UK managers' values : a comparison of the public and private sectors

Mellon, Elizabeth (1998) UK managers' values : a comparison of the public and private sectors. Doctoral thesis, University of London: London Business School. OPEN ACCESS


In this century, the rise of "new public management" (NPM) has been described as one of the most striking trends in public administration. NPM represents a broad set of reforms. Many have argued that the reforms have defined public sector efficiency too narrowly in the United Kingdom, as cost cutting, largely ignoring wider issues of social welfare. There have been attempts to replace what some commentators have described as the slow, process oriented culture of Government departments, with a more output or outcome-focused culture, emphasizing this narrow definition of efficiency. The reforms seem to have assumed a public service culture of honesty, which would remain intact through decentralization and pay-for-performance programmes. The assumption seemed to be that integrity was a kind of personality factor in public servants, independent of rules and constraints. The questions this research seeks to answer are whether civil servants have different values from private sector managers and whether the United Kingdom is losing core public service values by attempting to reform the civil service. The research sought to create a measure of the values of the dominant United Kingdom managerial culture, to which the subculture of the public sector was compared. The research surveyed 450 public and private sector managers in two stages. The first stage established that public sector managers have different values from private sector managers. The second stage reaffirmed this finding and also established that public sector managers have different decision-making patterns. The values espoused varied according to the type of university attended, hierarchical level and parental occupations, as well as by sector. Data were collected using ranking and rating questionnaires, to further the debate on appropriate methodology in measuring values. Interview data were gathered to add more depth of understanding to the statistical analyses. The research findings have implications for the recruitment policies of the United Kingdom civil service and for the regulations controlling public sector work practices.

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Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2022 11:06
Date of first compliant deposit: 25 Feb 2022
Subjects: Managerial attitudes
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 17:21

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