Conference Panels

A - New Researchers
B - Public Servants: Motivation, Management and Leadership
C - Local Governance
D - Democracy, Third Sector and Citizen Engagement
E - Sectoral Challenges in Public Management
F - Research and Knowledge Utilization in Public Management
G - Resources, Accountability and Technology
H - Public-Private Partnerships
I - Public Management in Developing and Transitional States
J - Networks, Complexity and Innovation
K - PMRA Panel - to follow

A101 - New Researchers

Panel Chair(s)
  • Adina Dudau, University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School, GB

This panel provides an opportunity for new researchers in public management (doctoral students and researchers in the first three years of their academic careers) to discuss their research with a distinguished international faculty. A New Researchers Best Paper Prize is awarded every year and a couple of competitive scholarships are available to NR panelists to support participation to the conference. All public management themes are normally considered in this panel but preference will be given to abstracts touching upon issues around the overall theme of the conference. Proposals / abstracts must be of papers rather than descriptions of PhD work in progress. Accepted proposals must be followed by full length papers by mid March. Together with the abstract, the authors are asked to provide a short biography (max. 10 lines), explaining the context (doctorate, other type of project, etc), stage (first year PhD, final year, post doc, etc.) and any names they would like us to consider approaching as paper discussants. Panelists are entitled to join the IRSPM New Researchers Chapter and be part of a family of high flyers enjoying full support of the society in their career development.

B101 - Mapping the Purple Zone: Performance-based Public Management and the Interface between Politicians and Public Servants

Panel Chair(s)
  • Michael Di Francesco, Australia and New Zealand School of Goverment, AU
  • Robert Shepherd, School of Public Policy and Administration Carleton University, CA
  • Alessandro Spano, Department of Economic and Business Sciences, University of Cagliari
  • Chris Stoney, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University, CA

The ‘purple zone’ is a concept used to explain the intersection between the prerogatives of elected politicians (ministers) and the responsibilities of unelected officials (civil servants) traditionally referred to as the political-administrative dichotomy or interface. This panel seeks to explore the potentiality of the purple zone as an explantory framework in the context of performance-based management (PBM). Initially promoted through new public management (NPM) and informed by its focus on efficiency and the separation between policy and management, more recent analyses have identified PBM as one of the technologies that exacerbates the role ambiguity inherent in the purple zone. For example, Aucoin’s notion of ‘new political governance’ (NPG) suggests that PBM is an important factor in enabling new and insidious forms of ‘politicisation’. The panel seeks papers that examine how the roles and responsibilites of politicians and public managers is now understood in mature PBM public management environments.

Paper proposals could consider how PBM has been designed and institutionalised in different ways, and how this has (or has not) influenced the different roles and imperatives of ministers and public servants. Of special interest will be the extent to which politicians engage with formal PBM systems. How is engagement defined? What incentives do politicians have to ‘use’ PBM processes and information? What does this utilisation look like? Do politicians have either the willingness or capability to engage? Are there differences in the engagement strategies adopted by executives and legislatures, or between governments and oppositions? And what are the implications of these engagement levels for the role and behaviours of civil servants? We welcome both theoretical and applied/case study approaches that draw on the ‘purple zone’, ‘politics-administration’ dichotomy, NPM and NPG literatures. Papers may analyse developments at any level of government and/or be focussed on any policy or program area. Abstracts should include a description of the topic, the research questions and method, and the expected results.

B102 - Contemporary Leadership Issues: Managing People, Change and Innovation

Panel Chair(s)
  • Lotte Bogh Andersen, Department of Political Science and Government, Aarhus University, DK
  • Mila Gascó, Institute for Public Governance and Management, ESADE - Ramon Lull University, ES
  • Lars Tummers, Dept. of Public Administration, Erasmus University, NL
  • Montgomery van Wart, College of Business & Administration, California State University, US

As noted in the overall IRSPM call for panels, public management is facing a 'perfect storm' of challenges such as growing expectations from citizens, reduced budgets and demographic challenges such as ageing. Leadership is often crucial to deal effectively with such challenging circumstances (Borins, 2002). This panel therefore looks at next steps in public leadership and related innovation and change research. Analyzing these topics is important as it has been acknowledged that scholarly inquiry on public leadership is lagging behind related disciplines such as business administration and psychology (Van Wart, 2013; Tummers & Knies, 2014). This panel therefore aims to contribute to understanding leadership in public organizations.

We invite papers about the following topics, but are also open to other topics related to contemporary leadership challenges:

• The role of leadership in innovation processes • Leadership and motivating employees
• Leadership during organizational change and public management reforms
• Horizontal and collaborative leadership in networks
• Managerial leadership models (transformational, transactional, LMX, etc.) applied to the public sector
• Leadership and publicness, such as linking to leadership to innovations focused on improving accountability and democracy
• Leading and managing people in different cultural contexts Furthermore, we acknowledge that the methods regarding public leadership research can be strengthened.

A recent review by Groeneveld et al. (2014), based on articles in the top tier of public administration journals, shows that there is currently a lack of methodological diversification in the broad public administration field. Especially mixed methods and experimental designs are in short supply, but are developing (an example is the LEAP project of Andersen and colleagues which uses experimental methods). We therefore especially encourage papers using such designs. We also welcome papers which employ different designs or are theoretical or normative in nature. This IRSPM panel will be used to develop a joint research program on the topic of public leadership, including international publication opportunities.

B104 - The Future of Public Professionals: Redefinition, Re-invention, or Revolution?

Panel Chair(s)
  • Scott Douglas, Utrecht University School of Governance
  • Federico Lega
  • Mirko Noordegraaf
  • Bram Steijn, Department of Public Administration Room T17-43 Erasmus University Rotterdam, NL
  • Justin Waring

Public professionals, such as judges, doctors and teachers, face a demand for more quality and results along with a need for more efficiency and accountability. To survive this gathering storm, professionals must do more than fallback on traditional routines. They may have to redefine the public value of their services, re-invent their work processes, and reconfigure if not revolutionize what it means to be a professional. This panel reviews the various forces working on public professionals, combining broad observations on societal dynamics with concrete analyses of the way professionals work. The panel creates a comprehensive understanding of the reconfigurations currently taking place and the effects these changes will have. The panel focuses on three themes, comparing various public and non-profit domains: Theme 1: Redefining public value Starting with the broadest perspective, the panel first examines changes in the values that are related to or projected on the various professional services. What value(s) do the judiciary or hospitals represent? What do universities stand for as professional organizations? Theme 2: Re-inventing co-operation We then look at the consequences of broader value shift for the way professionals work, and more specifically, how they co-operate and connect to other worlds. The ‘production of public value’ now seems to require more connected and collaborative approaches by professionals, which means the importance of ‘inter-professionalism’ and networks grows. Theme 3: Reconfiguring public professionalism We finish our exploration with an examination of the change at street-level; the (r)evolution of what it means to be a professional. Do judges, doctors and teachers alter the way they think about their role and do they work and organize their work in fundamentally different ways? How do they perceive changes and are the motivation and commitment to their profession, clients or organization affected by these changes?

B105 - The 21st Century Public Servant: Evolution or Revolution?

Panel Chair(s)
  • Helen Dickinson
  • Catherine Needham, University of Birmingham
  • Helen Sullivan, University of Melbourne, AU

In many countries public services are going through major changes in response to a range of issues such as cuts to budgets, greater demands for service user voice and control, increased public expectations and a mixed economy of welfare provision. These changes have the potential for significant implications for the public service workforce in terms of what it does, the skills and capabilities required and how we train and develop public servants. This panel explores the notion of the 21st century public servant, considering who these will be in the future, the sorts of roles they will play, the skills and capabilities required to discharge these roles and the implications of this for education, training and career development. Will changes to the external environment and the nature of work in the coming years mean that we witness evolution or will we need more radical revolution? The panel welcomes papers that make either theoretical or empirical contributions to debates concerning the future of the public service workforce. The panel seeks papers that contribute to this discussion from different national and institutional contexts, drawing on a variety of disciplinary insights into these issues.

B106 - Public Workforce Challenges: Changing Demographics and Beyond (SIG Public Servants at Work)

Panel Chair(s)
  • Rona Beattie, Glasgow Caledonian University, GB
  • Linda Colley, Central Queensland University, AU
  • Jennifer Waterhouse, University of Newcastle, AU

IRSPM 2015 explores the perfect storm facing public management from growing expectations, and demand, demographic change and financial constraint. The changing relationships among public private and non-profit sectors are raising important issues for public management, and particularly for the workforces that carry out the work of policy-making and implementation. This panel invites papers on the broad range of workforce challenges, including but not limited to

(1) Diverse workforces. Governments claim to be committed to diversity, but equity and diversity programs have faced shifts in governance and accountability, as strong central programs were often replaced by more dispersed agency level programs with little central monitoring or accountability.

(2) Work-life balance. More workers are demanding flexibility that enables them to better manage the clash between domestic and work obligations or to transition to retirement.

(3) Ageing workforces. Most countries have ageing public workforces, presenting a number of challenges that affect public service delivery, from the loss of continuity and corporate knowledge that occurs with a spate of retirements to the challenges of a workforce that cannot afford to retire due to austerity conditions.

This panel encourages papers on all topics related to public workforces. What are the current challenges faced in different countries? What are the effects of dynamic circumstances, from austerity measures to centralisation and decentralisation, on the capacity to manage these workforce challenges? To what extent is current public management equipped to formulate new ways of responding to these workforce challenges, and support the quality and continuity of public management?

B107 - Organizational Socialization in Public Organizations: Learning the Ropes in Complex Times

Panel Chair(s)
  • Deneen Hatmaker, University of Connecticut
  • Stephane Moyson, Erasmus University Rotterdam, NL
  • Zachary Oberfield, Haverford College, US

How do public organizations integrate employees to be productive organizational members who serve the public well and can also adapt to the contemporary challenges and complexities noted by the IRSPM 2015 theme? Organizational socialization is the process through which employees learn the skills, expected behaviors, and values required to become productive organizational members (Van Maanen and Schein, 1979). Socialization begins when a new employee enters the organization and it can influence learning processes, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, adoption of the organization’s culture and values, and sense of fit within the organization. Existing employees can undergo socialization again when they transition to new roles, such as via a promotion into a leadership role or a transfer into a new division or department. Integrating employees so that they can consistently address public needs under complex conditions can be a core concern for public managers. Organizational socialization is often premised on stable conditions in which the employee ‘learns the ropes’ of his or her job. Yet how does a public organization ensure that it prepares employees to serve the public well in a multitude of conditions? How can a public organization instill its core values and processes that enable employees to perform under stable conditions, while at the same time equip them to adapt to dynamic or unexpected events? Public sector organizational socialization has not been widely investigated and this panel aims to contribute to our understanding of organizational socialization processes in part in response to Perry’s (2010) call. We invite papers that address the above questions, but we are also interested in papers that examine socialization processes more generally in public sector organizations. We are also open to papers that discuss theoretical and methodological approaches that are best suited to the study of public sector organizational socialization.

B108 - Public Service Motivation

Panel Chair(s)
  • Gene Brewer, The University of Georgia and Utrecht University, US
  • Adrian Ritz, University of Bern, CH
  • Wouter Vandenabeele, Utrecht University, NL

Public service motivation refers to the motivation people have to contribute to the public interest and improve the well-being of society at large. Perry and Wise (1990) have defined the concept as ‘an individual’s predisposition to respond to motives grounded primarily or uniquely in public institutions’. These motives, values and their related behaviors are thought to be prevalent among public sector employees, but others – such as nonprofit sector employees, government contractors, and private citizens – may perform meaningful public service as well. The spread of these public-regarding motives is potentially very important in a ‘post-crisis era’ when large numbers of nongovernmental employees are performing much of government’s work through privatization, contracting, and co-production of services or other types of newly established networks. Despite the recent surge in public service motivation related research, many questions still remain unanswered. For this panel, we invite papers that will study research questions oriented at explaining antecedents (eg. how to manipulate these through leadership or management) and outcomes of public service motivation (eq. matters of assessing causality), as well as the concept itself (for example measurement issues) . Also, the internal dynamics of the concepts and integrating various theoretical perspectives from political economy, motivational psychology, organizational behavior, political science and public administration are considered to be a fruitful strategy in explaining their relevance. This is not an exclusive list of topics; other papers bearing on the topic of public service motivation will also be considered. If possible, we aim to publish a special issue of a journal based upon the papers presented.

B109 - Public Management Education and Training

Panel Chair(s)
  • Hiroko Kudo, Bocconi University, IT
  • Michael O'Neill, University of Ottawa
  • Ken Rasmussen, University of Regina, CA

The panel on public management education and training proposes to continue the discussion begun at previous IRSPM conferences concerned with current developments in traditional public management education, but also at the training of public servants in mid-career programs and those that are run by the public service itself.  Papers accepted for presentation at the Panel will be considered for a planned special issue of Teaching Public Administration (http://www.uk.sagepub.com/journals/Journals202085).

A particular focus of the panel will be on the contribution that education and training can make to preparing current and future public officials to address a series of challenges arising from the political and fiscal aftermath of the financial crisis.

The field of public management training and education encompasses a diversity of institutions ranging from higher education institutions, not for profit organizations, national government training institutions, and private training organizations and consultants engaged in a variety of training programs for public servants – and increasingly through partnerships among these.

Given this broad spectrum of institutions, the panel welcomes research papers concerned with education and training of career public sector employees and students and training applied to career development and human resources management in a public sector context. In light of this the panel is also interested in examining areas contribution that practitioners can make to ensure the appropriateness and relevance of training and education to the upcoming cadre of public officials.

The range of topics that would be suitable for this panel is obviously large but would include issues in line with the theme of the conference, such as:

  • New developments in MPA curriculum
  • The role of practitioners in education and training
  • The expanded use of new pedagogical approaches to education and training, including on-line, case study, or simulation or practice based learning
  • The growth of opportunities for linking education and practice such as internships and cooperative education programmes
  • International trends and innovations in public management education
  • Comparative experiences with quality assurance such as accreditation
  • The use of outside consultants in areas such as LEAN management and other approaches to professional development
  • The role of national training institutes to help with the continuous development of public servants
  • International trends, collaborations, innovations and developments in practice-based professional graduate degrees
  • The development and quality improvements of graduate studies in the field of PM
  • Career-planning and capacity building of public sector employees
  • Bridging MPA, MPP, and MPM from the classroom to civil servants' recruitmenht
  • Evaluation of training results.

For further information, please contact Michael A. O'Neill at droneill@ottawa.ca

 

B110 - Achieving Public Service Performance in a Complex Environment (SIG on Public Servants at Work)

Panel Chair(s)
  • Rona Beattie, Glasgow Caledonian University, GB
  • Linda Colley, Central Queensland University, AU
  • Jennifer Waterhouse, University of Newcastle, AU

Human resources are critical to the performance of public sectors. In 2005, the United Nations World Public Sector Report identified: “When public institutions perform well, it is primarily owing to the motivation, skills and integrity of the human capital and the quality of leadership.” (p. v). Since the publication of that report, the performance of public sectors world-wide has come under immense scrutiny as a response to the global financial crisis, individual national crises involving financial, political and natural calamities as well as disappointing outcomes in addressing wicked social issues.

In this more complex environment, new ways of understanding and achieving public service performance are emerging. Often these approaches include a mixture of responses drawn from traditional public service administration such as a refocus on public service values, NPM approaches including individual performance related pay and new governance approaches that emphasise system performance (for example, the Australian Public Service Blueprint for Reform).

This panel invites submissions of abstracts that address the theme of public service performance including (but not limited to) models of performance, leadership, performance measurement, reward and motivation. Key questions include: What models of performance and reward are favoured by government? What purpose (ideological and practical) do these models serve? How are these models affecting the way public servants undertake their work? How is performance measured? How is causality between chosen models and performance tested?

B111 - Compassion in Public Sector Organisations: A New Approach or a Local Concern?

Panel Chair(s)
  • Alistair Hewison
  • Sharon Mastracci
  • Yvonne Sawbridge, University of Birmingham, GB

Consistent with the conference theme, a research program on emotions in organizations was prompted by crisis. Several years of neglect and poor management at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust in England may have contributed to over 1,200 deaths. In reaction, some have called into question public service managerialist reforms emphasizing performance targets and efficiency. In agencies directly responsive to the public, there is an interest in returning to the provision of compassionate care, and compassionate care demands emotional labor. Nurses are on the front line of service delivery in healthcare and it is nurses who have been assigned the primary responsibility of ensuring the delivery of compassionate care.

Much of the discussion and analysis of compassion, and the role of nurses in its delivery, however, has been somewhat superficial and ill informed. Nursing situates highly technical expertise in a context of care, the execution of which demands emotional labour. To fail to convey compassion is to fail to do a nurse’s job, no matter how technically proficient that nurse may be. Emotional labor is the effort involved in conveying care.

This discussion will serve as a focus for exploring the role of emotion and compassion in the wider public sector. Recent work has highlighted the importance of recognising and managing emotion in a range of organizations. The purpose of this panel is to explore the utility of compassion and emotional labour in the analysis of contemporary public sector organizations.

The format of this panel takes the form of a "Paper exchange", where panel members share their papers in advance, and each individual’s paper is presented by another member of the panel.

C101 - Special Interest Group in Local Governance (LG-SIG)

Panel Chair(s)
  • Denita Cepiku, University of Rome Tor Vergata - Department of Business, Government and Philosophy, IT
  • Filippo Giordano, LUMSA, Rome and Bocconi University, Milan, IT
  • Enrico Guarini, University of Milano-Bicocca, IT
  • John Martin, Emeritus Professor La Trobe University, AU
  • Reto Steiner, University of Berne - Center of Competence for Public Management, CH
  • Christopher Tapscott, University of Western Cape - School of Government, ZA

The SIG aims at supporting the development of an international, worldwide network of researchers in the area of Local Governance, enhancing the stability and continuity of their collaboration. The Local Governance panel has had a stable presence at the annual conferences of IRSPM, attracting each year a high number of papers, with participating scholars from the five continents.

Local governance issues have been high on the reform agenda in the past decades touching upon a variety of aspects in OECD countries but also in the developing world. They are aiming to increase input legitimacy (e.g. through direct participation and changes in local representative democracy) and output legitimacy (e.g. through management reforms). Complex projects such as territorial governance reforms focus on the improvement of input and output legitimacy simultaneously. Municipalities are responsible for steering and managing networks and partnerships and need to equip themselves with adequate network management tools. More recently, in several European countries, local governments have borne a good part of the cutback and crisis recovery national plans. The panel has explored trends in local governance and addressed questions arising in organizing and carrying out managerial responsibilities in local government.

We invite proposals for papers that address these issues.

C102 - Diversity in Local Government: Where are we up to?

Panel Chair(s)
  • Bligh Grant, Centre for Local Government, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia., AU
  • Roberta Ryan, Centre for Local Government University of Technology, Sydney, AU

In many polities across the globe local governments are uniquely positioned to advance the interests of groups of people who have experienced structural inequality as the overriding characteristic of their lives. This inequality is more often than not grounded in particular characteristics of these people, whether it be gender, ethnicity, aboriginality and/ or First Nations status, age, religious belief or a combination of these factors. Further, due to its place-based nature, local governments are also in a position to foster the uniqueness of their areas through particular employment practices.

However, local governments in many countries have been increasingly subject to reform process which, while holding out the possibility of changing political relationships away from ‘path-dependent’ patterns of inequity, have nevertheless been designed to render the sector more cost-effective, thereby potentially impacting upon the capacity to provide services and develop capacity as an ‘employer of choice’.

The genesis of this ‘Panel Proposal’ resides in the 2013 ’Future-Proofing Local Government: National Workforce Strategy’ published by the Australian Centre for Excellence in Local Government in 2013. This work developed a national strategic framework for local government in the face of an ageing population, challenges of regional and rural remoteness and skills shortages in the sector. The research also produced a wealth of information concerning the local government workforce based upon demographic and employment data, revealing (for example) the limited role of women in executive roles, the comparatively older nature of the local government workforce and the opportunities for employment for Aboriginal Australians in rural and remote areas. With this in mind the panel calls for papers based in a variety of work. Papers could be guided by, but not limited to, themes including:

  • Empirical approaches to diversity in local government, examining topics such as:
    • Gender,
    • Aboriginality and First Nations peoples;
    • Age of local government workforce
    • Normative considerations of diversity in local government;
    • Case studies of diversity in local government;
    • Diversity as element to strategy for local government;
    • Diversity and public value in local government.

Bligh Grant is Deputy Editor of the Journal of African and Asian Local Government Studies, a peer-reviewed international journal. Papers submitted for the Panel would be eligible for submission to this journal. If the quantum of papers received requires it, a ‘Special Edition’ of the journal will be arranged, edited jointly by the convenors.

C103 - Changing Leadership in Local Government

Panel Chair(s)
  • Michaela Bátorová, School of Management, Department of Regional Studies, University of Tampere, FI
  • Arto Haveri, School of Management, University of Tampere, FI
  • Frans Jorna, Saxion University, Centre for Urban and Environmental Studies, NL

The complexity of challenges affecting modern local governments is tackled in various ways: by empowering politicians’ role in steering the local development, by regional cooperation and amalgamation, by decentralization of central government responsibilities, by professionalizing civil servants for assuring better delivery of public services, by empowering citizens’ participation in policy-making, and/or by joining up resources with external agencies. All these, and many other practices, are covered up by a mixture of reforms driven by New Public Management, Neo-Weberianism, and/or (New Public) Governance.

All these reforms have one important feature in common – they open up local governments to the external world and policy making becomes a process shared with multiple socio-economic actors (businesses, NGOs, voluntary organizations, other governmental agencies, individual citizens, etc.).

The aim of this year’s panel is to discuss the consequences of this transformation from the traditionally closed to the opened-up politics on local leadership. How does the interaction with external actors affect traditional local leadership? How do local leaders interact with (empowered) external socio-economic actors? What are the local leaders’ attitudes towards these interactions? How do they deal with greater sharing of decision-making powers and responsibilities with external actors? Is this interaction helping the local leaders in shaping the future development of their communities? What other consequences does opened-up politics bring to local leadership?

We are interested in theoretical and empirical papers, individual case studies as well as cross-country comparative studies. In the selection process we will pay a greater attention on covering a variety of countries in the final list of accepted papers.

C104 - Sustaining Entrepreneurship: Challenges in Local and Regional Development policies

Panel Chair(s)
  • Yvonne Brunetto, Southern Cross University, AU
  • Manuela Brusoni, Bocconi University School of Management, IT
  • Veronica Vecchi, Bocconi University School of Management, IT

The facilitation of regional entrepreneurship is becoming one of the most important determinants of local economic development and is thus an integral component in public policy design and implementation (Vecchi Brusoni and Borgonovi 2013). In the context of weak local economies, brought on by poor global financial conditions, policy makers, public managers and local stakeholders are seeking new platforms to support sustainable business development in regions. These new platforms will be complex and the “picking winners” (Hospers et al. 2008) and “small wins” (Martin et al. 2012) approaches are coming to the fore as regional entrepreneurial development frameworks that can operate in conditions of limited public budgets and a strong political pressure.

However, in this context there is room for the development of new research-led models that present new approaches in policy design and implementation, as well as new forms of strategic collaborations that facilitate regional entrepreneurship. For example, recent studies on impact investing (Balbo, Brusoni and Vecchi forthcoming) show the existence of market niches in which public authorities can stimulate social innovation and new form of entrepreneurship.

This panel provides a platform whereupon both theoretical and more practical oriented papers can be discussed for the purposes of stimulating a new research discourse able to sustain concrete innovations in regional/local development. Research adopting theoretical positions including co-innovation, strategic management, design and organisational networks in the context of regional entrepreneurship development are welcomed. Further, papers based on case studies and qualitative research methodologies will be warmly considered, as there is a request for more practical oriented research approaches in the field of local economic policies (McGuire 2000, Audretsch 2004, Mason and Brown 2011).

This panel proposal is rooted in the 2013 IRSPM Conference panel on local/regional development as well as in a series of PDW and symposia organized within the Academy of Management (PNP division), from which a research monograph is to be published in 2014(Routledge). We believe further evidence based research will emerge from meaningful networking opportunities provided by IRSPM positioned around specific paper topics.

C105 - Local Governance in Commonwealth Countries: Exploring Similarities and Differences in a Post-Development Framework

Panel Chair(s)
  • John Martin, Emeritus Professor La Trobe University, AU
  • Roberta Ryan, Centre for Local Government University of Technology, Sydney, AU
  • Eris Schoburgh, University of the West Indies, JM

This panel aims to bring the experience of Commonwealth countries with local government and governance reforms into sharper focus for policy learning and transfer by providing an opportunity for academics and policy researchers in the field to share new information and perspectives on the issues that are confronted and the solutions that are devised.

The interrelated issues of the status of local government in intergovernmental relations and local government functionality have been sources of contention in politico-administrative discourses of Commonwealth countries for decades, given their common historical heritage. The introduction of the concept of local governance and the perturbations this brings to the practice of local politics and policy have added another dimension to the debate raising further questions about roles and relationships but also about the appropriate organizational structuring for effective policy responsiveness at the local/subnational level.

Clearly, Commonwealth countries do not represent a homogenous group even with strong institutional fidelity to Westminster-Whitehall democratic traditions. However, there has been a common concern around issues of local government identity as a political institution of worth rather than an appendage of central government and its functionality as an agent of local economic development. Thus contemporary local government and governance reform policies in the Commonwealth group follow an implicit trajectory of (re)defining the role of the ‘local state’ and engendering democratic and participatory processes. More recently placed-based approaches to development have revalidated the existence of local governments where there was doubt.

The preceding issues, together with the fundamental concern about the viability of local government administrative systems and legitimacy of this political institution, especially in the context of more aggressive contemplation of how to incorporate the numerous public, private and civil actors to give effect to the notion of local governance have informed academic research projects and policy debates in the Commonwealth. There is general consensus that the social complexities that characterise local communities make the role of local government as an administrative arm of central government obsolete. But how should the new role of local government be defined? What are the capacities that are needed to effect this role? How does a vulnerable national government reconcile the dilemma of an autonomous local government with exercising safeguards in the public interest? In short what future is there for local government in a context of local governance?

Not only is the political institution of local government at a crucial crossroad in the Commonwealth, but effective transformation to a local governance operational framework makes it imperative that local politics and administration be examined carefully and policy makers provided with appropriate causal theory and conceptual tools to chart future policy directions. An important goal of this panel therefore, is to assist in the development of new theoretical and analytical constructs for analyzing and understanding subnational political transformations. A critical imperative is an expansion of contemporary area studies and policy discourses on the concepts and practices of local government and governance globally.

The following themes, though not exhaustive, are of interest:

  • Redefining the role of the ‘local state’ in a post development era – autonomous local government, central government control and multi-stakeholder framework
  • Managing development in local government – public private partnerships for local economic development
  • Organisational change in local government – capacities and strategies in structuring service provision
  • Local governance – consequences for managerial, leadership and local policy-making skills and competencies
  • Managing the ‘local commons’ – theory versus praxis
  • The value of local government in a post-development context
  • Localising the sustainable development goals (SDGs) – what does this mean for local government and governance?
  • Local government financing for local economic development
  • The political economy of local government and governance reforms

Expected Outcome: Papers will be published in the Commonwealth e-Journal of Local Governance


D101 - Special Interest Group on the Third Sector

Panel Chair(s)
  • Ingo Bode, University of Kassel, FB1, DE
  • Taco Brandsen, Radboud University Nijmegen, NL
  • Neal Ryan, Southern Cross University, AU
  • Mary Tschirhart, The Ohio State University, US

The discussions of IRSPM’s Third Sector Special Interest Group focus on the role of third sector organizations and citizens involved in partnerships with public sector agencies, as well as the problems and opportunities that arise from such partnerships. Now in its 6th year, the group has proven to be a gathering-place for the research on this topic within IRSPM.

Topics that can be addressed by panelists include:

- The development of the purpose, design, implementation, and outcomes of third sector - state partnerships;

- Governance arrangements developed for these partnerships;

- The effect of partnerships on innovation in public management;

- The co-production of public services;

- The sustainability of collaboration;

- The effects of such partnerships on issues of human resource management;

- Critical evaluations of current state- third sector partnership concepts and of empirical developments in these partnerships.

We are interested in both theoretical and empirical papers that have implications for the management and governance of third sector organizations. Papers that are applicable across geographic boundaries are of particular interest.

D102 - Reinventing Public and Non-Profit Governance

Panel Chair(s)
  • Luca Gnan, Tor Vergata University, IT
  • Alessandro Hinna, Tor Vergata University, IT
  • Fabio Monteduro, Tor Vergata University, IT
  • Gianluca Veronesi, The University of Leeds, GB

The global crisis has raised new challenges in terms of governance of public and non-profit organizations. Since the term governance has been used with many different meanings, the focus of the panel will be mainly on the “micro” or “organizational” level, with particular reference to governance systems, governance mechanisms and governance roles. Thus, the term governance is primarily conceptualized as “organizational governance”, i.e. the systems by which a public or non profit organization is directed, controlled and made accountable.

On this basis, the panel aims at exploring the potentialities the governance systems, mechanism and roles to respond, reflect, re-invent and revolutionise in the wake of 'crisis'. Topics of interest include the following:
a) the role, the behaviour and the effectiveness of the board of directors;
b) the relationships between board, management and other internal and external stakeholders;
c) the association between board and organizational outcomes (performance, innovation, etc.);
d) innovations in governance,
e) stakeholder involvement and coproduction;
e) accountability, transparency and integrity of governance;
f) measuring and assessing organizational performance;
g) new forms of governance arrangements in service provision.

D103 - Rethinking the Relationship between Citizens and Public Services

Panel Chair(s)
  • Oliver James, Dept. of Politics, University of Exeter; School of Public Affairs and Admin, Rutgers University, GB
  • Sebastian Jilke, Department of Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam, NL
  • Gregg Van Ryzin, Rutgers University, School of Public Affairs and Administration, US

Citizens' relationship to public services is being rethought by the academic community and policymakers, reflecting both changes in the modes of service delivery as well as advances in our understanding of the psychology and behaviour of citizens. Public services increasingly rely on choice and market-based ‘exit’ methods alongside political participation and voice methods, including complaint, lobbying and voting. Moreover, public services are delivered increasingly by non-state actors, markets, choice, and various forms of coproduction, rather than directly by government. Citizens’ interaction with services, in turn, has been shown to depend on expectations, perceptions of both performance and process, and broader attitudes and affects toward the public sector, as well as information available from published performance measures and media reports. The relevant outcomes can include satisfaction, trust, cooperation, voice (complaining), switching between providers, and exit to alternative providers, including the private and non-profit sectors. Moreover, responses to public services can affect support for politicians and public institutions, including states, especially given negativity bias in response to performance. Blame shifting and avoidance can be used by politicians and service providers seeking to avoid criticism.

With these issues in mind, we invite theory-based, empirical papers that use experiments and/or analysis of datasets from non-experimental sources on a range of topics that include (but are not limited to):

• Trust of government, including its antecedents and consequences
• Satisfaction
• Citizens knowledge and interpretation of performance measures and reports
• Cognitive and affective biases in how citizens perceive and evaluate government services
• Expectations and their role in satisfaction and other evaluative judgments
• Complaining and other voice behaviours, including voting
• Choice and exit behaviours with respect to public services
• Citizens participation in and co-production of public services

D105 - Self-Organizing Citizens in the 21th Century: New Citizen Collectives and their Implications for Public Management

Panel Chair(s)
  • Robyn Keast, Southern Cross University, AU
  • Joop Koppenjan, Faculty of Social Sciences Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Ingmar van Meerkerk, Department of Public Administration; Erasmus University Rotterdam, NL

The focus of this panel is on the rise of citizen collectives (grass roots initiatives, community trusts, citizen initiatives) as new forms of civic engagement in contemporary society. These citizen collectives are characterized by governance practices in which citizens take the lead in dealing with common problems and public issues and are directly engaged in developing and implementing solutions and services (Bang, 2009; Sørensen and Triantafillou, 2009; Van Meerkerk et al., 2013). Bottom up initiatives of citizens emerge in policy fields like energy, spatial planning, care, community provisions and social services more generally.

This development challenges traditional modes of public management and representative democracy, as it requires the redefinition of relationships between governmental actors, local institutions and citizens in order to open up space for a more active role of citizens in their living environment (De Wilde et al., 2014). Although various governments have turned their interest to stimulating and capturing the gains of these citizen collectives (see the Big Society discourse), for several reasons governments are generally not well equipped to facilitate and support these initiatives (Edelenbos, 2005; Edelenbos and Van Meerkerk, 2011; De Wilde et al., 2014).

This panel aims to start systematic international comparative research to capture the different forms, consequences and conditions under which citizen collectives emerge and evolve, and, more specifically, on the role of and implications for public management.

We specifically invite empirical papers that address (one or more of) the following questions:
- What are the forms these citizen collectives take in various policy areas and how do they operate and evolve?
- What are the conditions and mechanisms that underlie the evolution and performance of these collectives?
- How can the performance and outcomes of citizen collectives be assessed, and which criteria and considerations are used to assess success or failure? (e.g. effectiveness, quality, robustness & reliability, values and democratic nature)?
- How do governments relate to these initiatives during the various phases of their life cycle, what conditions and considerations influence their positioning and how does this impact upon the development of these collectives?
- What implications do interactive governance driven by these citizen collectives have for the role of governments involved, the skills of public managers and existing professional service delivery models?

D106 - Reinvention, Revolution, or Retrenchment? Social Enterprise and Public Management

Panel Chair(s)
  • Angela Eikenberry, University of Nebraska at Omaha

In its broadest sense, social enterprise involves the use of market-based strategies to achieve social goals (Kerlin, 2009). Austin, Stevenson and Wei-Skillern (2006) define social entrepreneurship ‘as innovative, social value creating activity that can occur within or across the nonprofit, business, or government sectors’ (p. 2). Social enterprise and entrepreneurship have clearly been linked to government downsizing and governance efforts in the UK and elsewhere (Cook, Dodds, & Mitchell, 2003; Teasdale, Lyon, & Baldock, 2013; Eikenberry, 2009). In particular, social entrepreneurs around the world have been held up as the ‘new heroes’ (2005) who will ‘change the world’ through ‘the power of new ideas’ (Bornstein, 2007).

In this context, many see social enterprise as key to reinventing or revolutionizing public management and governance in difficult times while others have raised concerns about its use, outcomes and impact. Drawing on research and writing done by the panelists and others, this session will raise and address several questions of concern to the potential of social enterprise for public management. These include: Do social enterprises provide better outcomes in comparison with private for-profit and public providers in health and social care systems? To what extent are social enterprise policies driven by ideas and ideologies rather than evidence? What are the implications of social enterprise for social equity and democratic governance?

This panel will be run as a “Provocation Session,” during which four panel members will respond to key challenges/questions relating to social enterprise and public management, leading to a wider discussion with all participants in the panel and audience.

D107 - A Public Service-Dominant Logic for Public Management: What role for Co-Production?

Panel Chair(s)
  • Sophie Flemig
  • Greta Nasi, Associate Professor, Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management, Bocconi University Director, Public Management and Policy Department, SDA Bocconi School of Management
  • Stephen Osborne, University of Edinburgh, GB

This panel is dedicated to exploring one element of the public service-dominant logic that has been developed by Osborne and his colleagues. This is the role of co-production within public services delivery. The panel will explicitly challenge the prevailing public administration discourse of co-production by arguing for understanding it as an intrinsic element of public services delivery rather than as an "add-on". It will invite papers that present new evidence and new theoretical perspectives on co-production and which take forward the debate rather than simply reiterating old premises. It will follow on from the IRSPM Workshop held in Budapest in 2012 which led to a special issue of PMR.

Key questions will include:

  • does taking a public service-dominant approach to public services delivery change how we understand and view co-production?
  • how can we identify the dimensions of co-production in public services delivery and is it possible to create metrics to evaluate its impact?
  • to what extent can co-production at the service delivery level be harnessed to drive forward co-creation and public service innovation?
  • what are the contingencies of successful co-production and how are they enacted in the public service delivery process?
  • is there a "dark side"; to co-production and what are then implications of this for public service delivery?

Papers on other topics relevant to the panel are also welcome.

The final closing plenary will consider how to take this debate forward in the future and what the possibilities might be for further dissemination and publication.

D108 - Debate: Given the challenges we face, choice and competition are the least worst ways of reforming public services

Panel Chair(s)
  • Jon Glasby, Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham

Faced with a series of financial, demographic and social challenges, governments around the world are grappling with very difficult decisions about the future of their welfare services. In the UK, a key contribution to this debate has been made by Prof. Julian Le Grand, Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and a former health advisor to the British Prime Minister. One of many of Julian’s contributions has been to argue that greater choice and competition can be powerful tools for reform, potentially having more positive impact and fewer negative knock-on effects than other approaches (such as trusting front-line professionals to deliver a good service, relying on targets and performance management, or drawing on service user voice).

This sense that choice and competition may be the best (or at least the ‘least worst’) option has been very influential – but also very controversial. In contrast, other commentators have argued that choice and competition can be manipulated by Neo-liberal governments in order to undermine public service values and services, leading to reduced quality and greater inequality.

While these debates have significant implications in terms of research and theory, they are also of massive political and public importance – and the panel adopts the design of a formal debate in order to maximise critical discussion and to draw out the diversity of (often very strongly held) opinions that exist in such a crucial area of policy and practice. After an initial vote by the audience, both speakers (Julian Le Grand and Robert Page) will speak for 10 minutes each, for and against the motion. There will then be debate around tables and in plenary, with a panel comprising a public service manager, a practitioner and a service user listening to the debate and each giving a short reflection at the end of the plenary discussion. The two speakers will then have two minutes each to sum up their argument and a final vote will be taken to see if the motion is carried or not.

• Prof. Julian Le Grand, LSE (speaking for the motion)

• Dr. Robert Page, University of Birmingham (speaking against the motion)

• Prof. Jon Glasby, HSMC (chair)

E101 - Special Interest Group in Healthcare Management (SIG-HCM)

Panel Chair(s)
  • Stefano Calciolari, USI Università della svizzera italiana, CH
  • Emanuele Vendramini, Catholic University

Aim: To contribute to the development of the Public Management paradigm with recursive knowledge feedback among the general public management knowledge base and those within healthcare management disciplines. While we appreciate distinct contributions from healthcare management, the aim of the IRSPM and the SIG-HCM is to explicitly contribute to the public management endeavor.

We value contributions that: • Study health care contexts and provide insight, description, and empirical, findings for Public Management • Study public organizations and provide insight, description, and empirical, findings for Healthcare Management • Take advantage of areas of overlap among the other IRSPM SIGs to find new ways to collaborate and contribute across intellectual subfields in the discipline.

Our working definition of the Public Management paradigm centers on the resources, processes, operations, and outcomes of public organizations and those organizations with a high degrees of “publicness”. In particular, issues of workforce, organization design and development, governance, performance, and capacity to serve are topics of great salience to the paradigm. The main challenge within the paradigm is to understand how organizations with a high degree of publicness operate and effectively (or not) fulfill their individual and public missions.

Our goals for the SIG-HCM are:
• Create a productive and high quality environment for healthcare focused work at IRSPM
• Cross-fertilization of ideas between Public Management and Healthcare Management
• Create a sufficiently developmental atmosphere for scholars where they can present their work and receive constructive critique for further refinement
• Attract top scholars in the field to participate in SIG-HCM activities
• Attract young researchers to the empirical setting of health care for their work • Through quality scholarship, improve the visibility and reputation of SIG-HCM and IRSPM As such, our short-term operational goals are:
• Set a high bar for conference paper selection of at most 50% of submissions
• Provide developmental feedback to authors during sessions so that 10% of papers presented at the Annual conference are targeted for publication in the top public management journals in the field such as: Public Management Review, Public Administration Review, International Public Management Journal, and Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.

The IRSPM invites submission of abstracts for consideration for inclusion on the 2015 Annual meeting program, in Birmingham, UK. Our SIG is focused on the cross-fertilization of ideas between the fields of Healthcare Management and Public Management. All submissions should adhere to the structured abstract below for consideration.

We invite submissions with two broad perspectives. Please indicate which perspective for which would like your work considered. The MICRO perspective will group work that focuses at or in the organizational level. These pieces have specifically focused on intra-organizational issues, resources, and processes, including professionals. The MACRO perspective will group work at inter-organizational and/or systems level of analysis. Work at the organizational level of analysis, can be submitted to either (but not both) perspective at the authors’ discretion based on the intended contribution.

The intent of the submission identification is to ensure that your paper receives appropriate consideration by an appropriate peer group. Paper sessions will be built based on the content of the papers selected, rather than a specific content call. Please note, we will be limiting our acceptance rate to 50% of abstracts submitted. One of the goals of the SIG-HCM is to provide developmental feedback so that the papers presented on our panels can be further refined for publication in the field’s top public management journals. We encourage the work of new and junior scholars for submission and will make an explicit attempt to include developing scholars on the program. The abstract has to have 400 words at least.

Please use the following structured abstract for submission:
Track: Micro or Macro
New researcher Doctoral Student*: Yes or No (*lead authors only):
New researcher within 3 years of PhD*: Yes or No
Title:
Author information:
Objectives:
Data and Methods (n/a for conceptual papers):
Results (n/a for conceptual papers):
Conclusions: Contribution to Public Management:
Progress to date: here please indicate where you are in the progress of this proposed research (This will help us to determine the likelihood that the paper will come to fruition for the conference. Work at all stages are welcome): ?
Data has been collected and empirical analysis started ?
Draft of paper or argument outlined ? Concept stage ? Full paper ready, in revisions ?
Other (please,specify)

B112 - Meeting Global Challenges in Education: Do We Have the Talent Pipeline in Education to Navigate the Perfect Storm?

Panel Chair(s)
  • Rona Beattie, Glasgow Caledonian University, GB
  • Paul Iles
  • John Wilson

To date IRPSM symposia have only provided a limited examination of leadership of educational institutions despite their significant socio-economic role. Given we know that education is the best route out of poverty should we not be examining whether or not we have the right leaders in place as well as developing a leadership talent pipeline?

This challenge is increasingly important given the unprecedented change, cultural and structural, across: schools, the most researched sub-sector; colleges; and universities, the least researched. Indeed education is facing the “'perfect storm' of challenges ranging from growing expectations and demand, demographic change and financial constraint”; the theme of this conference. Examples of challenges are presented below. In England the Coalition Government has expanded the transfer of schools from local authority control to independent academies. However, there have been recent academy closures or special measures imposed by OFSTED due to poor teaching practice or structural and financial weaknesses whilst in much of the developing world governments are struggling to provide adequate school provision. This lack of educational infrastructure continues the vicious cycle of poverty and contributes to social instability. In Scotland the college sector has witnessed radical structural and cultural change through regionalization of provision. For example, a recent merger of three colleges means faculty leaders have to manage staff across ten campuses. Universities are not immune from the 'perfect storm' as the list below indicates environmental challenges they face:
• Competition
• Funding
• Wider public policy
• Supranational bodies
• Research Excellence
• Accreditation
• Employers and Professional bodies
• Internationalization
• Technology
• Sustainability
• Demographics
• Equality
• League tables

This panel welcomes paper submissions, from all disciplines and areas of education, although the following would be particularly welcome:

-Leading structural and cultural change
-Leadership development
-Talent management in education
-Equality and diversity in educational leadership
-Education leaders and sustainability
-Mentoring and coaching in education

E102 - Accountability in the Health Care Sector: Beyond the Blame Game

Panel Chair(s)
  • Birgit Grüb, Institute for Management Accounting Johannes Kepler University
  • Christopher Klinger
  • Sebastian Martin, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria School of Applied Health/Social Sciences, AT

Changing relationships among the public, private and not-for-profit sectors alongside financial constraints often lead to a call for governments to be more ‘strategic’ in their approach to health care and to ensure greater ‘accountability’ toward system performance and ‘transparency’ in public reporting. Within the complex health care system, ‘accountability’ covers multiple ‘domains’ from political, financial and managerial to professional and ‘concepts’ from loci to procedures and evaluation. ‘Models’ of ‘accountability’ reach from the political to the economic and professional and ‘mechanisms’ from public reporting to citizen engagement and ‘governance’. Furthermore, ethics require health care funders, provider organizations and professionals to work as co-fiduciaries to promote and protect the health-related interests of the population.

In line with the overall theme of the conference to shape the future and showcasing IRSPM’s new Special Interest Group on Healthcare Management (SIG HM), this panel will explore the implications for public management and move beyond the ‘blame game’ by promoting ‘accountability’-enhancing strategies such as assuring compliance with procedures and standards, and the identification of connections among individual improvement interventions.

Proposals toward case studies or other empirical work on ‘accountability’ in the local, regional, national and international context are welcomed. What is the role of ‘governance’? How can ‘accountability’ and ‘transparency’ be effective measured? Quality indicators – the ‘good’, the ‘bad’ and the ‘ugly’. What (and where) are potential innovative approaches to ‘accountability’ within the health care field?

E103 - Housing Policies and Poverty

Panel Chair(s)
  • Wenqian Dai, University of South Dakota, US

This panel focuses on the impact of the housing policies on poverty. After the most recent financial crisis, economy was stagnant and housing market crashed. Many homeowners lost their homes. The increasing foreclosures had long-term devastating effects on communities. The rate of poverty also rose. More families had to depend on public housing programs.

The panel will debate how to adjust public policies affecting housing in order to constrain poverty. Papers are invited to address the impacts of housing policies on poverty, for example on the following topics: How did the tightened lending policies influence the low-income families who wanted to buy their homes? What should the government do to prevent another sub-mortgage crisis? How should governments adjust policies to improve pubic housing programs' efficiency and effectiveness? How could local governments keep a balance between the needs of poor residents in central city areas and gentrification?

E104 - Shaping a Sustainable Future by Regulation

Panel Chair(s)
  • Katharina Spraul, University of Kaiserslautern | Faculty of Business Studies and Economics. Department for Sustainability Management, DE
  • Ian Thomson, Department of Accounting, Economics & Finance, Heriot-Watt University, GB

Sustainability raises a number of challenges to the nature and effectiveness of regulations, governance and accountability mechanisms. The United Nations Council on Sustainable Development calls for both a review of current policies and institutional structures and an improvement of existing regulatory systems for the natural environment, social sustainability and economic stability. It is clear that currently, public sector organizations do not possess the knowledge or capacity to design effective sustainable regulation or to cope with competing demands/pressure from the corporate and nonprofit world. This increases the risk of regulatory capture or failure.

Against this background, the following questions emerge as some of the crucial challenges:
• How can sustainability regulation be implemented and accepted in a political agenda dominated by deregulation strategies, privatisation and a fear of command and control regimes?
• Should public regulators re-invent or revolutionize their regulatory tool kit for sustainability?
• How can public policy and management address global risks of unsustainable development and the regulatory shift from the national to the transnational realm?
• How can collaboration and co-operation be facilitated amongst different sectors within a nation and between nations?

Exploring the appropriateness of different regulatory approaches to sustainable transformation is an under-developed field. Areas that require further exploration include the following:

- Ecological sustainability: energy, CO2 emissions, climate, biodiversity, waste management, etc.

- Social sustainability: workplace safety, diversity, poverty, nutrition, health, etc.

- Economic stability: public debt, financial and capital markets, growth etc.

This panel will bring together scholars from different international and interdisciplinary backgrounds who are investigating theories, practices and methods of sustainability regulation. The intention is to create an interdisciplinary discursive space to critique and inform international policy development and influence future research on regulation for sustainability.

E105 - Re-introducing the 'Hard Sectors' of Public Service Delivery: Implications for Governance and Accountability

Panel Chair(s)
  • Lisa Hansson, Political Science Division Department of Management and Engineering Linköping University SE- 581 83 Linköping, Sweden, SE
  • Merethe Leiren, Institute of Transport Economics, Norwegian Centre for Transport Research, NO
  • Eva Lieberherr, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, CH

Challenges of increasing expectations and austerity have a particularly strong impact on the “hard sectors” of service delivery such as public transport, water and electricity. These sectors entail fixed and extensive infrastructure systems to deliver services (Newbery, 2002). However, the current infrastructure is in dire need of maintenance and investment, as it is reaching the end of its lifespan. At the same time, state funding is being cut, service-quality expectations are rising, and there is a split between a system-overload in urban areas and an over-dimensioned system in rural areas.

Liberalizing the hard sectors has been pursued as a means to address these challenges (Prosser, 2005). Such changes in the governance means lead to key questions of accountability due to marketization, outsourcing and a general decoupling of the operators from politicians. The hard sectors have largely been under-theorized at IRSPM conferences and in related academic literature (Saetren 2005).

Hence, and given the high salience of these sectors for societal well-being as well as key differences between these sectors that have implications for governance and accountability, we welcome both empirical and theoretical papers addressing the following:
• Governance in action: What governance strategies are developed to cope with the challenges and changing conditions in hard sectors?
• Comparison across sectors: What implications do universal service mandates have for liberalization and accountability?
• Cross-sector integration: What accountability challenges arise when different hard sectors are integrated or disintegrated?
• Outcomes of re-organization: How are profit motives versus common good aspects dealt with when outsourcing?

F101 - Expertise and Evidence in Public Policy

Panel Chair(s)
  • Tony Bovaird, University of Birmingham, GB
  • Brian Head, University of Queensland, AU
  • Joshua Newman, Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland, AU

There is international interest in the relationship between expert knowledge and the concerns of policy makers and public managers. Much of this interest has focused on efforts to promote more evidence-informed policies and evaluations within specific policy areas (e.g. education, healthcare and social work) and in the OECD countries, but also increasingly in other countries. There have also been some attempts to develop conceptual schemas to facilitate comparisons across cases and countries. There is now a recognised need for systematic research on how expertise and research are utilised in different policy areas, and across different policymaking processes and institutional settings.

This panel provides a forum for developing and sharing comparative research experiences on the relationship between expertise, research, policy and practice across policy themes, across institutional settings, and across national boundaries. Systemic obstacles to adoption of expert knowledge are well-known. These include the politicised context of policy debates and governmental commitments, the search for political compromises, low awareness of evaluation findings on the part of public officials; and ineffective communication by researchers and other experts. “Bridging” and “brokering” strategies have emerged to promote closer linkages.

Papers are welcome on any topic that aims to enhance our conceptual and/or empirical understanding of how expertise is mobilised or utilised in public policy settings. Some relevant questions might include:
1. How do the relationships between expertise and policy differ across policy issues, sectors or countries?
2. What strategies are used to promote or embed expertise in policy processes?
3. What conceptual models are useful for framing these analyses?
4. What are the research gaps?

F102 - Research and Practice: Reinventing the Space Between (SIG on CPMRPIO)

Panel Chair(s)
  • Garth Britton, University of Queensland Southern Cross University Connexity Associates Ltd, AU
  • John Diamond, Edge Hill University, GB
  • Christine Flynn, CHRISTINE FLYNN CONSULTING, AU
  • Joyce Liddle, IMPGT (The Institute of Public Management and Territorial Government)/Aix-Marseilles University, FR

In past conferences, the Special Interest Group on Connecting Public Management Researchers and Practitioners for Improved Outcomes has explored the ways that researchers and practitioners interact to produce policy and stimulate further research. Increasingly, the SIG has come to see these interactions as taking place in, and perhaps even defining, a 'space between' which connects research and practice but which does not follow the rules of either world. In this unstructured, unpredictable theatre of action, response and even contestation, truly new approaches, ideas or problems can emerge.

This panel focusses on how this space has been or might best be approached to generate outcomes which are valuable to both researchers and practitioners - how it can become a true source of innovation or even revolution. We welcome papers that explore these possibilities from an empirical, conceptual or speculative perspective.

F103 - Policy as Translation: The Relevance, Use and Impact of Academic Research for Public Policy I

Panel Chair(s)
  • Steve Connelly
  • Catherine Durose

Academic research has oft been accused of a ‘relevance gap’ for policy and public management, perceived as overly abstracted; adding complexity but not offering solutions. Whilst, the work of many of those contributing to IRSPM would refute this challenge, frustration remains on both sides.

This panel seeks to explore these frustrations and open up new possibilities, by seeing public policy as an instance of ‘translation’ (Freeman 2009). Policy making itself can be understood as a process of translating ideas into practical solutions, and of mediating between different groups of people and sets of meanings or understandings. Research undertaken by academics and policy makers must often undergo a process of translation in order to be utilised by practitioners and communities.

Further, practitioners engage in multiple forms of translation in their everyday work: in implementing policies as practices on the ground in specific contexts; in negotiating shared meanings between different agencies, community groups, and interpretations; in mediating between different forms of knowledge. A focus of concern for academics is the fidelity of translation to their research findings. For policy-makers, the focus is often the function of the translation for the demands they are seeking to address. The rhythms, streams, networks and implications for implementation of policy-making all further shape and constrain translation. As implied, a theory of translation contends that the use of academic research in policy-making is not a passive or mechanical process, but rather is active, contingent, and involves selection, manipulation and re-writing.

Translation draws our attention to the often hidden political practices of using academic research in policy-making. This panel seeks to explore - and welcomes paper proposals on - the modes, practices and political work of translation, engaged in by academics, politicians, policy-makers, practitioners and others, in using academic research in policy.



F104 - Policy as Translation: The Relevance, Use and Impact of Academic Research for Public Policy II

Panel Chair(s)
  • Steve Connelly
  • Catherine Durose

This plenary session explores different perspectives – from an academic, politician, policy-maker and practitioners – on the modes, practices and political work of translation in using academic research in policy.

This plenary debate develops the implications of the papers discussed in the first sesion of this panel (Panel F3).  The session will take the form of a panel discussion including an acaemic, a politician, a policy maker and a practitioner.  Each will be invited to respond to a short provocation circulated in advance.  Then the debate will opened up to the floor.

See panel I3 for a full statement of the issues to be debated in this session.

G101 - Public Accounting and Accountability: Obfuscation or Transparency?

Panel Chair(s)
  • Eugenio Anessi
  • Ileana Steccolini, SDA Bocconi School of Management, IT
  • Penelope Tuck

Public sector accounting has increasingly been asked to support better governance and management by providing relevant information and enhanced transparency. However, the recent crises have highlighted that room for improvement still exists, revealing the permanence (or re-emergence?) of waste and inefficiencies, corruption, obfuscation of data, manipulation of data, the (mis)use of accounting information to support instrumental and strategic decision making. Some of these phenomena may have been exacerbated by the increasingly fragmented nature of public service activities and responsibilities. Accounting systems are still often structured for consistency with the information requirements of well-defined individual or consolidated entities and thus ill equipped to handle PPPs and other inter-organizational arrangements.

This panel invites contributions that present, analyze, and discuss the actual and potential role of accounting in supporting (or disrupting) public governance and management, including:
- The scope, significance, and determinants of earnings management and accounting discretion in the public sector and their implication on public-sector systems, organizations, politicians, and managers;
- The roles of accounting in politics and policy making; accounting as a way of providing decision-makers and accountees with the information they need or rather to impose or legitimize political decisions;
- The role of accounting in increasing or reducing transparency;
- The actual and potential role of accounting in fighting corruption or covering it up; - The role, features, and impact of mandatory external auditing;
- The role, features, and impact of accruals accounting and its public-sector "mutations", of IPSAS's and EPSAS's;
- The integration and links between financial and non-financial information;
- The roles and influence of accounting professional bodies in the public sector context.

Any research strategy is welcome, as long as it effectively addresses the issues at hand and rigorously adheres to the methodology adopted, be it theoretical or empirical, quantitative or qualitative.


G102 - Performance Measurement of Hybrid Governance in the Age of Austerity (SIG on Accounting and Accountability)

Panel Chair(s)
  • Giuseppe Grossi, Kristianstad University
  • Jan-Erik Johanson, University of Tampere Management school Finland, FI
  • Jarmo Vakkuri, Tampere University, FI

The relevance of comprehending performance management systems is emphasized by two recent developments in public sector reforms of western democracies. First, the problems of public sector debt and long term financial sustainability have created several sets of austerity policies in governments. These include cutback management and downsizing measures, but a particular focus is also laid upon more sophisticated performance management systems, measurement information and revised accountability structures. The second important development is the increasing emphasis of public-private sector interface in public services.

In the transition from New Public Management (NPM) to New Public Governance (NPG), it has become common for public services to be performed by organizations operating in the intersection of the market and the public sector. As an instrument of performance improvement, hybrid arrangements (purchaser-provider models, contracting out, outsourcing, corporatization, public and private partnerships, etc.) involve both new remedies and problems for performance management and accountability.

Accordingly, our panel will focus on the following themes.

- How are austerity policies associated with the design and use of performance management systems in the public sector? Moreover, does the austerity regime provide new rationales for hybrid models of government? What are those?

- What are the implications of different institutional (central, provincial and local government) contexts for the development of performance management systems?

- How do countries follow the impacts of austerity policies, how do they adapt performance management systems to the need they perceive?

- How do performance management systems aim to cope with problems of coordination, management and evaluation in hybrid forms of public service provision?

- How the hybrid organizations define their performance measurement systems?

- What kind of uses of performance information do we see in managing public and private sector interface? Functional, dysfunctional?

We welcome theoretical, conceptual, comparative as well as empirical papers.

G103 - Re-inventing Public Service Funding and Forms

Panel Chair(s)
  • Barbara Allen, University of Nottingham, GB
  • Pauline Jas, University of Nottingham

With public service delivery organisations under unprecedented levels of pressure, efforts to transform service delivery and provide services at less cost and more innovatively run apace. Social investment as the mobilisation of finance for social purposes and mutualisation as an organisational form to capture participatory multi-stakeholder involvement constitute two attempts to respond to tightening fiscal arrangements and re-invent the role of the public delivery organisation.

A critical emerging question is to what extent are these new arrangements an extension of the marketization approach underlying public management for the past 30 years, or do they have potential to be transformative with respect to re-casting the shape of public service delivery. The UK’s policy environment is one of the most evolved for social investment but there are numerous emerging examples in other countries demonstrating the possibilities of new ways to connect providers, users, intermediaries and other stakeholders.

This panel invites papers looking at forms of funding and organisation of service delivery, such as social investment and mutuals, exploring the opportunities and impact of social ideas related to services. The panel will grapple with the boundaries of social investment and attempt to bring some clarity to what is working in terms of new forms of funding and organisation.

G104 - Innovative Financial Instruments Reinventing the Public Sector: Strategic Trends and Development in Government

Panel Chair(s)
  • Fabio Michele Amatucci, Sannio University CERGAS Bocconi University
  • Paolo Esposito, Eastern Piedmont University (Italy) Research Fellow in Business Administration, Ph.D. in Public Managament and Governance
  • Paolo Ricci

This panel is focused on the changing role of innovative finance in the public sector, new ways to provide funding, and the risks and new opportunities for local authorities, regional and central government and other public authorities. The term “innovative finance” was born in the 1980s, initially in the private enterprise system and then expanded into the public sector. It is identified with a number of instruments that raise funds through different forms of borrowing, including venture capital, securitizations, and more sophisticated forms such as project financing.

Financial activities become "innovative" where they add value by including advanced services capable of providing the recipient of funding with a package of tools to facilitate the achievement of certain goals. With innovative finance, therefore, arise new ways to provide funding and opportunities for local authorities. In these cases investors contribute not only money but also professional, technical or managerial expertise and a series of further contacts with other operators.

Other benefits of "innovative finance" include: more favorable terms than those related to the normal method of financing, choice and duration of the loan repayment conditions, availability of resources economic to benefit projects of considerable size and tax benefits, and so on. However it should be noted that the use of innovative financial instruments also involves higher risks related to the actual cost of the transaction, which usually requires the support of specialized subject matter, which will start the operation and continuously monitor its performance, identifying each time additions or corrections aimed at reducing the various risks.

We welcome papers that explore these issues and identify the benefits and problems, opportunities and threats, of innovative financing in government.  Papers may be theoretical, conceptual or empirical, and may focus on mapping the research agenda or identifying the policy and practice implications for governments and public servants.

G105 - Budget Reforms and Cutback Management in the Wake of the Financial Crisis

Panel Chair(s)
  • Hanne Hansen, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, DK
  • Mads Kristiansen, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen
  • Eva Sørensen, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, DK

Public budgets have come under pressure, as governments have tried to adapt to worsened economic conditions after the financial crisis and implement new austerity policies. Public budgets have been cut back, and budgeting institutions have been changed. The crisis may be interpreted as a window for radical change. It may be expected that trajectories will be interrupted in favour of a new generation of reforms, possibly characterized by more centralized budgeting procedures and tighter controls (Schick 2009, Randmaa-Liiv 2013). It may also be expected that incremental approaches to budgeting and cutbacks will yield to more intense use of information-processing tools and strategic analyses (Pollitt 2010, Dunsire & Hood 1989).

However, we do not know whether the crisis has led to transformational change of public budgeting, or whether the changes have been of a more path-dependent nature (Peters et al. 2011, Pollitt & Bouckaert 2009). Neither do we have a clear picture of the conditions, which are likely to lead to more or less transformational change in the area of public budgeting.

The proposed panel therefore invites papers which deal with these issues:

1) whether - or in which respects - the crisis has led to transformational change of budgeting institutions, procedures and allocation patterns,

2) whether and why different patterns of change may be observed in different countries, at different levels of government, or in different policy areas,

3) how the changes relate to existing discussions in public management such as the possible transition from NPM to post-NPM, the balance between centralization and decentralization, or the coupling of budgeting to performance measurement.

The panel invites papers based on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Comparative studies are particularly welcome. Single case studies are, however, also welcome.

G107 - Managing the digital future: transforming Public Governance and Public Management through digital technology?

Panel Chair(s)
  • Jonathan Justice, University of Delaware
  • Miriam Lips, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Government, NZ
  • John McNutt, University of Delaware, US
  • Tino Schuppan, University of Applied Labour Studies, DE
  • David Spacek, Faculty of Economics and Administration, Masaryk University, CZ

With governments around the world adopting digital-by-default public service strategies, trying to become more transparent and accountable by using digital technologies, introducing social media to establish more effective forms of public engagement, and using `big data‘ for evidence-based policy making and public sector investment analyses, technology-enabled or ‘e-Government’ projects are increasingly at the heart of public sector reform initiatives. However, although there is a lot at stake for public sector leaders in these technology-enabled initiatives, economically, managerially, socially, and democratically, e-Government is often treated as a distinct area from public management or public governance, with responsibilities for e-Government outcomes belonging to the organisation’s IT department for example. This then not only causes major challenges for public administration practice, due to underestimating the complexity of technology-enabled transformational initiatives in the wider public sector, but also raises important research questions for public administration scholars to explore what the role and impact of digital technologies are on public governance and management, and the implications for public administration theory.

A particular area of interest of this panel is the introduction of civic technology and its potential impact on public governance and public administration theory and practice. Civic technology represents a revolutionary force in the development of technology for social good that may very well open the floodgates for positive social change. At least in part, it represents the first set of interventions based on Web 3.0 technology, often called the semantic web. Some of its elements (transparency, open source, crowdsourcing, co-production and so forth) are already part of the public management discussion (see Justice & McNutt, 2014; Durose, Justice & Skelcher, 2014), while others are emerging high technology. It promises to bring together all sectors. What is civic technology? In a major early study Living Cities defined it as “the use of digital technologies and social media for service provision, civic engagement, and data analysis," and asserted that it "has the potential to transform cities and the lives of their low income residents" (Living Cities. 2012, 1). Tools of civic technology include open civic data and transparency, advanced technology solutions such as 311 and Open311, open mapping, civic mapping, civic hacking and hackathons, Code for America fellowships and similar.

 

G108 - Transparency and Open Government

Panel Chair(s)
  • Daniel Caron, Ecole nationale d'Administration publique, CA
  • Albert Meijer, Utrecht University
  • Martial Pasquier, Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration, CH
  • Suzanne Piotrowski, Rutgers University, US
  • Jean-Patrick Villeneuve, University of Lugano, CH

This panel focuses on the study of the concept of transparency, including, but not limited to its transversal role as a public value and its contribution as a key tool of governance in public administrations. This concept, dating back to Jeremy Bentham’s discussion of ‘publicity’, as gained renewed attention in the last decade. This has been due in part to the spread of Access to Information and whistle blower protection legislations, the multiplication of highly publicized information leak affairs (Wikileaks, Offshoreleaks, NSA leaks, etc.), and the general increase in the diffusion (and production) of information. Transparency is increasingly positioned within the concept of open government to emphasize its relations to participation and collaboration. Touted as a solution to the ills of democracy by some and decried as a useless and counterproductive approach by others, transparency raises numerous questions at the cross-roads of governance, democracy and accountability.

For this IRSPM2015 panel, specific attention will be given to contributions focusing on the increasing number of ‘blind spots’ of transparency; those situation in which the might of transparency has been curtailed either through organisational changes (service delivery by private or non-profit entities), political and financial decisions (disinvestment in transparency mechanisms), policy development (internationalisation), sector specific trends (growth and opacity of the security and military sector), or by the very growth of transparency itself. In the same way, civil society’s increasing demands for transparency, including from political institutions (government, parliament) can be considered.

These dynamics are raising questions that are at the same time ontological, epistemological, methodological and as well normative up to a certain extent. As in the past, the panel will also welcome contributions that address other aspects of transparency, with a preference for the comparative and the international.

J101 - Special Interest Group on Innovation and Change in Public Services

Panel Chair(s)
  • Stephen Osborne, University of Edinburgh, GB
  • Richard Walker, City University of Hong Kong, HK

The SIGIPS as a standing group of IRSPM has now held a number of successful panels.  These panels have resulted in wide-ranging discussions and publications including a special issue of Public Management Review in 2014 and the Edward Elgar Handbook on Innovation in Public Services.  The SIG will continue to focus on the dissemination of high quality theory and research on innovation in public services.

The SIG invites proposals for its panel at IRSPM 2015.  Innovation is widely recognised in public service organisations. One notable example of this is the growth in innovation award schemes.  These schemes reward outstanding achievements in the implemenmtation and delivery of new practices in places as diverse as Brazil, China and the U.S.A.  Knowledge on innovation has been growing through a range of insightful case studies that examine the adoption of innovation.  As such, factors explaining innovation adoption are becoming more widely understood and known. However, less is known on the implementation of innovations in public organisations and the consequences of innovation.

The panel will focus on reviews of literature, theoretical and conceptual developments in the field, or carefully crafted empirical studies that examine questions of implementation and their consequences.  These terms are widely defined for the panel and we encourage paper proposals that examine:

A. Implementation:

  • Are there routines and patterns of innovation implementation? Are these the same across different types of public services and different types of innovation?
  • Is the implementation of innovation associated with particular organizational capabilities, cultures and resources?
  • How sustainable are innovations in the long term?
  • How are innovations implemented by award winners diffused across the public services arena?

B. Consequences:

  • Does innovation have a positive effect on organizational performance?
  • Are there trade-offs between key dimensions of performance such as efficiency, effectiveness and equity?
  • Are there limits on the number and range of innovations that an organization can implement?
  • What are the impacts on the various stakeholders of public organisations? Are there trade-offs between different stakeholder groups, for example clients, oversight bodies, employees, etc?

While the panel seeks paper proposals that touch on a range of questions about implementation and consequences, papers need to have the notion of innovation at their heart.

H101 - Public-Private Partnerships: Governing Infrastructure Contracts for the Long Term

Panel Chair(s)
  • Carsten Greve, Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, DK
  • Graeme Hodge, Monash Centre for Regulatory Stuides, Monash University, AU

Panels on public-private partnerships (PPPs) have been a foundation of past IRSPM conferences and reflect both the continuing relevance of PPP techniques as well as the continuing challenge they present to public management. Past panels have been presented at Brisbane, Copenhagen, Berne, Dublin, Rome, and Ottawa, and have covered arenas such as value, innovation, empirical experiences and policy learning as well as theoretical bases for understanding PPP.

This IRSPM2015 panel seeks to move past issues of value-for-money and short term infrastructure delivery for immediate political success, and focus on how long term infrastructure contracts are governed and regulated in the long term interest of citizens. Governing long term infrastructure partnerships might include the following areas:

(1) The need to study the domain of long term PPP governance;

(2) Characterising and conceptualising alternative governance and regulatory environments;

(3) Assessing the effectiveness of alternative institutional arrangements for PPP governance;

(4) Emerging transparency and accountability models for partnership;

(5) Analysis of monitoring and regulation activities governing PPP performance over time;

(6) New performance promises and continued policy learning and

(7) Articulating global best practices in governing PPPs.

We welcome papers that have a theoretical contribution to make as well as empirical contributions, but also papers relevant for an increased understanding through international comparisons and perspectives.

H102 - Working with the Private Sector: Externalisation and Public Procurement

Panel Chair(s)
  • Juraj Nemec, Faculty of Economics and Administration Masaryk University Brno, CZ
  • James Rees, University of Birmingham, GB
  • Max Rolfstam, Department of Business and Management Aalborg, University, DK

Public budgets continue to tighten as the global economy has moved towards a sentiment of fiscal responsibility while attempting to maintain a significant level of provision. The social welfare is slated to suffer due to the various austerity policies taking effect. In this context, outsourcing, contracting and public procurement are acquiring even greater significance, and are increasingly charged with multiple missions and high expectations.

A longstanding expectation is that externalization improves efficiency without sacrificing quality of public services. The results of such marketization as measured in improved public performance are mixed, particularly in transitional countries where the socio-economic preconditions for successful externalization are not fully met and in the creation of quasi-markets for ‘human welfare’ public services. Most recently, contracting and public procurement are looked to promote social innovation and sustainability.

However, the extent to which the tender process can function as an interface between the formal aspects of the procurement process and the many times more informal processes under which social innovation develops is an open question. Furthermore, the integration of environmental standards within government purchasing produces additional considerations for public procurement processes. This panel invites critical analyses regarding opportunities as well as challenges emerging in the cross-fertilisation of perspectives on externalization and procurement as instruments for efficiency, risk-shifting, innovation and sustainability.

Specific areas of interest range from broad issues related to externalization to more specific analysis of procurement, including, but not limited to the following:
• The implications of externalization for decreasing costs and/or increasing quality;
• Understanding the main barriers to successful externalization; and
• Globalization and sharing best practices in public procurement policies.

We encourage submissions using strong theoretical-empirical, practical and institutional contributions, but also welcome strong deductive papers based on logical, consistent models. A special issue of an international journal of edited volume is planned

H103 - Corporate Forms in Local Government: Quangos, Companies and Intermunicipal Cooperation

Panel Chair(s)
  • Ulf Papenfuss, University Leipzig, Chair of Public Management, DE
  • Chris Skelcher, Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham, GB
  • Marieke van Genugten, Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, Nijmegen, NL
  • Sandra van Thiel, Nijmegen School of Management, NL

As part of public management reforms, many municipalities have hived off, contracted out or privatized tasks and units, in all policy areas ranging from social services, to infrastructure, culture and education, waste disposal, maintenance of roads and green zones, facility management, health care, harbours, etc.. Municipalities in very many countries have been prolific in using corporate forms, such as government owned enterprises and inter-municipal companies. At the local level, the proportion of employees in public corporate forms, compared with the core administration, often reaches nearly 50%. Debts located in corporate forms regularly exceed the debts of the core administration.

For this reason, this field is especially relevant regarding the transformation of public management. In comparison to the private sector and the core administration corporate forms of government have been empirically only examined to a very limited extent. Existing research on this type of reform has so far focused mostly on national level reforms, even though the sheer number of quangos and government companies is much larger at the local level. Moreover, the scarce international research is additionally fragmented in different disciplines and groups.

This panel aims to fill this gap by inviting papers on the governance and management of local corporate forms and the effects on service delivery, citizen trust, performance, accountability and so on. At the national level, similar reforms have led to an increased fragmentation of the public sector. In response, responsible persons try to regain control by rationalizing and re-organizing the governance instruments/mechanisms as well as the number and types of arm’s length bodies. The financial crisis has had a differentiated impact on these recent reforms; in some instances controls have been tightened, but in other cases tasks or organizations have actually been sold off. Papers dealing with these responses and recent reforms are also invited.

I101 - Regulation, Governance and Public Management Experiments in Developing Countries and Emerging Economies

Panel Chair(s)
  • Quamrul Alam, Faculty of Business and Economics Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, AU
  • Charles Conteh, Brock University, CA
  • Ahmed Huque, McMaster University, CA
  • Frank Ohemeng, University of Ottawa, CA
  • Abu Sarker, Department of Management, Marketing and Public Administration, University of Sharjah, AE
  • Noore Siddiquee, Department of Politics and Public Policy, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, AU

Regulation and governance in public management is vital for creating strong accountable institutions that can promote inclusive and sustainable growth. To realise twin goals of eradicating poverty and shared prosperity governments, businesses and civil society groups need to work together to strengthen public management systems and improve the governance environment.

Regulation and the significant issues raised by it have become central to the work of social scientists from many disciplines – political science, economics, law, sociology, psychology, anthropology, history and others (Braithwaite, ? 2007). It is argued by researchers that unclear or questionable objectives, failure to properly target the regulation at the source of the ‘problem’, undue prescription and complexity, overlap, duplication or inconsistency with other regulation, especially across jurisdictions, excessive reporting or other paperwork requirements, poorly expressed, and confusing use of terms and unwarranted differentiation from international standards have not provided any theoretical platform for developing countries to design any framework. The contextual variation has been used by country authorities to avoid standardised compliance regime.

Within the domain of market-led economic development model, the main concern will be on the continued development of regulatory structures appropriate to the socio-political environment in the aftermath of economic reform and structural change. Some researchers view the market itself as a mechanism of regulation at times poses a challenge to conventional economics. In the presence of strong tendencies towards the growth of market monopoly and the desire to capture the benefits of scale of economies there is a need to investigate how this issue has been addressed in developing and emerging economies. The proliferation of non-governmental organisations in many developing countries and their increasing involvement in industrial and commercial activities have given rise to demands for effective regulation.

Regulatory commitment to establish discipline, eliminate corrupt/illegal activities and promote competition through pro-competitive regulations is indeed a necessity. The post-reform era has necessitated the establishment of an appropriate regulatory regime that could address critical market failures, eliminate corrupt/illegal activities (which may distort the momentum of economic transition) and promote competition. In an era of collaborative public management (Agranoff and McGuire, 2003; Kickert et al., 1997) decisions are to be made in a networked pluralistic relationship structure where shareholders play an integral and responsive role for outcomes.

We encourage scholars to submit theoretically integrated and empirically sound work addressing the challenges of regulation and governance. This panel will make a useful contribution to a constructive debate. There are competing ideas about regulation; also there are debates concerning excessive vs poor regulation in many societies. Regulatory bodies are hard to supervise. The questions such as how to design regulatory institutions and how and why regulators are captured have been haunting the public management researchers. Insufficient political accountability of independent regulatory agencies is a major obstacle in many developing and emerging economies.

We invite papers focusing on regulation and governance covering the following questions:

  • What is the current approach to/ state of regulation in developing countries/emerging economies- excessive, poor or responsive?
  • How effective is the market-based regulatory regime to support the goals of economic growth and development?
  • What are the challenges to effective regulation in the changed context both locally and internationally?
  • What are the regulatory implications in post-reform environment and for the rise of third sector with significant involvement in business and commerce?

 

I103 - Beyond Good Governance and NPM: Alternative Frameworks for Public Management in Developing/Transitioning Nations

Panel Chair(s)
  • Richard Batley, University of Birmingham, GB
  • Derick Brinkerhoff, RTI International, US

The “perfect storm” of challenges identified in the theme of the 2015 conference constitutes the everyday operating setting for public management in most developing countries. The converging problems of rising citizen expectations, youth-bulge demographics, revenue and resource gaps, economic stagnation, and capacity and legitimacy deficits face developing and developed country governments alike.

The standard responses have focused on improving the quality of governance and enhancing public-sector efficiency through application of NPM-based reforms. The dominant academic, policy, and practitioner discourses appear locked in endless loops, repeating the same problem diagnoses and solutions.

This panel is situated at the core of current debates about public management in developing countries. It asks, what alternative frameworks for theory and practice can move the discourse beyond simply good (or good enough) governance and NPM? Are there analytic, policy, and practical perspectives from other disciplines and fields of inquiry that can shed light on how public management can confront today’s challenges? What experience and lessons can help to shape new explanations and responses?

We invite submissions that address these questions.

Potential avenues of exploration include, but are not limited to:

• Connections and complementarities between organizational and institutional analysis; for example, understanding organizations as actors capable of interpreting and enacting institutions
• Actor-based perspectives that incorporate local/personal agency, entrepreneurial behavior, leadership, how values and identity shape agency, and/or conservation of social energy across time and space
• Applications of systems, complexity, and network theories and concepts; for example, resilience, nested structures, path dependence, iterative adaptation, knowledge/information nodes, and so on
• Second/third generation approaches to political economy analysis, principal-agent theory, capacity assessment, and policy reform

The panel sessions will encourage debate and dialogue across these avenues. We will select a sub-set of the best papers for a special issue of a journal.

J102 - Trust-based Management in the Public Sector

Panel Chair(s)
  • Artur Kozuch
  • Barbara Kozuch
  • Mateusz Lewandowski, Jagiellonian University - Institute of Public Affairs, PL
  • Katarzyna Sienkiewicz-Małyjurek, Institute of Management and Administration, Silesian University of Technology, PL

Trust is called the foundation of all organized activities conducted by people. It is connected with many concepts: reliability, predictability, expectation, collaboration, goodwill, accountability, and also distrust, wrongdoing, insincerity. In relationships between entities from public domain, trust proves to be a distinctive feature reinforcing their potential for providing public services. This concept focuses on public organizations in their environment and emphases negotiation of values, meaning, internal and external relationships, and also New Public Governance networks and trusted relationships provide a mechanism for the allocation of resources.

The impact of organisational trust on the public management process is a research problem that has not been widely explored. Therefore this panel focuses on exploring new insights into trust-based management, the place of trust in the approaches used by public organisations, and the implications for a public organisation’s ability to collaborate and for the creation of collaborative advantage.

In particular, it encourages papers that address a central question associated with trust-based public management: What are the concrete mechanisms through which public organisations do their work effectively, allowing their managers and officials, and also the whole organisations to deal with the decision to establish and develop trust-based relationships?

More broadly, the panel encourages papers that study the essence of trust-based public management in relation to:

- inter-organisational collaboration,
- managerial competences,
- leadership,
- public accountability,
- organizational culture,
- organizational architecture,
- public management performance.

Paper proposals on these topics as well as other issues related to trust-based management in the public sector are welcome.

J103 - The Craft and Graft of Collaboration

Panel Chair(s)
  • Janine O'Flynn, Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne, AU

Collaborative public management has long been hailed as a tool for addressing the challenges and complexities of governing in contemporary times. However, the craft of collaborative practice has proven more difficult.

In this panel we bring together experts who have explored various aspects of collaboration theory and practice to address four key challenges:

1. The concept challenge: what do we know about collaboration conceptually? How robust are our concepts? Where are the next conceptual developments to be found?

2. The practice challenge: do we understand the craft of collaborative practice? What areas of collaboration practice have been missed? What are the next areas for exploration in the practice of collaborative public management?

3. The methodology challenge: do our methodologically approaches enable us to understand collaboration and collaborative public management and build robust conceptual understanding? What methodological challenges do we face in understanding collaboration? What are the next methodological developments in the field?

4. The translation challenge: how effective have we been at understating practice and developing conceptual and theoretical understanding from it? How successfully have we translated this back into the practice of collaboration and collaborative public management?

 

J104 - Network Studies 2.0: Complexity and Networks

Panel Chair(s)
  • Robyn Keast, Southern Cross University, AU
  • Erik Hans Klijn, Department of Public Administration Earsmus University Rotterdam, NL
  • Joris Voets, Ghent University, BE

Achieving public goals through networks is an important feature of the modern public sector, of governance strategies of governments around the globe, and is likely to become even more significant in the future. In parallel, the number of network studies also increases, in the field of public administration and management and other disciplines (economics, welfare & health research, development & regional studies).

These network studies however are diverse, in terms of network types, theoretical perspectives, methodologies used, and located in various domains. Complexities in the context of networks entails among other things the often wicked issues at the table, the multi-actor setting with resources distributed among a wide range of organizations with different agendas that need to be connected and intertwined, how to organize and manage such settings, build trust and achieve results.

Complexity offers a promising perspective to assist in understanding and better implementing networks in their various forms and functions as responses to multifaceted problems. A theoretical complexity perspective means that networks and their dynamics are captured and explained as complex adaptive systems, featuring different actors and their interactions. A complexity perspective in a practical PA-context however also implies that we want to develop frameworks and instruments that help to actively manage complexity in/of networks.

The goal of this panel is to expand network research by taking stock of recent or ongoing scholarly work that helps to develop and expand the complexity perspective. We welcome papers that contribute the panel theme in terms of:
• Methodological approaches that help to unpack, isolate and explain the complexity (quantitative, qualitative or mixed - e.g. statistical analyses, modeling techniques, Q-sort, …)
• Theoretical perspectives (actual complexity theories or other conceptual and theoretical frameworks) that help to understand or deal with complexity, potentially bridging some of the gaps between different theoretical perspectives (e.g. governance network theory, social network theory, graph theory, dissipative structures theory)
• Empirical data that explicate and illuminate network complexity and how this helps or hinders the delivery of PA (e.g. case studies, meta-analyses, survey research, experiments, discourse analyses, …from different sectors or policy domains)



J105 - Institutional Change Theory as a Theoretical Framework to Study Public Management

Panel Chair(s)
  • Luciana Gomes, University of Brasilia - Brazil, BR
  • Ricardo Gomes
  • Diego Vieira

This panel presents a forum for researchers to discuss how the Theory of Institutional Change has been applied as a theoretical framework for the analysis of different transformations that the public sector has been experiencing in recent years. To this end, the panel focuses on gradual institutional change, as described by Streeck and Thelen (2005, p. 9) and possible variations on these concepts. For example, how have researchers been dealing with the limits and possibilities of Mahoney and Thelen’s concept of institutional change (Mahoney and Thelen, 2010)?

Authors are also encouraged to present papers, which addresses the influences of stakeholders and coalition groups on the process of institutional change. These studies should be both theoretical and empirical, in any segment of the public sector domain, and in any country.

Papers can be built on theories that explain power within and outside of the organisations. For instance, the Advocacy Coalition Framework, Stakeholders Analysis, Agency Theory, Network Theory and other theories to explain how organisations deal with the forces and influences that instigate change. We intend to accept studies, which demonstrate either completed changes or ongoing changes. Papers that focus on structural adaptations and gradual transformations would be especially relevant. The panel’s intention is to verify whether extant theory is comprehensive enough to explain institutional changes from beginning to end.

J106 - Strategies of Hybrid Organizations in their Complex Environment

Panel Chair(s)
  • Lieske van der Torre, Erasmus University Rotterdam, NL
  • Mark van Twist

There is a growing pervasiveness of hybrid organizations in modern societies (Pache and Santos, 2013). Hybrid organizations can be defined as organizations that combine the characteristics of public, private and/or societal organizations (Van der Torre et al., 2012). Examples of hybrid organizations are universities, social enterprises and hospitals. These organizations have to deal with a complex environment that consists of multiple institutional logics which are not always compatible (Greenwood et al., 2011; Kraatz and Block, 2008). Therefore they can be viewed as “arenas of contradiction” (Pache en Santos, 2013).

The current time of crisis increasingly challenges hybrid organizations as political and social goals have to be achieved in an environment of (great) austerity measures and reduced economic growth. This possesses interesting questions regarding the strategic responses of hybrid organizations towards the multiple and incompatible institutional demands, especially in the wake of crisis.

In this panel we want to reflect on the strategies of hybrid organizations in their complex environment. We are looking for answers to questions such as:

- What are the challenges that hybrid organizations face in their complex environment?
- How will hybrid organizations deal with the different incompatible institutional demands?
- What are the consequences of the chosen strategic responses for its organizational legitimacy?
- How can hybrid organizations successfully operate in their “arena of contradiction”?

The panel welcomes all theoretical and empirical papers on the strategic responses of hybrid organizations. It will not be limited to a specific sector or particular type of organization. We would like to compare across sectors and organizational types to gather insights about the strategic responses of the total group of hybrid organizations.

J107 - Complexity Theory in Public Administration: Theory and Practice

Panel Chair(s)
  • Elizabeth Eppel, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, NZ
  • Mary Lee Rhodes, Trinity College Dublin

At IRSPM XVII in Prague in 2013 we convened a Panel dedicated to a dialogue among researchers using complexity theory-based thinking, methods and research design. In the plenary session following discussion of the individual papers, we focused on what had been established about the use of complexity thinking in public administration in the six years since Geert Teisman and Erik-Hans Klijn co-edited a special edition of Public Management Review on ‘Complexity Theory and Public Management’ (Volume 10 (3)). The panel concluded that complexity thinking in public administration is more mainstream than it was six years ago and it is continuing to advance understanding of what it has to offer through comparisons with alternative traditional lenses e.g. network governance, as well as advancing understanding of specific complexity concepts such as the role of boundaries and the understanding of fitness landscapes.

There is support for the idea that complexity thinking is an analytical rather than a normative tool and its greatest value might come from assisting scholars and public administration practitioners to understand the interactions between actors in complex real public administration systems and the methods suitable for studying and intervening is them.

To further develop this dialogue we now invite theoretical or empirical papers drawing on complexity thinking to explore problems of public services management, transformation and/or innovation in the face of static or shrinking national budgets and how complexity theory has been or might be applied to understand and/or influence the transformations that are occurring.

Papers should address aspects of these questions:
• In what ways does complexity theory assist in the framing of problems or the design of processes in public administration?
• In what ways does complexity theory contribute to the understanding of effective governance structures or institutions?
• In what ways do research methods and models drawing on complexity theory offer insights about how governments and their services can be transformed to provide more effective public services?

The panel will be organised along the lines of a 'Paper Exchange' format - with papers grouped into themes around the questions posed. Authors will be asked to read and present another author’s paper, with a facilitator assigned to each theme to encourage discussion. We have proposed to the Editor of Public Management Review, that a special issue titled: Complexity Theory in Public Administration – state of theory and practice, to be published in 2015/6, would be timely. Our intention would be to include a selection of the best papers which aim to address the three panel questions.

J108 - Scale and Performance: What size is "just right" for Public Service Organisations?

Panel Chair(s)
  • Kerry Allen
  • Kelly Hall, Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Birmingham, UK, GB
  • Catherine Needham, University of Birmingham

The link between organisational size and performance is contested within the social science literature. Commentators have noted the tendency for cycling between assumptions that large organisations deliver better outcomes (through economies of scale and integrated communication) and that small organisations are better, since they can be more autonomous and specialised (Boyne, 2003; Pollitt, 2003; Talbot and Johnson, 2006). Studies have also indicated that the relationship between size and performance may be curvilinear, taking an inverted U-shape, with medium-sized organisations offering the optimum combination of flexibility and resilience (Zinn and Mor, 1998; Boyne, 2003).

In this panel we are keen to explore a number of issues relating to scale and performance and invite papers on such questions as:
- Do different public service sectors have a different optimal size?
- Do findings about optimal size differ in different countries?
- What is known about the performance of micro-enterprises (employing 5 staff or fewer) which may have few overheads and be ‘close to the user’ (DH, 2010), but have low visibility and therefore may be left out of existing studies of scale and performance.

The panel will be structured as a ‘provocation’ in which the panel chairs begin by presenting a paper. This paper will set out the ambiguous meta-data on scale and performance, but suggest that in certain sectors/settings such as social care in the UK there is evidence that the micro scale is more effective in achieving valued outcomes than small, medium and large organisations. This is based on data from a research project.

We invite additional papers on scale and performance which explore complementary or contrasting perspectives, perhaps from different public services, or from other countries.

K101 - Special Interest Group for the Public Management Research Association

Panel Chair(s)
  • John Bryson, University of Minnesota
  • Chan Su Jung, City University of Hong Kong, HK

The Special Interest Group for the Public Management Research Association (PMRA) invites proposals concerning management-performance relationships in public institutions.

For the last twenty years, public management scholarship has made much progress in understanding how various aspects of public management affect the performance of public and nonprofit organizations and programs. The majority of the studies on this topic have focused on direct relationships between management and performance, which leaves much terrain yet to be explored. In particular, most direct relationships have not been causal but correlational and based on cross-sectional or short time-frame panel-data analysis. Much less research attention has been devoted to theoretical and empirical explanations of situational contingencies that moderate, mediate, other otherwise affect relationships between various aspects of management and performance. Such contingencies can involve internal features of public and nonprofit organizations as well as various features of their external environments. There are thus numerous topics related to management-performance relationships yet to be researched.   

We invite papers focusing on the following themes:
-Case studies, conceptual papers, cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, and experimental analyses of direct and interactive relationships between management and performance
- Literature reviews on, or meta-analyses of, direct and interactive relationships between management and performance
- Internal features of organizations (e.g., strategy content and actions, organizational structure, routines, etc.) which affect the management-performance relationship
- External aspects of organizations (e.g., agreement between public managers and politicians, external participation in organizational decision making, legislative frameworks and changes) which affect the management-performance relationship
- Measurement issues related to the management-performance relationship
- Papers addressing methodological issues in studying management-performance relationships (e.g., issues related to study design, sampling, replicability, methodological implications of different theories of performance, etc.)

Sessions(s) will consist of three to four papers grouped by a common theme or subject matter.

L101 - Open Panel

Panel Chair(s)
  • Catherine Needham, University of Birmingham
  • Chris Skelcher, Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham, GB

For Local Organising Committee use