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ECPR Joint Sessions 2020 Sciences Po Toulouse

Collaborative Efficiency in Government: The Trend, The Implications

Local Government
Public Administration
Workshop Number
Workshop Director
Thomas Elston
University of Oxford
Workshop Co-Director
Koen Verhoest
Universiteit Antwerpen

The fiscal crisis faced by political executives across Europe and the wider world has had a dramatic effect on public administration. In attempting to re-balance budgets, governments of varying political hues have adopted strategies to reduce the size and cost of the state bureaucracy. An emerging trend, which this Workshop shall explore, is the pursuit of collaborative efficiency measures in government.

Collaborative efficiency measures are reforms to organizational structures and processes that are designed to produce cost savings through cooperation with one or more additional organization(s). The efficiencies are generally the result of greater economies of scale, pooled investments, and professionalization. Examples of such reforms include: sharing back-office functions like HR and finance; creating procurement syndicates, where multiple agencies collaborate in order to increase their buying power; infrastructure consolidation, where the same electronic service delivery platform is used by multiple agencies for multiple purposes; and public service ‘one-stop-shops’.

The move towards collaborative efficiency raises a variety of challenges and opportunities for scholars of politics and government. In particular, it raises questions about the process of contemporary public management reform; about political control and accountability in the increasingly complex landscape of public organizations; and about performance and coordination in government.

The Co-Directors are in the process of developing international comparative research on collaborative efficiency in government. Currently, the field is rather underdeveloped, with key insights scattered among different sub-disciplines (political science, public administration, public management and organization studies). Therefore, the Workshop will gather together these and other researchers in one venue for the first time, providing new impetus for internationally coordinated and multidisciplinary research. Our intention is to use the Workshop to advance empirically rich and theoretically informed papers towards readiness for publication in either an edited book or journal symposium.

Paper List

Title Details
Accountability Without Responsibility? Shared Professional Services and the ‘Problem of Many Hands’ in British Government View Paper Details
Are Autonomous Agencies Willing to Collaborate? A Comparative Study of Shared Service Models in Official Statistics View Paper Details
Collaborative Cross-border Procurement in the EU: Future or Utopia? View Paper Details
Collaborative Efficiency in Government: What? Where? And Why Sould We Care? View Paper Details
Economic Efficiency of Centralized Public Procurement: Results from a Quasi-Experiment View Paper Details
Empirical Evidence of Collaborative Efficiency in Whole Network Studies in the Public Sector View Paper Details
Joined-Up Service Provision in Hungarian Local Governments: The Case of Shared IT Service Centers View Paper Details
Joint IT Platforms as X Factor for Efficiency Gains? View Paper Details
Looking for the Optimal Size: Policy Reforms in Italy between Efficiency and 'New' Rationalization View Paper Details
Public Sector Ethos and Private Sector Legitimacy: The Paradox of Political and Managerial Rationalities in a Shared Service Organisation View Paper Details
Share or Perish: Mutual Trust, Usable Knowledge and Efficiency Gains in the Governance of e.Health Programs View Paper Details
Shared Services and Cost Reduction in the Public Sector Context View Paper Details
Striving for Collaborative Efficiency: The Steering Relationship between Local Governments and Inter-Municipal Corporations View Paper Details
Terminating Interlocal Contracts for Police Service Delivery in California: Contract Failure versus Vertical Integration? View Paper Details
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