New development: Relational public services—reform and research agenda

Rob Wilson*, Max French, Hannah Hesselgreaves, Toby Lowe, Mark Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

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Governments face increasing calls to radically reform public services around human relationships. The authors describe how New Public Management’s (NPM) legacy of transactionalism has denatured waves of public service reforms, making them unfit for contemporary governance. Contrasting academic and practitioner perspectives on public service reform, the authors describe a burgeoning movement towards relational ways of conceptualizing and enacting the management and delivery of public services. Taking stock of this, the authors put forward a broad research agenda into relational public services. Academics must play a much more active role in this movement than they did during the NPM era—not merely describing and classifying change, but actively and directly shaping a future-focused prospective public service reform agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Money & Management
Early online date30 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Apr 2024

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