Journal article

Quasi-Markets and Service Delivery Flexibility Following a Decade of Employment Assistance Reform in Australia

Mark Considine, Jenny M Lewis, Siobhan O'Sullivan

JOURNAL OF SOCIAL POLICY | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2011

Abstract

In 1998, we were witnessing major changes in frontline social service delivery across the OECD and this was theorised as the emergence of a post-Fordist welfare state. Changes in public management thinking, known as New Public Management (NPM), informed this shift, as did public choice theory. A 1998 study of Australia’s then partially privatised employment assistance sector provided an ideal place to test the impact of such changes upon actual service delivery. The study concluded that frontline staff behaviour did not meet all the expectations of a post-Fordist welfare state and NPM, although some signs of specialisation, flexibility and networking were certainly evident (Considine, 1999)...

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