Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Local Public Spending Bodies (LPSBs) occupy an important position in the contemporary structures of governance in the UK. As exemplars of many of the diverse characteristics of the New Public Management, LPSBs inhabit the fuzzy space between the public and private spheres, both in terms of organizational structure and service delivery. One finding from recent research into the internal governance of three kinds of LPSBs – Further Education Colleges, Housing Associations and Training and Enterprise Councils – was that the language of strategy predominated over that of policy on the boards of such organizations. In this article we assess the significance of this finding. We contend that the two terms are not interchangeable and that a vital distinction needs to be maintained between them. Specifically we argue that policy refers to collections of decisions grounded in public values whereas the concept of strategy, particularly as currently understood in the context of the New Public Management, refers to the positioning of an organization in its struggle to survive and grow. We conclude that LPSBs have been invited to behave strategically within a framework of increasingly centralized policy objectives and resource allocations.
Type of Medium: