From the preceding chapters it is clear that, over the past two decades, public services in Britain were subjected to some unprecedented demands for change. Conservative governments initially sought to control the costs of welfare provision, but subsequently turned to the reorganisation of services by introducing more management to augment their cost cutting agendas. They did this on the assumption (which was not seriously disputed) that doing so would increase efficiency. Broadly speaking, the goal was to substitute a model of managed provision for the existing ‘custodial’ producer driven approaches to organising work. This turned out to be a project involving fundamental reform, which, as time went on, drew intellectual credibility from private sector management ideas to which successive governments were increasingly and overtly committed.
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