Remember Me
Or use your Academic/Social account:


Or use your Academic/Social account:


You have just completed your registration at OpenAire.

Before you can login to the site, you will need to activate your account. An e-mail will be sent to you with the proper instructions.


Please note that this site is currently undergoing Beta testing.
Any new content you create is not guaranteed to be present to the final version of the site upon release.

Thank you for your patience,
OpenAire Dev Team.

Close This Message


Verify Password:
Verify E-mail:
*All Fields Are Required.
Please Verify You Are Human:
fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Elston, Thomas
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
This thesis is a qualitative and interpretive exploration of continuity and change in the role of executive agencies in UK central government. Its three objectives are: (i) to test the longevity of the semi-autonomous agency model first introduced by Conservative governments after 1988; (ii) to explore the department-agency task division in the policymaking processes supposedly fragmented by this ‘agencification’; and (iii) to evaluate the paradigmatic testament of contemporary agency policy and practice in Whitehall. The thesis builds from an extended case study conducted during the 2010 Coalition Government in the Ministry of Justice and three of its agencies – the National Offender Management Service, HM Courts and Tribunals Service, and the Office of the Public Guardian. Social constructivist meta-theory and the application of narrative and discourse analysis together make for an account of interpretive transformation that is theorised by discursive institutionalism. Substantively, the thesis first describes an asymmetric departure from the ‘accountable management’ philosophy which the 1988 Next Steps agency programme originally epitomised. Agency meaning is multivocal, but contemporarily converges towards accountability and transparent corporate governance, rather than managerial empowerment, de-politicisation and decentralisation. Secondly, institutional preservation of the policy-delivery work dichotomy is registered, yet found to be a poor descriptor of both historic and contemporary policy processes. Agency staff act as policy initiators and collaborators, contrary to Next Steps’ quasi-contractual, principal-agent logic, and further evidencing the departmentalisation of the once arm’s-length agency model. Thirdly, and paradigmatically, while no unidirectional trend is found, the thesis adds to the growing literature positing some departure from the former ideological and practical predominance of ‘new public management’. In so doing, it also demonstrates the challenges faced by large-N population ecology and administrative systems analysis – the favoured methodology in much international agencification scholarship – in accounting for continuity and change in policy, practice and paradigm.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • Adam, C., Bauer, M. W., Knill, C., & Studinger, P. (2007). The termination of public organizations: theoretical perspectives to revitalize a promising research area. Public Organization Review, 7(3), 221- 221-236.
    • Albert, S., & Whetten, D. A. (1985). Organizational identity. Research in Organizational Behaviour, 7, 263- 295.
    • Alford, J., & Hughes, O. (2008). Public value pragmatism as the next phase of public management. The American Review of Public Administration, 38(2), 130-148.
    • Ashforth, B. E., & Mael, F. A. (1996). Organizational identity and strategy as a context for the individual. Advances in Strategic Management, 13, 19-64.
    • Atkinson, P., & Coffey, A. (2011). Analysing documentary realities. In D. Silverman (Ed.), Qualitative Research: Issues of Theory, Method and Practice (pp. 77-92). London: Sage.
    • Aucoin, P. (1990). Administrative reform in public management: paradigms, principles, paradoxes and pendulums. Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, 3(2), 115- 137.
    • Aucoin, P. (2006). Accountability and coordination with Independent Foundations: a Canadian case of autonomization. In T. Christensen & P. Laegreid (Eds.), Autonomy and Regulation: Coping with Agencies in the Modern State (pp. 110-133). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
    • Auld, R. E. (2001). Review of the Criminal Courts of England and Wales. London: The Stationery Office.
    • Bach, T. (2010). Policy and management autonomy of federal agencies in Germany. In P. Laegreid & K. Verhoest (Eds.), Governance of Public Sector Organizations: Proliferation, Autonomy and Performance (pp. 89-110). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Bach, T., Niklasson, B., & Painter, M. (2012). The role of agencies in policy-making. Policy and Society, 31(3), 183-193.
    • Bach, T., & Verhoest, K. (2012). The influence of agencies on policy-making. The NISPAcee Journal of Public Administration and Policy, 5(2), 143-151.
    • Baksi, C. (2011, 8th December). Firms in revolt over CPS 'paperless' plan, The Law Gazette.
    • Bal, M. (1985). Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative (C. v. Boheemen, Trans.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
    • Barbieri, D., & Edoardo, O. (2008). EU agencies: what is common and what is distinctive compared with national-level public agencies. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 74(3), 395-420.
    • Barinaga, E. (2009). A performative view of language: methodological considerations and consequences for the study of culture. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(1).
    • Barker, A. (1998). Political responsibility for UK prison security - ministers escape again. Public Administration, 76(1), 1-23.
    • Bartlett, P. (2008). Blackstone's Guide to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • Barzelay, M. (2001). The New Public Management: Improving Research and Policy Dialogue. Berkley: University of California Press.
    • Baszanger, I., & Dodier, N. (2004). Ethnography: relating the part to the whole. In D. Silverman (Ed.), Qualitative Research: Theory, Method and Practice (pp. 9-34). London: Sage.
    • BBC. (2006, 5th May). Clarke is fired in cabinet purge. Retrieved 17th June, 2013, from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4975938.stm
    • BBC. (2010, 7th January). Power of attorney top tips - how to grant control of your finances. Retrieved 30th January, 2012, from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theoneshow/2010/01/power-of-attorney-toptips.shtml
    • Bell, S. (2011). Do we really need a new 'constructivist institutionalism' to explain institutional change? British Journal of Political Science, 41(04), 883-906.
    • Ben-Amos, D. (1971). Towards a definition of folklore in context. The Journal of American Folklore, 84(331), 3-15.
    • Berger, P., & Luckmann, T. (1971). The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. London: Penguin.
    • Bevir, M. (2011). Public administration as storytelling. Public Administration, 89(1), 183-195.
    • Bevir, M., & Rhodes, R. A. W. (2005). Interpretation and its others. Australian Journal of Political Science, 40(2), 169-187.
    • Bevir, M., & Rhodes, R. A. W. (2010). The State as Cultural Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • Bogdanor, V. (2005). Constitutional reform in Britain: the quiet revolution. Annual Review of Political Science, 8, 73-98.
    • Boston, J. (1995). Lessons from the Antipodes. In B. J. O'Toole & G. Jordan (Eds.), Next Steps: Improving Management in Government? (pp. 161-177). Aldershot: Dartmouth.
    • Boyce, M. E. (1995). Collective centring and collective sense-making in the stories and storytelling of one organization. Organization Studies, 16(1), 107.
    • Brown, A. D. (2001). Organization studies and identity: towards a research agenda. Human Relations, 54(1), 113-121.
    • Brownlee, I. (1998). New Labour - new penology? Punitive rhetoric and the limits of managerialism in criminal justice policy. Journal of Law and Society, 25(3), 313-335.
    • Burnham, J., & Pyper, R. (2008). Britain's Modernised Civil Service. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Burns, S., & Bowman, J. (2003). The work of the PGO in protecting vulnerable people from financial abuse. The Journal of Adult Protection, 5(2), 21-25.
    • Burrell, G., & Morgan, G. (1979). Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis. Farnham: Ashgate.
    • Cabinet Office. (1999a). Modernising Government. (Cm 4310). London: The Stationery Office.
    • Cabinet Office. (1999b). Professional Policy Making in the Twenty First Century. London: Cabinet Office.
    • Cabinet Office. (2006). Executive Agencies: A Guide for Departments. Retrieved from http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/Assets/exec_agencies_guidance_oct06_tcm6-2464.pdf.
    • Cabinet Office. (2007). Machinery of Government: Security and Counter-Terrorism, and the Criminal Justice System. London: Cabinet Office.
    • Cabinet Office. (2010). Public Bodies Reform: Proposals for Change. London: Cabinet Office.
    • Cabinet Office. (2011). Guidance on Actions and Processes - Version 2.2 (December 2011). London: Cabinet Office.
    • Cameron, D. (2009). People Power - Reforming Quangos. Retrieved 21 March, 2011, from: http://www.conservatives.com/News/Speeches/2009/07/David_Cameron_People_Power_- _Reforming_Quangos.aspx
    • Campbell, C., & Wilson, G. K. (1995). The End of Whitehall: Death of a Paradigm? Cambridge, Mass.,: Blackwell.
    • Campbell, J. L., & Pedersen, O. K. (2001). Introduction: the rise of neoliberalism and institutional analysis. In J. L. Campbell & O. K. Pedersen (Eds.), The Rise of Neoliberalism and Institutional Analysis (pp. 1-23). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    • Cane, P. (2009). Administrative Tribunals and Adjudication. Oregon: Hart.
    • Carroll, G. R., Feng, M., Le Mens, G., & McKendrick, D. G. (2009). Studying organizational populations over time. In D. A. Buchanan & A. Bryman (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Organizational Research Methods (pp. 213-229). London: Sage.
    • Carstensen, M. B. (2011). Ideas are not as stable as political scientists want them to be: a theory of incremental ideational change. Political Studies, 59(3), 596-615.
    • Carter, P. (2003). Managing Offenders, Reducing Crime: A New Approach. London: Strategy Unit.
    • Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. (1997). Next Steps Agencies in Government: Review 1996. (Cm 3579). London: The Stationery Office.
    • Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. (1998). Next Steps Report 1997. (Cm 3889). London: The Stationery Office.
    • Chant, A. (1999). The Public Trust Office of the Lord Chancellor's Department: A Quinquennial Review. London: Lord Chancellor's Department.
    • Chase, S. E. (2011). Narrative inquiry: still a field in the making. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (pp. 421-434). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
    • Cheney, G., & Tompkins, P. K. (1987). Coming to terms with organizational identification and commitment. Central States Speech Journal, 38(1), 1-15.
    • Christensen, T., & Laegreid, P. (2006a). Agencification and regulatory reforms. In T. Christensen & P. Laegreid (Eds.), Autonomy and Regulation: Coping with Agencies in the Modern State (pp. 8-49). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
    • Christensen, T., & Laegreid, P. (2007a). Introduction: theoretical approach and research questions. In T. Christensen & P. Laegreid (Eds.), Transcending New Public Management: The Transformation of Public Sector Reforms (pp. 1-16). Surrey: Ashgate.
    • Christensen, T., & Laegreid, P. (2011). Complexity and hybrid public administration - theoretical and empirical challenges. Public Organization Review, 11(4), 407-423.
    • Christensen, T., & Laegreid, P. (2012). Competing principles of agency organization - the reorganization of a reform. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 78(4), 579-596.
    • Christensen, T., & Laegreid, P. (Eds.). (2006b). Autonomy and Regulation: Coping with Agencies in the Modern State. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
    • Christensen, T., & Laegreid, P. (Eds.). (2007b). Transcending New Public Management: The Transformation of Public Sector Reforms. Surrey: Ashgate.
    • Christensen, T., Lie, A., & Laegreid, P. (2007). Still fragmented government or reassertion of the centre? In T. Christensen & P. Laegreid (Eds.), Transcending New Public Management: The Transformation of Public Sector Reforms (pp. 17-41). Surrey: Ashgate.
    • Civil Service. (2010). Embedding Professional Skills: Principles of Good Practice for Professions, Departments and Devolved Administrations. London: Government Skills.
    • Colebatch, H. K. (2006). Policy, models, and the construction of governing. In H. K. Colebatch (Ed.), The Work of Policy: An International Survey (pp. 3-19). Lanham, MD: Lexington.
    • Committee of Public Accounts. (2012). Reorganising Central Government Bodies: Seventy-seventh Report of Session 2010-12. (HC 1802). London: The Stationery Office.
    • Department for Transport. (n.d.). Organisation of the Department. Retrieved 8 February, 2011, from: http://www.dft.gov.uk/about/howthedftworks/organisationofthedft
    • Elston, T. (2013). Developments in UK executive agencies: re-examining the 'disaggregationreaggregation' thesis. Public Policy and Administration, 28(1), 66-89.
    • Feldman, M. S., Sköldberg, K., Brown, R. N., & Horner, D. (2004). Making sense of stories: a rhetorical approach to narrative analysis. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 14(2), 147-170.
    • Ferris, J. M., & Tang, S.-Y. (1993). The new institutionalism and public administration: an overview. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 3(1), 4-10.
    • Finlayson, A. (2007). From beliefs to arguments: interpretive methodology and rhetorical political analysis. The British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 9(4), 545-563.
    • Fitzpatrick, B., Seago, P., Walker, C., & Wall, D. (2001). The courts: new court management and old court ideologies. In M. Ryan, S. P. Savage & D. S. Wall (Eds.), Policy Networks in Criminal Justice (pp. 98-121). Basingstoke: Palgrave.
    • Flinders, M., & Skelcher, C. (2012). Shrinking the quango state: five challenges in reforming quangos. Public Money & Management, 32(5), 327-334.
    • Franzosi, R. (1998). Narrative analysis - or why (and how) sociologists should be interested in narrative. Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 517-554.
    • Fulton Committee. (1968). The Civil Service Vol.1: Report of the Committee 1966-68. London: The Stationery Office.
    • Gabriel, Y. (1991). Turning facts into stories and stories into facts: a hermeneutic exploration of organizational folklore. Human Relations, 44(8), 857-875.
    • Gabriel, Y., & Griffiths, D. S. (2004). Stories in organizational research. In C. Cassell & G. Symon (Eds.), Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research (pp. 114-126). London: Sage.
    • Gains, F. (2003a). Executive agencies in government: the impact of bureaucratic networks on policy outcomes. Journal of Public Policy, 32(1), 55-79.
    • Gains, F. (2003b). Surveying the landscape of modernisation: executive agencies under New Labour. Public Policy and Administration, 18(2), 4-20.
    • Gains, F. (2011). Elite ethnographies: potential, pitfalls and prospects for getting 'up close and personal'. Public Administration, 89(1), 156-166.
    • Gash, T., Magee, I., Rutter, J., & Smith, N. (2010). Read Before Burning: Arm's Length Government for a New Administration. London: Institute for Government.
    • Gash, T., & McCrae, J. (2010). Transformation in the Ministry of Justice: 2010 Interim Evaluation Report. London: Institute for Government.
    • Gearty, Y. (2007). The Mental Capacity Act, the Office of the Public Guardian and the new Court of Protection. The Journal of Adult Protection, 9(3), 39-46.
    • Gelsthorpe, L., & Morgan, R. (2007). Introduction. In L. Gelsthorpe & R. Morgan (Eds.), Handbook of Probation (pp. 1-19). Cullompton: Willan.
    • Greer, P., & Carter, N. (1995). Next Steps and performance measurement. In B. J. O'Toole & G. Jordan (Eds.), Next Steps: Improving Management in Government? (pp. 86-96). Aldershot: Dartmouth.
    • Greer, S. L., & Jarman, H. (2010). What Whitehall?: definitions, demographics and the changing home civil service. Public Policy and Administration, 25(3), 251-270.
    • Gregory, R. (2007). New public management and the ghost of Max Weber: exorcized or still haunting? In T. Christensen & P. Laegreid (Eds.), Transcending New Public Management: The Transformation of Public Sector Reforms (pp. 221-243). Surrey: Ashgate.
    • Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1982). Epistemological and methodological bases of naturalistic inquiry. Educational Technology Research and Development, 30(4), 233-252.
    • Haddon, C. (2012). Reforming the Civil Service: The Efficiency Unit in the early 1990s and the 1987 Next Steps Report. London: Institute for Government.
    • Hajnal, G. (2012). Studying dynamics of government agencies: conceptual and methodological results of a Hungarian organizational mapping exercise. International Journal of Public Administration, 35(12), 832-843.
    • Hall, P. A., & Taylor, R. C. R. (1996). Political science and the three new institutionalisms. Political Studies, 44(5), 936-957.
    • Halligan, J. (2007). Reintegrating government in third generation reforms of Australia and New Zealand. Public Policy and Administration, 22(2), 217-238.
    • Hannan, M. T., & Freeman, J. (1977). The population ecology of organizations. American Journal of Sociology, 82(5), 924-964.
    • Hannan, M. T., & Freeman, J. (1989). Organizational Ecology. Cambridge, Mass.,: Harvard University Press.
    • Hartley-Jones, P. (2011). The role of the Office of the Public Guardian in investigations of abuse. The Journal of Adult Protection, 13(3), 160-166.
    • Haverland, M., & Yanow, D. (2012). A hitchhiker's guide to the public administration research universe: surviving conversations on methodologies and methods. Public Administration Review, 72(3), 401-408.
    • Hawkesworth, M. E. (1988). Theoretical Issues in Policy Analysis. Albany: State University of New York Press.
    • Hay, C. (2001). The 'crisis' of Keynesianism and the rise of neoliberalism in Britain: an ideational institutionalist approach. In J. L. Campbell & O. K. Pedersen (Eds.), The Rise of Neoliberalism and Institutional Analysis (pp. 193-218). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    • Hay, C. (2006). Constructivist institutionalism. In R. A. W. Rhodes, S. A. Binder & B. A. Rockman (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Political Institutions (pp. 56-75). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • Hay, C. (2011). Interpreting interpretivism interpreting interpretations: the new hermeneutics of public administration. Public Administration, 89(1), 167-182.
    • Haynes, L. C., Green, D. P., Gallagher, R., John, P., & Torgerson, D. J. (2013). Collection of delinquent fines: an adaptive randomized trial to assess the effectiveness of alternative text messages. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 32(4), 718-730.
    • Hazell, R. (2007). The continuing dynamism of constitutional reform. Parliamentary Affairs, 60(1), 3-25.
    • Hood, C. (2001). Public service bargains and public service reform. In B. G. Peters & J. Pierre (Eds.), Politicians, Bureaucrats and Administrative Reform (pp. 13-23). London: Routledge.
    • House of Commons Defence Committee. (2006). Ministry of Defence Annual Report and Accounts 2004-05: Sixth Report of Session 2005-06. (HC 822). London: The Stationery Office.
    • Humphreys, M., & Brown, A. D. (2002). Narratives of organizational identity and identification: a case study of hegemony and resistance. Organization Studies, 23(3), 421-447.
    • Hyndman, N., & Eden, R. (2001). Rational management, performance targets and executive agencies: Views from agency chief executives in Northern Ireland. Public Administration, 79(3), 579-598.
    • James, O. (2001a). Business models and the transfer of businesslike central government agencies. Governance-an International Journal of Policy and Administration, 14(2), 233-252.
    • James, O. (2001b). Evaluating executive agencies in UK government. Public Policy and Administration, 16(3), 24-52.
    • James, O. (2003). The Executive Agency Revolution in Whitehall: Public Interest versus Bureau-Shaping Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • James, O., Boyne, G. A., Moseley, A., & Petrovsky, N. (2011). Performance, Stakeholder Stability and the Survival of UK Executive Agencies. Paper presented at the Public Management Research Conference, Maxwell School of Syracuse University.
    • James, O., Moseley, A., Petrovsky, N., & Boyne, G. (2011). United Kingdom. In K. Verhoest, S. Van Thiel, G. Bouckaert & P. Laegreid (Eds.), Government Agencies: Practices and Lessons from 30 Countries (pp. 57- 68). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Jee, C. (2013). MoJ issues £675m contract for compliance and enforcement services. Retrieved 24th April, 2013, from: http://justice.governmentcomputing.com/news/moj-issues-675m-contract-forcompliance-and-enforcement-services
    • Justice Committee. (2012). The Budget and Structure of the Ministry of Justice: Second Report of Session 2012-13. (HC 97-i). London: The Stationery Office.
    • Knox, C., & Carmichael, P. (2006). Bureau shuffling?: the Review of Public Administration in Northern Ireland. Public Administration, 84(4), 941-965.
    • MacCarthaigh, M., & Roness, P. G. (2012). Analyzing longitudinal continuity and change in public sector organizations. International Journal of Public Administration, 35(12), 773-782.
    • MacGregor, M. (2012). A digital revolution? Retrieved 22nd April 2013, from: http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/cps-paperless-plan-unpopular-defence-firms
    • Marsh, D., Smith, M. J., & Richards, D. (2000). Bureaucrats, politicians and reform in Whitehall: analysing the bureau-shaping model. British Journal of Political Science, 30, 461-482.
    • Nakrošis, V., & Budraitis, M. (2012). Longitudinal change in Lithuanian agencies: 1990-2010. International Journal of Public Administration, 35(12), 820-831.
    • Nash, M., & Ryan, M. (2003). Modernizing and joining-up government: the case of the prison and probation services. Contemporary Politics, 9(2), 157-169.
    • National Offender Management Service (NOMS). (2010). Annual Report and Accounts 2009-2010. (HC 160). London: The Stationery Office.
    • National Offender Management Service (NOMS). (2011b). The Instructions System - The Approval and Implementation of Policy and Instructions. (AI 01/2011; PSI 01/2011; PI 01/2011). Retrieved from http://www.justice.gov.uk/offenders/psis/prison-service-instructions-2011.
    • National Offender Management Service (NOMS). (2012). Annual Report and Accounts 2011-2012. (HC 436). London: The Stationery Office.
    • Niklasson, B., & Pierre, J. (2012). Does agency age matter in administrative reform?: Policy autonomy and public management in Swedish agencies. Policy and Society, 31(3), 195-210.
    • Nutley, S. M., & Davies, H. T. O. (1999). The fall and rise of evidence in criminal justice. Public Money & Management, 19(1), 47-54.
    • O'Flynn, J. (2007). From new public management to public value: paradigmatic change and managerial implications. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 66(3), 353-366.
    • Page, E. C., & Elder, N. C. M. (1998). Culture and agency: fragmentation and agency structures in Germany and Sweden. Public Policy and Administration, 13(4), 28-45.
    • Verhoest, K., Van Thiel, S., Bouckaert, G., & Laegreid, P. (Eds.). (2011). Government Agencies: Practices and Lessons from 30 Countries. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Woodcock, J. (1994). Report of the Enquiry into the Escape of Six Prisoners from the Special Security Unit at Whitemoor Prison, Cambridgeshire, on Friday 9th September 1994. (Cm 2741). London: Stationery Office.
    • Woodhouse, D. (2007). United Kingdom: the Constitutional Reform Act 2005: defending judicial independence the English way. International Journal of Constitutional Law, 5(1), 153-165.
  • No related research data.
  • No similar publications.

Share - Bookmark

Cite this article