Quality Improvement in European Public Services: Concepts, Cases and Commentary / Edition 1

Quality Improvement in European Public Services: Concepts, Cases and Commentary / Edition 1

by Christopher Pollitt
     
 

Since the late 1980s the quality of public services has become a major focus of attention for politicians, managers and citizens, but most of the material available on how to achieve quality is either set in private sector contexts or confined to a single country. This book is a pioneer in addressing the need for a focus on issues common to the public

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Overview

Since the late 1980s the quality of public services has become a major focus of attention for politicians, managers and citizens, but most of the material available on how to achieve quality is either set in private sector contexts or confined to a single country. This book is a pioneer in addressing the need for a focus on issues common to the public services which underpin Western European societies.

Quality improvement is portrayed in this book as part of a broader managerial and political strategy, not a narrow technical issue. Success in improving quality in the public sphere requires a close relationship between quality improvement strategies and citizen involvement. This text, firstly, provides an overview of the concepts and methodologies involved in the management of quality improvements and, secondly, offers a set of case studies to illustrate how quality improvements have been achieved, drawing lessons from the experience of a spectrum of services in a range of countries.

Part One establishes a theoretical framework which helps the reader make sense of the detail contained in the case studies. It places quality improvement in the special political and organizational context of the public sector. Various concepts of quality are reviewed, showing how the choice of a particular concept has significant political and organizational consequences. Part One also discusses how quality may be measured and the importance of measurement in developing plans for improvement.

Part Two provides seven case studies built around a set of common questions derived from the analysis of Part One. These case studies illuminate many of the detailed operational issues in quality improvement by drawing on the experience of a range of different types of public services from a number of different European backgrounds.

Part Three reviews the general lessons of the case studies in terms of fitting strategies for improvement to the purposes and circumstances of the organization in question, and reflects on the nature of service quality and the range of approaches to its improvement.

This book forms a stimulating introduction to, and exploration of, quality improvement in public services for managers, administrators and professionals in public services, as well as for academics, consultants, and students of public management, organization and administration.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803974654
Publisher:
SAGE Publications
Publication date:
08/11/1995
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
204
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.43(d)

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Table of Contents

Notes on the Contributors
Introduction
1Defining Quality3
2Measuring Quality20
3Quality Measurement and Quality Assurance in European Higher Education33
4Quality in the French Public Service58
5Quality Improvement in German Local Government69
6Quality Improvement in Local Service Contracts: Environmental Services in Harlow82
7Quality in Swedish Higher Education: a Pilot Study96
8Costing Non-Conformance at an NHS Hospital: a Pilot Study103
9Quality Improvement in the Dutch Department of Defence111
10Enhancing Quality in the Police Service: Leicestershire Constabulary121
11Improvement Strategies131
12Concluding Reflections162
References174
Index181

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