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ItemAre policy tools and governance modes coupled? Analysing welfare-to-work reform at the frontlineLewis, JM ; Nguyen, P ; Considine, M (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2021-09-11)ABSTRACT This paper considers the link between policy tools and governance modes – the characteristic ways frontline staff are meta-governed. It asks: Are substantive policy tools coupled to procedural tools (governance modes) that can guide local service delivery agencies and the work of individuals delivering welfare services? The substantive policy tools in this case are those typically utilised to reform welfare-to-work services: contracting-out of services and competitive tendering, and the regulation of quasi-markets. These are hypothesised to flow through to procedural policy tools in the form of corporate and market incentives and regulatory (bureaucratic) methods that shape how work is done (governance modes), privileging certain practice orientations at the frontline. Policy makers seek to shape these meta-level governance modes because they should result in systemic change, based on a reconfiguration of policy actors and their interrelationships, for both service delivery agencies and the individuals working in them. We identified four ideal-type governance modes (bureaucratic, corporate, market and network) and tracked which of these were dominant in-practice at the frontline in Australia and the UK at two levels: office and personal, at four points in time (1998, 2008, 2012 and 2016). We found that the dominant mode of organisation at the office level was corporate, followed by bureaucratic in both nations. But the bureaucratic mode had grown in strength over time, particularly in Australia, and as a personal priority for staff, as re-regulation occurred. The results indicate a coupling between substantive policy tools and governance modes at the frontline of welfare-to-work.
ItemFrom Entitlement to Experiment: The New Governance of Welfare to Work. UK Report back to Industry PartnersLewis, JM ; Considine, M ; O'Sullivan, S ; Nguyen, P ; McGann, M (University of Melbourne, 2017)The UK employment services sector is a dynamic landscape that has been the subject of several major waves of reform over the past decade. This has included the consolidation of centrally-contracted programmes focused on particular localities and discrete cohorts of job seekers into much larger programmes aimed at broader groups of unemployed people. For the past five years, the Work Programme has been the main contracted welfare-to-work programme in the UK, although the Department for Work and Pensions has also established a smaller Work Choice programme for those with more substantial barriers to employment related to disability and ill-health. In addition, Jobcentre Plus continues to provide a public employment service to many people during the earlier stages of benefit claims. It will take on an even greater role in doing so when the Work Programme and Work Choice programmes come to an end in mid-2017 and are replaced by a new Work and Health Programme.
ItemFrom Entitlement to Experiment: The new governance of welfare to work - Australian Report back to Industry PartnersLewis, J ; Considine, M ; O'Sullivan, S ; Nguyen, P ; Mcgann, M (University of Melbourne, 2016-10-01)