recent evolution of the employment services system of a Northern Italian region (Lombardy), which was planned according to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the recent evolution of the employment services system of a Northern Italian region (Lombardy), which was planned according to principles inspired by quasi-markets and horizontal subsidiarity theories, with a focus on its design and implementation challenges. It aims to provide practical and theoretical insights for the design of public services’ governance systems that similarly feature public-private competition and/or cooperation and users’ freedom of choice.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews and integrates previous empirical research analysing the programmes that are part of the recent evolution of Lombardy’s employment services system, in order to draw insights and lessons.

Findings

The paper suggests areas where closer scrutiny and related intervention is warranted on the part of the institution in charge of the system’s design (in this case the regional administration), especially in terms of appropriate design of incentive mechanisms for partnership creation, and adequate consideration of the equity implications of the chosen solutions.

Originality/value

The paper may be of interest to public officials aiming to implement systems with similar characteristics (public-private competition vs collaboration, users’ freedom of choice), in order to consider challenges and possible implications of their decisions during the planning phase. From a theoretical perspective, this case suggests that reliance on freedom and responsibility, both on the demand and the supply side, may not be adequate to reach the desired outcomes, and may produce negative equity implications. Focused partnerships may be more effective, but may experience similar shortcomings from the viewpoint of equity.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 April 2011

Ingo Bode, Laurent Gardin and Marthe Nyssens

This paper seeks to explore various types of quasi‐market governance in domiciliary elderly care with an interest in both the institutional variety of these governance…

807

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to explore various types of quasi‐market governance in domiciliary elderly care with an interest in both the institutional variety of these governance arrangements and their assumable consequences, against the twofold background of the EU care policy agenda and the Nordic experience.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on evidence from four Western European countries, the paper examines how recent reforms have changed the provision of domiciliary care, including the shape of vertical and horizontal governance arrangements. Moreover, summarizing results of previous research and drawing on theoretical reflections rooted both in economics and sociology, the paper discusses the wider impact of these reforms.

Findings

The analysis points to country‐specific limitations of the quasi‐market approach regarding issues such as the work‐life balance of carers and the access to adequate services.

Originality/value

By combining different scientific approaches and exploring several institutional contexts, the paper offers new insights both in problems of quasi‐market governance and their cultural colouring.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 31 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Christian Maroy

Using evidence from the Reguleduc European research experience, the pertinence of a “multilevel” international comparative analysis may be called into question. Reguleduc…

Abstract

Using evidence from the Reguleduc European research experience, the pertinence of a “multilevel” international comparative analysis may be called into question. Reguleduc research, on one hand, links data on European educational systems’ modes of regulation collected from various empirical entry points (national, local academic spaces, and educational establishments) and, on the other hand, interprets the games of a number of actors at different levels from varied social perspectives. There is at once a recognition of necessity, partnered with an acknowledgement of the difficulties, of an international comparative analysis combining levels of analysis and contexts to observe and interpret change in modes of regulating school systems.

Details

International Educational Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-304-1

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2001

Robert McMaster

Quasi‐markets” is the term predominantly employed as a means of conceptualising and describing the market‐oriented reforms primarily, but not exclusively, to the welfare…

Abstract

Quasi‐markets” is the term predominantly employed as a means of conceptualising and describing the market‐oriented reforms primarily, but not exclusively, to the welfare state in the UK. This paper argues that the term, as popularly defined, cannot sustain a suitable analytical frame in the examination of an evolutionary process. In so doing, the paper draws heavily on Thorstein Veblen’s distinction between evolutionary and teleological approaches. The quasi‐markets concept, grounded in Oliver Williamson’s transaction cost economics, is predicated on the existence of “conventional markets”, defined as perfect competition. It is claimed that this renders the term devoid of analytical usefulness. Moreover, by presenting a narrow conception of exchange the quasi‐market terminology tacitly conveys an insipid pro‐market stance.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 28 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 March 2009

Adamantia G. Pateli

The purpose of this paper is to study the mechanism through which decisions on the preferred governance mode of strategic technology alliances are made at the firm level.

1910

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the mechanism through which decisions on the preferred governance mode of strategic technology alliances are made at the firm level.

Design/methodology/approach

The author constructed a value‐mediated governance model that is empirically tested through a survey of 57 strategic alliances in the Greek wireless services industry and estimated through a Structural Equation Modeling technique, namely Partial Least Squares.

Findings

Quasi‐hierarchy governance modes are preferred by firms assessing their current value as high, and lacking fear of partners' opportunistic behavior. Quasi‐market alliances are preferred by firms having high expectations for the future value of the alliance, and facing high endogenous uncertainty resulting from the existence of a competitive relationship with the partner.

Research limitations/implications

While the resource and cost perspectives are founded on diverse assumptions on firms' ability to write complete contracts, their implications for the firms' decision‐making behaviour on the alliance governance issue seem to be complementary to those of the value perspective.

Practical implications

Transitional governance forms, quasi‐market alliances that evolve to quasi‐hierarchy alliances, seem to be preferred in emerging technology‐based environments.

Originality/value

The Expected Alliance Value concept is introduced to explain how exogenous uncertainty characterizing the environment of emerging technology‐based industries can influence the already investigated effects of the partner uncertainty and the firm's current value on the alliance governance preferences.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 47 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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