Contracting personalization by results: Comparing marketization reforms in the UK and Australia
AuthorConsidine, M; O'Sullivan, S; McGann, M; Nguyen, P
Source TitlePublic Administration: an international quarterly covering public administration throughout the world
School of Social and Political Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsConsidine, M., O'Sullivan, S., McGann, M. & Nguyen, P. (2020). Contracting personalization by results: Comparing marketization reforms in the UK and Australia. Public Administration, 98 (4), pp.873-890. https://doi.org/10.1111/padm.12662.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access URLAccepted version
ARC Grant codeARC/LP150100277
Market instruments are increasingly used to drive innovation and efficiency in public services. Meanwhile, many governments recognize the need for services to be more personalized and ‘user-centred’. This was a key aim of major welfare-to-work reforms in both the UK and Australia over the past decade, which sought to achieve personalization through increasing service delivery by for-profit providers, contracted via Payment-by-Results. Drawing on three surveys of frontline staff, we show the impact of recent UK and Australian marketization reforms on frontline practices to consider whether the reform mix of increased commercial provision tied to Payment-by-Results has enhanced service personalization. We find that the UK's ‘black box’ model was associated with some increase in frontline discretion, but little evidence that this enhanced personalization, either compared to previous programmes or to Australia's more regulated system.
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