Innovation in the Microfoundations of Governance: Explaining the Flaws in the UK New Labour Government’s Reform of Public Services

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    Abstract

    This chapter provides a UK case study of public service reform to illustrate how a microfoundational base premised on instrumental rationality - in particular a principal-agent framework - can extensively influence policy towards innovation in the governance of public services. It also provides evidence of the failure of the New Labour Government's reform program in the context of relatively benign conditions and argues that the failure was to a substantial degree because of the inadequacies of the microfoundations that guided the reform program. The chapter concludes by discussing the circumstances when microfoundations are most likely to impact on policymaking. It argues for a greater awareness by policymakers of their microfoundational assumptions and for the advantage of developing policy in a manner that gives due recognition to the plurality of microfoundations commonly used in the social sciences
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInnovations in Public Governance
    EditorsAri-Veikko Anttiroiko, Stephen J Bailey, Pekka Valkama
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherIOS Press
    Pages89-109
    Number of pages21
    Volume15
    ISBN (Print)9781607507260
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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