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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Harnessing Social Enterprise for Local Public Services
Author(s): Simmons, Richard
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Keywords: public management
social administration
public policy
Public administration Case studies
Local government Great Britain
Issue Date: Jul-2008
Date Deposited: 24-Apr-2009
Citation: Simmons R (2008) Harnessing Social Enterprise for Local Public Services. Public Policy and Administration, 23 (3), pp. 278-301.
Abstract: The government’s public service reform policy emphasises the collaboration of local authorities with a network of other agencies in the locality, either through contracts or through partnership arrangements. Strong encouragement is currently being given to the involvement of ‘third sector’ organizations (including social enterprises) in such partnering arrangements. This environment has opened up new opportunities for social enterprises. However, as the DTI has asserted in relation to social enterprise, ‘rhetoric rather than a robust evidence base continues to inform many arguments for its growth and support’ (DTI, 2003a: 49). This paper examines one of the most widespread examples of social enterprise in the provision of public services: ‘new leisure trusts’. It asks whether the combination of entrepreneurial skills and social purpose in social enterprises such as new leisure trusts provides a useful model upon which public service partnerships could be based. Findings show that these social enterprises can work to create synergy through improved input/output ratios, commitment to meeting social objectives and wider stakeholder involvement. However, there are issues of incentivisation and relative autonomy that must be resolved within such partnerships, and more work to be done in some cases to build genuine social inclusion.
DOI Link: 10.1177/0952076708089977
Rights: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Public Policy and Administration, Volume 23, No. 3, 2008, © SAGE Publications, Inc., 2008 by SAGE Publications, Inc. at the Public Policy and Administration page: on SAGE Journals Online:

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