Is lean management the natural order in public services transformation?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

Lean Management has become a widespread practice within public services internationally. It promises to deliver quality services while using less resources. In an era of cash-strapped public services, whether through austerity measures or from the desire to meet taxpayer demands for more value for money, Lean Management is an attractive proposition for managers in public services. The attraction of Lean for public sector modernisers can also be found in the premise that “private is better” and the desire on the part of key policy makers to encourage the adoption of private sector practice with the expectation of improving efficiency in the public sector. The present widespread use of Lean in public services has been the outcome of the concerted promotion of Lean, particularly by management consultants who seek opportunities to implement Lean policies. This chapter comments on the emergence of Lean and offers guidance to the managers of public services on what they might realistically expect from the adoption of Lean. Specifically, this chapter discusses critical issues of (1) the level of resources required for an intensive Lean start up process, (2) the relevance of Lean as a “total systems” approach to entire organizations and (3) the capacity of Lean to generate local star optima in operational sections of organizations and whether this adds value to the wider organization or not. This chapter is not an exercise in recipe management – its purpose is to inform public managers embarking on, or engaged in, Lean as a major policy initiative. This chapter helps managers to make evaluations of whether Lean may or may not be a viable management tool for their organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManaging Public Services
Subtitle of host publicationMaking Informed Choices
EditorsIrvine Lapsley, Ola Mattisson
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter10
Number of pages15
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781003154389
ISBN (Print)9780367723255, 9780367723248
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2021

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  • Concluding comments: The reflective manager in action

    Lapsley, I., Mattisson, O. & Ramberg, U., 24 Nov 2021, Managing Public Services: Making Informed Choices. Lapsley, I. & Mattisson, O. (eds.). 1 ed. London: Routledge, 11 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

  • Introduction

    Lapsley, I. & Mattisson, O., 24 Nov 2021, Managing Public Services: Making Informed Choices. Lapsley, I. & Mattisson, O. (eds.). 1 ed. London: Routledge, 9 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

  • Management of change: For better or worse?

    Lapsley, I., 24 Nov 2021, Managing Public Services: Making Informed Choices. Lapsley, I. & Mattisson, O. (eds.). 1 ed. London: Routledge, 15 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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