Author: Jennifer Law, University of South Wales

Day Two- Wednesday 26th June

Strand – Multi Agency Working

Session Five: 11.15am – 12.45pm

Many governments, both in the UK and beyond, are trying to improve public services by getting managers and staff to focus on the results they are trying to achieve rather than the processes of delivering services.  This can be done in a number of ways, for example through setting results or outcome targets, and sometimes providing a financial reward for hitting the targets.  In theory these approaches should improve results but there can also be negative consequences of targets such as those recently exposed in the Mid Staffordshire Hospital Inquiry (Francis Report, 2013). 

Outcomes or results are harder to set targets for as they are often beyond the control of one organisation and involve not just other organisations, but also service users.  What impact will targets and financial rewards for achieving results have on managers?  Will it motivate them to work harder to achieve results or will they feel that it is unfair and try and game or ‘cheat’ the system?  This research presents evidence from one example of this type of policy: Local Authority Outcome Agreements in Wales. 

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