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Title: Role of policy agreements in the relationship between the Welsh Assembly Government and local authorities
Author: James, Lisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 5306
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2009
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A key question in the central-local relationship is 'what is the most appropriate performance framework to deliver service improvements' The role of Policy Agreements in this regard had not previously been explored. Also, when considered with studies on similar organisational pay-for-performance schemes in England, the research could provide evidence as to the drivers of service improvement in different contexts and help maximise the benefits of devolution whilst guarding against the forces of isolationism. Governments have assumed PRP can be transferred from the individual to the organisational level without any understanding of the implications or knowledge of actual impact. In addition, evidence relating to the effectiveness of individual schemes is inconclusive. Finally, this is an under-researched area and understanding of organisational schemes could be enhanced by considering knowledge relating to individual PRP. Policy evaluation literature suggests the impact of policies should be considered in relation to their final outcome and by developing a detailed understanding of the implementation process, as the outcome may not have been achieved in the way in which it was conceptualised. An evaluation model was therefore developed based on a review of literature relating to target setting in the public sector, evaluations of similar English schemes and theory and practice relating to individual PRP, in particular its use in the public sector. This unique lens was used to design the research instruments, a postal questionnaire and structured interviews. The analysis identified that some objectives of Policy Agreements were partially met and some were not met at all, resulting in several lessons for practice. Implications for theory were identified relating to central-local relations and organisational performance management schemes in the public sector. It was concluded that the governmental assumption of the transferability of PRP from the individual to the organisational level is questionable in terms of both robustness and appropriateness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available