Regulating public bodies: the case of direct service organisations in British local government

Rachel Ashworth, George A. Boyne, Neil McGarvey, Richard M. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years regulatory mechanisms and arrangements for public service organisations have become increasingly complex. In this paper we develop a theoretical framework that emphasises the potential importance of the following regulatory problems: regulatee resistance, ritualistic compliance, regulatory capture, performance ambiguity, and absence of performance data. This framework is applied to arrangements for the regulation of direct labour and direct service organisations in Scotland and Wales prior to the 'Best Value' regime. The results support the practical relevance of the analytical framework. Furthermore, whereas conventional perspectives suggest that the source of regulatory problems is the behaviour of regulatees, our evidence shows that the behaviour of regulators can also lead to regulatory failure; for example, through ritualistic compliance with procedures. The evidence also reveals a previously unidentified problem concerning a 'fear of regulation' on the part of regulators.
LanguageEnglish
Pages455-470
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Fingerprint

local government
compliance
analytical framework
public service
regulation
labor
performance
evidence
regime
anxiety
services
public
Values

Keywords

  • regulation
  • public bodies
  • government

Cite this

@article{43cea17c250d4292881854e367531993,
title = "Regulating public bodies: the case of direct service organisations in British local government",
abstract = "In recent years regulatory mechanisms and arrangements for public service organisations have become increasingly complex. In this paper we develop a theoretical framework that emphasises the potential importance of the following regulatory problems: regulatee resistance, ritualistic compliance, regulatory capture, performance ambiguity, and absence of performance data. This framework is applied to arrangements for the regulation of direct labour and direct service organisations in Scotland and Wales prior to the 'Best Value' regime. The results support the practical relevance of the analytical framework. Furthermore, whereas conventional perspectives suggest that the source of regulatory problems is the behaviour of regulatees, our evidence shows that the behaviour of regulators can also lead to regulatory failure; for example, through ritualistic compliance with procedures. The evidence also reveals a previously unidentified problem concerning a 'fear of regulation' on the part of regulators.",
keywords = "regulation, public bodies, government",
author = "Rachel Ashworth and Boyne, {George A.} and Neil McGarvey and Walker, {Richard M.}",
year = "2002",
doi = "10.1068/c15m",
language = "English",
volume = "20",
pages = "455--470",
journal = "Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy",
issn = "1472-3425",
number = "3",

}

Regulating public bodies: the case of direct service organisations in British local government. / Ashworth, Rachel; Boyne, George A.; McGarvey, Neil; Walker, Richard M.

In: Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol. 20, No. 3, 2002, p. 455-470.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Regulating public bodies: the case of direct service organisations in British local government

AU - Ashworth, Rachel

AU - Boyne, George A.

AU - McGarvey, Neil

AU - Walker, Richard M.

PY - 2002

Y1 - 2002

N2 - In recent years regulatory mechanisms and arrangements for public service organisations have become increasingly complex. In this paper we develop a theoretical framework that emphasises the potential importance of the following regulatory problems: regulatee resistance, ritualistic compliance, regulatory capture, performance ambiguity, and absence of performance data. This framework is applied to arrangements for the regulation of direct labour and direct service organisations in Scotland and Wales prior to the 'Best Value' regime. The results support the practical relevance of the analytical framework. Furthermore, whereas conventional perspectives suggest that the source of regulatory problems is the behaviour of regulatees, our evidence shows that the behaviour of regulators can also lead to regulatory failure; for example, through ritualistic compliance with procedures. The evidence also reveals a previously unidentified problem concerning a 'fear of regulation' on the part of regulators.

AB - In recent years regulatory mechanisms and arrangements for public service organisations have become increasingly complex. In this paper we develop a theoretical framework that emphasises the potential importance of the following regulatory problems: regulatee resistance, ritualistic compliance, regulatory capture, performance ambiguity, and absence of performance data. This framework is applied to arrangements for the regulation of direct labour and direct service organisations in Scotland and Wales prior to the 'Best Value' regime. The results support the practical relevance of the analytical framework. Furthermore, whereas conventional perspectives suggest that the source of regulatory problems is the behaviour of regulatees, our evidence shows that the behaviour of regulators can also lead to regulatory failure; for example, through ritualistic compliance with procedures. The evidence also reveals a previously unidentified problem concerning a 'fear of regulation' on the part of regulators.

KW - regulation

KW - public bodies

KW - government

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/c15m

U2 - 10.1068/c15m

DO - 10.1068/c15m

M3 - Article

VL - 20

SP - 455

EP - 470

JO - Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

T2 - Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

JF - Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

SN - 1472-3425

IS - 3

ER -