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Joined-up government: rational administration or bureaucratic politics?

Moseley, Alice (2009) Joined-up government: rational administration or bureaucratic politics? At Public Administration Committee Annual Conference. 07 - 09 Sep 2009.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Joined-up government is often viewed as a remedy for coordination problems arising in the complex multi-organisational terrain of contemporary public services. Governments extol the virtues of formal coordination mechanisms as tools of joined-up government, both locally and centrally. Such policy exhortations conceive of joined-up government from a rational-administrative perspective which implies that actors adopt coordination mechanisms as a functional response to systemic problems. This paper explores the rationale behind the selection of coordination mechanisms from the perspective of policy actors at different levels of government, using evidence from a recent study of joined-up government in the field of homelessness. It is argued that decisions about joining-up are the outcome of strategic and instrumental moves between actors, with each pursuing their own organisational interests and the outcome favouring the most powerful, motivations that are better encapsulated by a bureaucratic politics model. Key aspects dominating collaborative decision-making include prioritisation of, and a desire to protect resources for, agencies’ and departments’ own client groups; the greater ability of the most powerful actors to gain the cooperation of other bodies in order to advance their own organisational agendas; and the adoption of coordination mechanisms to reduce risk and maintain organisational survival

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Published date: 2009
Venue - Dates: Public Administration Committee Annual Conference, 2009-09-07 - 2009-09-09


Local EPrints ID: 71217
PURE UUID: d17afe66-297f-4d77-8e6f-6b31c47e49f2

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Date deposited: 27 Jan 2010
Last modified: 19 Jul 2017 00:01

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Author: Alice Moseley

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