Online from: 1981
Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management
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|Title:||Matching rhetoric with reality: The challenge for Third Sector involvement in local governance|
|Author(s):||Matthew Jackson, (Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), Manchester, UK)|
|Citation:||Matthew Jackson, (2010) "Matching rhetoric with reality: The challenge for Third Sector involvement in local governance", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 30 Iss: 1/2, pp.17 - 31|
|Keywords:||Central government, Decision making, Local government, Rhetoric, Voluntary organizations|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/01443331011017010 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the mismatch between the language and rhetoric used by UK Central Government departments to promote particular policy options and initiatives and the experiences of Third Sector organisations engaged in such programmes. The paper provides an overview of policy development involving the Third Sector in the UK and seeks to provide a practice and political context to facilitate the analysis.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws upon empirical research undertaken with Third Sector and public sector agencies in specific initiatives in England. The methodology adopted includes an analysis both of the policy documents and official guidance notes provided as well as qualitative data drawn from interviews with key participants in the process.
Findings – The paper observes that for both parties in the process the relationships/experience was uncomfortable. The diversity, size, ethos and shape of the Third Sector were not fully understood by public sector agencies and the implications of the governance and decision making processes were not fully grasped by either party.
Research limitations/implications – While the policy and practice implications are explicitly discussed in the paper it is rooted in the particular organisational structures/culture of the UK (and England in particular). While comparisons are possible they are to be found in the discussion on processes.
Practical implications – The paper adds to the analysis/understanding of the policy and practice relationship(s) between the Third Sector and central/local government and points to ways in which these relationships are likely to become more significant over time.
Originality/value – The paper adds to the literature on the Third Sector but is significant because of its focus on specific policy initiatives.
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