The changing nature of what managers do and their training and development in new public service systems: the challenges and opportunities of collaboration

Ally Raza Memon*, Tony Kinder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The idea of desirable competences into which managers must fit may be archaic and out-dated since contexts and opportunities vary between public services. As the nature of public service delivery changes, managers need different capabilities in a service-dominant setting whereby, their overall remit (by which we mean roles, relationships and responsibilities) alter when managing service delivery from a networking model to a service systems model (characterised by forms of collaboration which cause complexity). We argue that in the emergent service systems setting, what managers do is quite distinct from what is expected of them in a network setting. The issue we address here is where do managers get these capabilities and are local service organisations changing the training and development of managers as they make strategic changes to their service models?

We argue that whilst local public services are adopting new delivery strategies, such as engaging in (loosely coupled) networks or service systems (co-producing with users that are more closely coupled), management training and development (MTD) is insufficiently changing to enable middle managers to act effectively in new delivery modes. We suggest that MTD needs to alterif managers are to perform the roles, relationships and responsibilities of new service delivery models. Our research explores what roles, relationships and responsibilities middle managers need and investigates which form and content of MTD are likely toenable them to gain these?

Conceptualising using New Public Governance (as opposed to New Public Management) and Service Dominant Logic (as opposed to Goods Dominant Logic), we argue that service delivery strategy and MTD strategy must align for servicesto be delivered effectively. This research draws upon original interview material from Finland and Scotland. Having engaged in a thematic analysis of data, we triangulate with previous literature and suggest a range of theoretical and policy implications.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 16 Sept 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventPolicy & Politics Conference 2014: The Challenges of Leadership and Collaboration in the 21st Century - Marriott Hotel, Bristol, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Sept 201417 Sept 2014


ConferencePolicy & Politics Conference 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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