Navigating complexity: The future of public service

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It is now widely accepted that the complex nature of public service has a number of profound consequences which public servants must address (Haynes 2003, Bovaird 2008, Rhodes 2008; Lowe and Wilson 2017). This chapter explores what is required of public servants in order to achieve their task of creating opportunities for positive social outcomes to emerge (such as improved wellbeing, increased employment or reduced crime) in complex environments. A new conceptual framing for organisations which deal with complex problems is introduced - the “Human Learning Systems approach” - which explores the principles, cultures and processes required to create a complexity-engaged organizational design for public service organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of the Public Servant
EditorsHelen Sullivan, Helen Dickinson, Hayley Henderson
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030299804
ISBN (Print)9783030299798
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2020


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