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Home » Library » Does Political Change Affect Senior Management Turnover? An Empirical Analysis of Top-Tier Local Authorities in England

Executive Summary: Is managerial turnover in the public sector insulated from party politics, or does political change lead to managerial change? We draw on political science, public administration and private sector management literatures to derive hypotheses about the determinants of senior management and chief executive turnover in local authorities. Testing the hypotheses against a panel of English local authorities, we find that political change and low performance have separate and joint positive effects on the turnover rate of senior managers. By contrast, the likelihood of a chief executive succession is higher only when low performance and political change occur together. Thus the arrival of a new ruling party reduces the tenure of top managers, but chief executives are vulnerable to political change only when performance is already perceived as weak.

Summary of our findings:

Local Government Succession2

Does Political Change Affect Senior Management Turnover? An Empirical Analysis of Top-Tier Local Authorities in England (full text pdf)
George A. Boyne, Oliver James, Peter John and Nicolai Petrovsky, Public Administration, (2010)Vol 88(1): 136-153

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