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Title: Power, decision-making and the representation of interests : a case study of compulsory competitive tendering for Local Authority Sport and Leisure Management
Author: Reid, Gavin
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis provides a critical analysis of the extension of Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT) to the management of local authority sport & leisure facilities. Rather than examining the impact of CCT on local authorities, the research looked at how local authorities have defined the legislation and with what effect on the representation of interests. It achieves this by using the concept of 'power' to inform its institutional economic analytical framework and methodological process. Chapter 1 provides a brief definition of the study's key terms and their relevance to sport and leisure policy-making. A historical analysis of the local authority role in recreation from the pre-industrial to the present is put forward in Chapter 2. This seeks to explain the process of developments in public policy for leisure and thus highlight factors with the potential to impact on the social construction of the sport and leisure market. This serves to put CCT, or more specifically the problem of competition for local authorities, in its historical context. Chapter 3 outlines the study's methodological process which is informed by a particular model of power (Lukes, S. 1974 Power: A Radical View). In Chapter 4 the results of a large scale postal survey of local authority Chief Leisure Officers and Directors of commercial leisure companies are put forward to give initial notice of the 'winners and losers' in the CCT process and the extent of activity and inactivity of particular interest groups. Chapters 5 & 6 provide a theoretical progression within the field of institutional economics that is capable of understanding the political realities of the CCT process. An initial transactions cost analytical framework is put forward in Chapter 5 and then informed by an evolutionary institutional economic analysis in Chapter 6. Neoclassical, transactions cost and old institutional economic theory are criticised for having a limited conceptualisation of power and a resultant inadequate appreciation of how more subtle processes can serve to obstruct some interests and encourage others in the competition for sport and leisure contract specifications. Chapters 7 & 8 apply the new methodological process and analytical framework to two indepth case studies. These survey a range of interested 'actors' on a range of issues to highlight if, how and why some issues (and thus people) are able to reach the CCT decision-making process while others are organised out. Relevant written material within each authority is also considered to explain possible variations between theory and practice. The aim is to show how the organisation of the process of decision-making can influence the competition for contract specifications and what are perceived as acceptable/unacceptable costs. Recommendations are then put forward that could overcome perceived obstacles to a greater representation of interestsChapter 9 informs the previous economic analyses by using practitioners' and users' responses from both case studies. In particular. an effort is made to provide a critique of transactions cost theory as it has been applied to CCT for sport and leisure, while also putting forward an evolutionary institutional economic analysis that appreciates the role of power, values and ideology. Chapter 10 concludes with an overview of how the thesis fulfils the academic requirements of a doctoral research project
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science Political science Public administration Sports Recreation Tourism Economics