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The Programme has commissioned 47 research projects and fellowships at universities across the entire UK, all of which investigate some aspect of public service performance. The research was commisioned in three calls that took place at intervals over the period from late 2004 to early 2007. For more information on the specific themes of the Programme’s research and its calls see the ‘about us’ section of the website.

Below you will find a list of all of the Programme’s research projects and fellowships. Each has its own page containing information about the project or fellowship and contact details for the researchers involved. To save scrolling through all the projects, you can use the category menu on the right-hand side of the page to search for projects by ‘call’ or ‘topic’.

Principal Investigator: George Boyne
ESRC REF: RES-166-25-0026
Status: Completed

Public Services: Leadership Change and Public Services: Reinvigorating Performance or Reinforcing Decline?

New brooms, it is said, sweep clean and ‘turnaround teams’ (experts who come in to help ailing organisations with management and financial expertise) have become part of the landscape… read more

Principal Investigator: Mary Dixon-Woods
ESRC REF: RES-153-27-0009
Status: Completed

Regulating Doctors: Between Performance and Practice

When a high profile scandal hits, whether it is Enron, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, or dramatic medical failures, it is claimed that the regulatory regime has failed and a… read more

Principal Investigator: Tim Ensor
ESRC REF: RES-153-25-0088
Status: Completed

Regulation, ‘Donated Labour’ and the NHS Reforms

Public sector productivity and service quality is often held to be dependent, at least in part, on non-financial incentives- public sector motivations (PSM) – the beliefs values and attitudes… read more

Principal Investigator: Kieran Walshe
ESRC REF: RES-166-25-0020
Status: Completed

Responding to Evidence of Poor Performance: Explaining Public Organisations’ Capacity to Deal with Failure

Human beings react to accusations of failure indifferent ways – embarrassment and confusion, furious denial, self-examination and promises of improvement. When evidence of failure emerges in public services, responses… read more

Principal Investigator: Oliver James (University of Exeter)
ESRC REF: RES-153-27-0014
Status: Completed

Standards of Evidence for Assessing Public Service Performance

Many different kinds of evidence are used to judge the performance of public service organisations, including administrative statistics, surveys of user satisfaction and the professional opinions of auditors and… read more

Principal Investigator: Frank Windmeijer
ESRC REF: RES-166-25-0022
Status: Completed

Targets and Waiting Times: Exploring a Quasi-experiment to Evaluate the use of Targets in the Provision of Health Care in the UK

The efficacy of targets as an instrument of public and private management has been a subject of social science research for more than seventy years, with much having been… read more

Principal Investigator: David Challis
ESRC REF: RES-166-25-0062
Status: Completed

The Design and Use of Local Metrics to Evaluate Performance: a Comparative Analysis of Social Care Organisations

Much has been claimed and written about the operation of the high-profile targets and performance indicators set by central government for public services in Britain (particularly England). Little is… read more

Principal Investigator: Tim Leunig
ESRC REF: RES-166-25-0032
Status: Completed

The Effect of Ownership and Regulation on British Railway Performance, 1850-2006

“The only way to be sure of catching a train,” said G.K. Chesterton, “is to miss the one before it.” Certainly, the efficiency, reliability and affordability of railway travel… read more

Principal Investigator: Jan Illing (Newcastle University)
ESRC REF: RES-153-25-0097
Status: Completed

The Experiences of UK, EU and Non-EU Medical Graduates Making the Transition to the UK Workplace

The developed countries draw heavily from the developing world for medical professionals, and international mobility among doctors and nurses is a marked feature of health care systems today. The… read more

Principal Investigator: Stephen Osborne
ESRC REF: RES-RES-153-25-00 51
Status: Completed

The Innovative Capacity of Voluntary and Community Organisations

Being able to innovate (in other words, the ability to develop new ways of responding to existing needs or develop new services in response to emerging needs) is seen… read more

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