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Title: Management reform in Scottish local government : an analysis of developments in the post-reorganisation period
Author: Midwinter, Arthur Frederick
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1981
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The Paterson Report on organisation and management in Scottish local authorities had been widely interpreted as an attempt to foster 'rational' decision-making in the mode of other administrative reforms such as Planning, Programming Budgeting Systems, or Programme Analysis and Review. In fact, the Report advocated much more limited reform. Whilst the ideas of rational decision-making were important, the limits to comprehensiveness were fully appreciated. Empirical analysis shows that the overwhelming majority of Scottish local authorities have adopted the basic organisational mechanisms of corporate management, namely the policy and resources committee, the chief executive and the management team, but only a minority introduced the more radical concepts of support for the chief executive, namely the executive office and the policy planning unit. Changes in the management process were more limited, but there was an increased emphasis on project co-ordination, and in a few authorities, positive developments in the direction of corporate or policy planning. When reliance was placed on only the basic Paterson model, little progress was made in developing systems of policy planning, which were more common in urban authorities, exhibiting strong central direction amongst both members and officers, and having an extensive organisational support for the chief executive in the direction of policy planning. The study of Strathclyde Region demonstrates the analytical and political constraints to the development of policy planning, namely the focus, on inputs rather than outputs and the continuance of professionalism and bureaucratic politics. Academic models of the management process, such as the incremental, political or corporate models, offer only partial explanations of the development of corporate management. A more rewarding approach requires the development of a comparative analytical framework which combines the relative elements of traditional models and relates them to their organisational and political environment. Given the environmental diversity of social, economic, and political features in Scottish local authorities, conventional models need adaptation to facilitate richer and more fruitful research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available