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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

The Modernisation of the Public Services and Employee Relations

Targeted Change

ISBN 9780230230507
Publication Date November 2011
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Management, Work and Organisations

The Modernisation of the Public Services and Employee Relations provides an integrated and up-to-date account of changes in work and employment in the public services. The book examines a range of different sectors focusing on core public services, especially local government, the NHS and the civil service.

STEPHEN BACH Professor of Employment Relations at King's College London, UK

IAN KESSLER Professor of Employment Relations at Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK

Restructuring and Modernisation in Context
The Evolution of the Model Employer
Skills and the New Professionalism
Pay and Performance Management
Trust and the Public Service Ethos
Flexibility and Equality
Employee Involvement and Partnership at Work


Employment relations in the public service are distinctive. There have been attempts by successive UK governments to make public services more like the private sector but they retain distinctive features: a largely feminised workforce, a preponderance of professional employment, high union density and management commitment to a 'good employer' obligation seen most notably in the pursuit of equality at work. This important book, by the UK's two premier commentators on public service employment relations, maps this distinctiveness and shows how it has survived through a decade of reform under New Labour. It is essential reading for anyone with an interest in public services and their management, in UK industrial relations and in the history of New Labour in power.' - Edmund Heery, Professor of Employment Relations, Cardiff University, UK
'The quality of public services being a cause for intense concern, governments have attempted to modernise public services. A key point made by Bach and Kessler's timely study is that modernisation programmes affect public employment relationships as their success involves the management of the public sector workforce. This recognition inspires their analytical framework that connects employee relations to public services modernisation. Their analysis of the effects of New Labour's modernisation program demonstrates the rich potential of this framework, combining insights from public management and employee relations research. Bach and Kessler have written an excellent study that readers will greatly benefit from in understanding ongoing attempts to modernise public service employment relations.' - Peter Leisink, Professor of Governance Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands
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