Magazine et Edition

Volume 70 (2022): Edition 3 (August 2022)

Volume 70 (2022): Edition 2 (May 2022)

Volume 70 (2022): Edition 1 (February 2022)
REVIEW OF DEVELOPMENTS, STRUCTURE AND MANAGEMENT IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR 2021

Volume 69 (2021): Edition 4 (December 2021)

Volume 69 (2021): Edition 3 (August 2021)

Volume 69 (2021): Edition 2 (May 2021)

Volume 69 (2021): Edition 1 (February 2021)

Volume 68 (2020): Edition 4 (December 2020)

Volume 68 (2020): Edition 3 (August 2020)

Volume 68 (2020): Edition 2 (May 2020)

Volume 68 (2020): Edition 1 (February 2020)

Volume 67 (2019): Edition 4 (December 2019)

Volume 67 (2019): Edition 3 (August 2019)

Volume 67 (2019): Edition 2 (May 2019)

Volume 67 (2019): Edition 1 (February 2019)

Volume 66 (2018): Edition 4 (December 2018)

Volume 66 (2018): Edition 3 (August 2018)

Volume 66 (2018): Edition 2 (May 2018)

Volume 66 (2018): Edition 1 (February 2018)

Volume 65 (2017): Edition 4 (December 2017)

Volume 65 (2017): Edition 3 (August 2017)

Volume 65 (2017): Edition 2 (May 2017)

Volume 65 (2017): Edition 1 (February 2017)

Volume 64 (2016): Edition 3-4 (December 2016)

Volume 64 (2016): Edition 2 (August 2016)

Volume 64 (2016): Edition 1 (May 2016)

Volume 63 (2015): Edition 4 (December 2015)

Volume 63 (2015): Edition 3 (December 2015)

Volume 63 (2015): Edition 2 (August 2015)

Volume 63 (2015): Edition 1 (May 2015)

Détails du magazine
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2449-9471
Première publication
15 Apr 2015
Période de publication
4 fois par an
Langues
Anglais

Chercher

Volume 68 (2020): Edition 4 (December 2020)

Détails du magazine
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2449-9471
Première publication
15 Apr 2015
Période de publication
4 fois par an
Langues
Anglais

Chercher

14 Articles
access type Accès libre

Note from the editor

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 1 - 3

Résumé

access type Accès libre

Tribute to Richard Boyle

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 5 - 6

Résumé

access type Accès libre

Hindsight, insight and foresight: Some reflections on reforming the public service

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 7 - 26

Résumé

Abstract

This article starts off by presenting a brief history of public service reform initiatives in Ireland, at both central and local government level, from the foundation of the state to the present day. Reasons for the reforms and the main issues addressed are highlighted. Common themes are identified. These common themes provide the basis for identifying and examining five enduring reform challenges: building the capability of public servants; involving and empowering the public; coordination and collaboration; centralisation versus decentralisation; and policy and evidence. Drawing from insights from previous reform efforts, and particularly those following the financial crisis, suggestions are made as to what steps might be taken in the next phase of reform to deal with them.

Mots clés

  • Public service
  • reform
  • central government
  • local government
  • Ireland
access type Accès libre

The role of the ‘centre’ in public service reform

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 27 - 40

Résumé

Abstract

Amongst his many interests in public administration, the practical and challenging task of implementing and evaluating public service reform has been a consistent feature of the oeuvre of research over Richard Boyle’s career (cf. Boyle, 2004, 2016; Boyle & Joyce, 1988; Boyle & Lemaire, 1999; Boyle & MacCarthaigh, 2011). In this article, the focus is on the role played by the ‘centre’ in public service reform both conceptually and in practice. The article first considers what is meant by the centre in Irish political– administrative life, before reflecting on how we might understand different forms of public sector reform governance and then applying them to the Irish case. The centre-led reforms that occurred between the 1960s up to the late 2000s are reviewed, before more recent efforts from 2011 up to the present are presented. A final section summarises the contribution.

Mots clés

  • Core executive
  • Ireland
  • public sector reform
  • governance
access type Accès libre

Reflections on continuity and change in public service reform in Ireland

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 41 - 54

Résumé

Abstract

This article reviews the elements of continuity in the approach to public service reform in Ireland and of change in expectations of public service performance in Ireland over recent decades. It concludes that supporting democratic governance is the primary goal of public service and that trust in its capacity to meet society’s needs is the most appropriate criterion to assess reform programmes. It also suggests some priorities for future reform effort.

Mots clés

  • Public service reform
  • democratic governance
access type Accès libre

Leading public service reform: Some reflections

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 55 - 72

Résumé

Abstract

The past decade has been a period of intense reform, bookended by two crises of seismic proportions – the troika bailout of Ireland in 2010 and the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. This paper details the reforms which have been led by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform over the past decade. Also, drawing on Robert Watt’s reflections of leading public service reform, it sets out lessons learned and factors which we regard as necessary to ensuring successful reform. Finally, a range of priority areas for the future are identified.

Mots clés

  • Reform
  • leadership
  • renewal
access type Accès libre

Building transformative capability through civil service reform

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 73 - 96

Résumé

Abstract

This article explores the importance of capability building to the success of public service reforms. It draws on the neglected literature on capability to explore how capability is a product (or not) of the interaction between the skills, experience and methods of an individual – and the culture, structures, processes of the organisation they work in. The analysis identifies four key features of successful capability-building reforms in the UK, which are also found in the early successes of the Goal Programme for Public Service Reform and Innovation: an iterative and permissive approach to project identification and scoping; projects on high-priority, cross-cutting outcomes that demand new ways of working; projects that are connected with conducive elements of the organisational and leadership context; projects that are designed to create or adapt ‘enabling routines’ which civil servants ‘learn by doing’. Such reforms have acted as capability factories. And as the early adopters of new routines rise through the organisation and take on new roles, they become advocates and teachers of the routines and practice they have acquired. This is how organisations learn and build the capability they need to succeed.

Mots clés

  • Capability
  • reform
  • transformation
  • public
access type Accès libre

The reform of human resource management in the Irish public service

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 97 - 119

Résumé

Abstract

This paper reviews human resource management (HRM) reforms in the Irish public service over the past twenty-five years. The narrative is based around five HRM themes which have been the main focus of public service reform efforts: performance management, public service careers, leadership, strategic HRM and employment relations. The paper examines all available independent empirical research as well as internal and external reviews commissioned by the public service. The paper contributes to the empirical literature on HRM in the public service and in Ireland, and locates the pattern of HRM reform in the public service in Ireland in comparative context. The paper concludes by noting that while progress has been made, further energy is required in respect of HRM reform.

Mots clés

  • Human resource management
  • Ireland
  • public service
  • reform
access type Accès libre

Corporate governance in the public sector: Reflections on experience in Ireland

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 121 - 144

Résumé

Abstract

The article proceeds from the context for corporate governance in the public sector in Ireland. It examines the adoption and evolution of corporate governance guidance, standards and codes, and focuses on the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies. In reflecting on the scope and depth of the provisions of the state body code, the article points to various implementation challenges using examples in the areas of culture, risk appetite and assurance arrangements. The article concludes by pointing to future challenges and suggestions for a research agenda for corporate governance in the public sector in Ireland.

Mots clés

  • Governance
  • public sector
  • Ireland
access type Accès libre

Reflections on post-bailout policy analysis in Ireland

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 145 - 160

Résumé

Abstract

This short article reflects on observations from the forthcoming volume Policy Analysis in Ireland, edited by Hogan & Murphy. The volume forms part of the International Library of Policy Analysis series, which covers more than twenty countries, published by Policy Press and edited by Michael Howlett and Iris Geva-May. While various themes emerge from the Irish volume, this article focuses on only one core question: whether and how the 2008 economic crisis contracted and expanded the capacity for policy analysis in Ireland. The troika of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and the European Commission are associated with policy capacity innovation, but also with significant austerity. Both had a major and long-term impact on public services. While the article documents a range of successful post-bailout attempts to improve policy analysis capacity, it also points to often less conscious, but sometimes deliberate, decisions that diminished some forms of policy analysis capacity. We find economic policymaking capacity enhanced while changes to resources and policy opportunity structures depleted both space and the capacity for social policy analysis. This was particularly so within the equality and social justice sectors. Given ongoing social risks, the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, Ireland needs to adjust for a future of permanent uncertainty, or perpetual crises, and should seek to rebalance investment in social policy capacity and to develop systems for integrated policy analysis.

Mots clés

  • Policy analysis
  • Ireland
  • social policy
  • policy capacity
  • financial crisis
access type Accès libre

Quality assurance in Irish schools: Inspection and school self-evaluation

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 161 - 180

Résumé

Abstract

In this paper, we provide an overview of the development of school inspection in Ireland over the past twenty years using the analytic and critical lens developed by Richard Boyle in partnership with the current authors. The paper is fundamentally a reflection on the nature, purpose and operation of evaluation in the Irish public sector through the lens of education. The paper provides a historical overview of developments in the linked areas of school evaluation and inspection, and goes on to explore how the implementation of this mode of quality assurance has influenced, and been influenced by, a wide range of policy actors. The argument made is that education has embedded a culture of evaluation in a unique yet systemically resonant manner and that a reflection on this reality will help illuminate our understanding of the role of evaluation across the public sector as a whole.

Mots clés

  • School evaluation
  • school inspection
  • accountability
  • quality assurance
  • reform
access type Accès libre

Implementing choice-based models of social service: The importance of involving people who use services in reform processes

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 181 - 199

Résumé

Abstract

This article focuses on the opportunities and challenges of introducing choice-based models of social services. Research has found that these models often provide better outcomes and are cost-effective, but the pace of their introduction is generally slow. There are often very deeply held assumptions about the capacity of the people using these services and the potential for change within the existing social service system. Using institutional and social movement theory, the authors seek to explain these barriers to change. Drawing on the experience of supporting the national roll-out of choice-based models in Ireland, the authors propose a number of strategies to accelerate the introduction of these types of models into social services. The authors find that one of the key ways to accelerate reform and reduce transition costs is design processes which have the voice of service users at the centre of the reform process.

Mots clés

  • Social services
  • reform
  • choice
  • co-production
  • lived experience
access type Accès libre

Reforming local government: Past, present and future

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 201 - 214

Résumé

Abstract

Reform of local government in Ireland has tended to involve both reform initiatives that mirror broader trends in public service reform nationally, as well as reform initiatives that are distinctive to the local government sector. Amongst the former we can include managerial reforms, digitisation and efforts to make local government more open and accountable. Other initiatives have included changes to the service portfolio of local government, pointing to an enhanced role in some fields and a reduced role in others. Some reforms can be characterised as enduring – in that they have been recurring themes in successive reform programmes. Other reform themes have been somewhat more occasional or sporadic and arguably brought about by the specific circumstances in which they were implemented. Looking to the future, we might speculate that upcoming challenges may include how public services generally can cope with diversity in addressing challenges that are likely to vary in different parts of Ireland, for example, based on distinctions between urban, suburban and rural areas. The article appeals for a more evidence-based approach to reform in the local government sector – this should be aided by existing research contributions and the enhanced evaluation capacity that exists in the Irish public service.

Mots clés

  • Centralisation
  • city regions
  • devolution
  • local government
  • metropolitan governance
  • evaluation
access type Accès libre

Reform and policymaking: Theory and practice in the Irish housing context

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 215 - 236

Résumé

Abstract

It is often a crisis that is the necessary catalyst for change, and the financial crash provided the stimulus for the recent raft of public sector reforms since 2010. A new decade provides an opportunity to assess the reforms, and to question where the reform around housing sits in relation to theoretical approaches to the policy process. The Irish public policy process is the result of a historical mix of ideological and cultural practice, social policy and political process, and it is this complexity which provides its uniqueness. However, theories of the policy process aid effective analysis of policy landscapes, and the use of elements from a range of approaches enables a fuller understanding of that complexity. By offering a theoretical perspective, and providing the reader with a different outlook, we explore the drivers for, and outcomes of, change in the Irish housing context. We find that the reform agenda is itself a means of maintaining the current, as it is unlikely that the reforms implemented since 2010 will address the structural flaws evident in the housing crisis. Instead, a more likely outcome is that the reforms are a necessary change so as to maintain the status quo.

Mots clés

  • Reform
  • policy process
  • theory
  • policymaking
  • housing
14 Articles
access type Accès libre

Note from the editor

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 1 - 3

Résumé

access type Accès libre

Tribute to Richard Boyle

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 5 - 6

Résumé

access type Accès libre

Hindsight, insight and foresight: Some reflections on reforming the public service

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 7 - 26

Résumé

Abstract

This article starts off by presenting a brief history of public service reform initiatives in Ireland, at both central and local government level, from the foundation of the state to the present day. Reasons for the reforms and the main issues addressed are highlighted. Common themes are identified. These common themes provide the basis for identifying and examining five enduring reform challenges: building the capability of public servants; involving and empowering the public; coordination and collaboration; centralisation versus decentralisation; and policy and evidence. Drawing from insights from previous reform efforts, and particularly those following the financial crisis, suggestions are made as to what steps might be taken in the next phase of reform to deal with them.

Mots clés

  • Public service
  • reform
  • central government
  • local government
  • Ireland
access type Accès libre

The role of the ‘centre’ in public service reform

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 27 - 40

Résumé

Abstract

Amongst his many interests in public administration, the practical and challenging task of implementing and evaluating public service reform has been a consistent feature of the oeuvre of research over Richard Boyle’s career (cf. Boyle, 2004, 2016; Boyle & Joyce, 1988; Boyle & Lemaire, 1999; Boyle & MacCarthaigh, 2011). In this article, the focus is on the role played by the ‘centre’ in public service reform both conceptually and in practice. The article first considers what is meant by the centre in Irish political– administrative life, before reflecting on how we might understand different forms of public sector reform governance and then applying them to the Irish case. The centre-led reforms that occurred between the 1960s up to the late 2000s are reviewed, before more recent efforts from 2011 up to the present are presented. A final section summarises the contribution.

Mots clés

  • Core executive
  • Ireland
  • public sector reform
  • governance
access type Accès libre

Reflections on continuity and change in public service reform in Ireland

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 41 - 54

Résumé

Abstract

This article reviews the elements of continuity in the approach to public service reform in Ireland and of change in expectations of public service performance in Ireland over recent decades. It concludes that supporting democratic governance is the primary goal of public service and that trust in its capacity to meet society’s needs is the most appropriate criterion to assess reform programmes. It also suggests some priorities for future reform effort.

Mots clés

  • Public service reform
  • democratic governance
access type Accès libre

Leading public service reform: Some reflections

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 55 - 72

Résumé

Abstract

The past decade has been a period of intense reform, bookended by two crises of seismic proportions – the troika bailout of Ireland in 2010 and the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. This paper details the reforms which have been led by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform over the past decade. Also, drawing on Robert Watt’s reflections of leading public service reform, it sets out lessons learned and factors which we regard as necessary to ensuring successful reform. Finally, a range of priority areas for the future are identified.

Mots clés

  • Reform
  • leadership
  • renewal
access type Accès libre

Building transformative capability through civil service reform

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 73 - 96

Résumé

Abstract

This article explores the importance of capability building to the success of public service reforms. It draws on the neglected literature on capability to explore how capability is a product (or not) of the interaction between the skills, experience and methods of an individual – and the culture, structures, processes of the organisation they work in. The analysis identifies four key features of successful capability-building reforms in the UK, which are also found in the early successes of the Goal Programme for Public Service Reform and Innovation: an iterative and permissive approach to project identification and scoping; projects on high-priority, cross-cutting outcomes that demand new ways of working; projects that are connected with conducive elements of the organisational and leadership context; projects that are designed to create or adapt ‘enabling routines’ which civil servants ‘learn by doing’. Such reforms have acted as capability factories. And as the early adopters of new routines rise through the organisation and take on new roles, they become advocates and teachers of the routines and practice they have acquired. This is how organisations learn and build the capability they need to succeed.

Mots clés

  • Capability
  • reform
  • transformation
  • public
access type Accès libre

The reform of human resource management in the Irish public service

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 97 - 119

Résumé

Abstract

This paper reviews human resource management (HRM) reforms in the Irish public service over the past twenty-five years. The narrative is based around five HRM themes which have been the main focus of public service reform efforts: performance management, public service careers, leadership, strategic HRM and employment relations. The paper examines all available independent empirical research as well as internal and external reviews commissioned by the public service. The paper contributes to the empirical literature on HRM in the public service and in Ireland, and locates the pattern of HRM reform in the public service in Ireland in comparative context. The paper concludes by noting that while progress has been made, further energy is required in respect of HRM reform.

Mots clés

  • Human resource management
  • Ireland
  • public service
  • reform
access type Accès libre

Corporate governance in the public sector: Reflections on experience in Ireland

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 121 - 144

Résumé

Abstract

The article proceeds from the context for corporate governance in the public sector in Ireland. It examines the adoption and evolution of corporate governance guidance, standards and codes, and focuses on the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies. In reflecting on the scope and depth of the provisions of the state body code, the article points to various implementation challenges using examples in the areas of culture, risk appetite and assurance arrangements. The article concludes by pointing to future challenges and suggestions for a research agenda for corporate governance in the public sector in Ireland.

Mots clés

  • Governance
  • public sector
  • Ireland
access type Accès libre

Reflections on post-bailout policy analysis in Ireland

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 145 - 160

Résumé

Abstract

This short article reflects on observations from the forthcoming volume Policy Analysis in Ireland, edited by Hogan & Murphy. The volume forms part of the International Library of Policy Analysis series, which covers more than twenty countries, published by Policy Press and edited by Michael Howlett and Iris Geva-May. While various themes emerge from the Irish volume, this article focuses on only one core question: whether and how the 2008 economic crisis contracted and expanded the capacity for policy analysis in Ireland. The troika of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and the European Commission are associated with policy capacity innovation, but also with significant austerity. Both had a major and long-term impact on public services. While the article documents a range of successful post-bailout attempts to improve policy analysis capacity, it also points to often less conscious, but sometimes deliberate, decisions that diminished some forms of policy analysis capacity. We find economic policymaking capacity enhanced while changes to resources and policy opportunity structures depleted both space and the capacity for social policy analysis. This was particularly so within the equality and social justice sectors. Given ongoing social risks, the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, Ireland needs to adjust for a future of permanent uncertainty, or perpetual crises, and should seek to rebalance investment in social policy capacity and to develop systems for integrated policy analysis.

Mots clés

  • Policy analysis
  • Ireland
  • social policy
  • policy capacity
  • financial crisis
access type Accès libre

Quality assurance in Irish schools: Inspection and school self-evaluation

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 161 - 180

Résumé

Abstract

In this paper, we provide an overview of the development of school inspection in Ireland over the past twenty years using the analytic and critical lens developed by Richard Boyle in partnership with the current authors. The paper is fundamentally a reflection on the nature, purpose and operation of evaluation in the Irish public sector through the lens of education. The paper provides a historical overview of developments in the linked areas of school evaluation and inspection, and goes on to explore how the implementation of this mode of quality assurance has influenced, and been influenced by, a wide range of policy actors. The argument made is that education has embedded a culture of evaluation in a unique yet systemically resonant manner and that a reflection on this reality will help illuminate our understanding of the role of evaluation across the public sector as a whole.

Mots clés

  • School evaluation
  • school inspection
  • accountability
  • quality assurance
  • reform
access type Accès libre

Implementing choice-based models of social service: The importance of involving people who use services in reform processes

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 181 - 199

Résumé

Abstract

This article focuses on the opportunities and challenges of introducing choice-based models of social services. Research has found that these models often provide better outcomes and are cost-effective, but the pace of their introduction is generally slow. There are often very deeply held assumptions about the capacity of the people using these services and the potential for change within the existing social service system. Using institutional and social movement theory, the authors seek to explain these barriers to change. Drawing on the experience of supporting the national roll-out of choice-based models in Ireland, the authors propose a number of strategies to accelerate the introduction of these types of models into social services. The authors find that one of the key ways to accelerate reform and reduce transition costs is design processes which have the voice of service users at the centre of the reform process.

Mots clés

  • Social services
  • reform
  • choice
  • co-production
  • lived experience
access type Accès libre

Reforming local government: Past, present and future

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 201 - 214

Résumé

Abstract

Reform of local government in Ireland has tended to involve both reform initiatives that mirror broader trends in public service reform nationally, as well as reform initiatives that are distinctive to the local government sector. Amongst the former we can include managerial reforms, digitisation and efforts to make local government more open and accountable. Other initiatives have included changes to the service portfolio of local government, pointing to an enhanced role in some fields and a reduced role in others. Some reforms can be characterised as enduring – in that they have been recurring themes in successive reform programmes. Other reform themes have been somewhat more occasional or sporadic and arguably brought about by the specific circumstances in which they were implemented. Looking to the future, we might speculate that upcoming challenges may include how public services generally can cope with diversity in addressing challenges that are likely to vary in different parts of Ireland, for example, based on distinctions between urban, suburban and rural areas. The article appeals for a more evidence-based approach to reform in the local government sector – this should be aided by existing research contributions and the enhanced evaluation capacity that exists in the Irish public service.

Mots clés

  • Centralisation
  • city regions
  • devolution
  • local government
  • metropolitan governance
  • evaluation
access type Accès libre

Reform and policymaking: Theory and practice in the Irish housing context

Publié en ligne: 31 Dec 2020
Pages: 215 - 236

Résumé

Abstract

It is often a crisis that is the necessary catalyst for change, and the financial crash provided the stimulus for the recent raft of public sector reforms since 2010. A new decade provides an opportunity to assess the reforms, and to question where the reform around housing sits in relation to theoretical approaches to the policy process. The Irish public policy process is the result of a historical mix of ideological and cultural practice, social policy and political process, and it is this complexity which provides its uniqueness. However, theories of the policy process aid effective analysis of policy landscapes, and the use of elements from a range of approaches enables a fuller understanding of that complexity. By offering a theoretical perspective, and providing the reader with a different outlook, we explore the drivers for, and outcomes of, change in the Irish housing context. We find that the reform agenda is itself a means of maintaining the current, as it is unlikely that the reforms implemented since 2010 will address the structural flaws evident in the housing crisis. Instead, a more likely outcome is that the reforms are a necessary change so as to maintain the status quo.

Mots clés

  • Reform
  • policy process
  • theory
  • policymaking
  • housing

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