Outsourcing and Structural Change

  • Suzanne Young


In Victoria throughout the late 1990s structural change in the public hospital system was immense as hospitals embarked on a range of market-testing and benchmarking exercises accompanied by downsizing and, in some cases, outsourcing. The clinical services which were subjected to these processes included radiology, pharmacy and pathology, and the non-clinical services included car parking, catering and cleaning, engineering and supply. In Victoria with the election of the Liberal-National government in 1992, outsourcing became a key part of the public management program (Stockdale, 1995, p. 29). This occurred alongside considerable decreases in state government funding, the implementation of industrial reform and the aggregation of metropolitan public hospitals into networks. The introduction of the Federal Liberal-National government’s National Competition Policy (NCP) in 1995 with its rationale that private sector pressures and competition would make the public sector more efficient, saw widespread changes to the provision of structure of all public sector services.


Industrial Relation Food Service Healthcare Industry Internal Team Private Contractor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ascher, K. (1987) The Politics of Privatisation: Contracting Out Public Services (London: Macmillan Education).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atkinson, J. (1984) ‘Manpower Strategies for Flexible Organisations’ Personnel Management, August, pp. 28–31.Google Scholar
  3. Borland, J. and Garvey, G. (1994) ‘Recent Developments in the Theory of the Firm’ Australian Economic Review, First Quarter, pp. 60–82.Google Scholar
  4. Burgess, J. and Macdonald, D. (1990) ‘The Labour Flexibility Imperative’ Journal of Australian Political Economy, 27, pp. 15–35.Google Scholar
  5. Campbell, I. (1993) ‘Labour Market Flexibility in Australia; Enhancing Management Prerogative?’ Labour and Industry, October, 5(3), pp. 1–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cannon, D. (1989) ‘Keeping Outsourcing in Hand’ Chief Executive Magazine, Nov-Dec, pp. 38–41.Google Scholar
  7. Carver, R. (1989) ‘Examining the Premises of Contracting Out’ Public Productivity and Management Review, 13(1), pp. 27–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cubbin, J., Domberger, S. and Meadowcroft, S. (1987) ‘Competitive Tendering and Refuse Collection: Identifying the Sources of Efficiency Gains’ Fiscal Studies, 8(3), pp. 49–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Domberger, S. (1994) ‘Public Sector Contracting: Does It Work?’ The Australian Economic Review, Third Quarter, pp. 91–6.Google Scholar
  10. Domberger, S., Meadowcroft, S. A. and Thompson, D. J. (1986) ‘Competitive Tendering and Efficiency: The Case of Refuse Collection’ Fiscal Studies, Nov, 7(4), pp. 69–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Domberger, S., Meadowcroft, S. A. and Thompson, D. J. (1987) ‘The Impact of Competitive Tendering on the Costs of Hospital Domestic Services’ Fiscal Studies, 8(4), pp. 39–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Domberger, S., Meadowcroft, S. A. and Thompson, D. J. (1988) ‘Competition and Efficiency in Refuse Collection: A Reply’ Fiscal Studies, 9(1), pp. 80–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Domberger, S. and Rimmer, S. (1994) ‘Competitive Tendering and Contracting Out in the Public Sector: A Survey’ International Journal of Economics and Business, 1(3), pp. 439–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Donald, P. (1995) ‘Leading Public Sector Management at the City of Melbourne’ in How to Run a Business within Government (Sydney: IIR Conferences Pty Ltd).Google Scholar
  15. Downs, A. (1967) Inside Bureaucracy (Boston: Little Brown).Google Scholar
  16. Dunford, R., Bramble, T. and Littler, C. (1998) ‘Gain and Pain: The Effects of Australian Public Sector Restructuring’ Public Productivity and Management Review, 21(4), pp. 386–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989) ‘Agency Theory: An Assessment and Review’ Academy of Management Review, 14(1), pp. 57–74.Google Scholar
  18. Evatt Research Centre (1990) Breach of Contract: Privatisation and Management of Australian Local Government (Leichhardt New South Wales: Pluto Press/Evatt Research Centre).Google Scholar
  19. Fairbrother, P., Paddon, M. and Teicher, J. (2002) ‘Introduction: Corporatisation and Privatisation in Australia’ in P. Fairbrother, M. Paddon, M. and J. Teicher (eds) Privatisation, Globalisation and Labour: Studies from Australia (Sydney: The Federation Press) Ch. 1, pp. 1–24.Google Scholar
  20. Ferris, J. (1984) ‘Co-Provision: Citizen Time and Money Donations in Public Service Provision’ Public Administration Review, 44(4), pp. 324–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ferris, J. (1986) ‘The Decision to Contract Out: An Empirical Analysis’ Urban Affairs Quarterly, 22(2), pp. 28–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fraser, L. (1997) Impact of Contracting Out on Female NESB Workers: Case Study of the NSW Government Cleaning Service (Canberra: Research and Statistics Branch, Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs).Google Scholar
  23. Hanke, S. H. and Walters, S. J. K. (1990) ‘Privatization and Public Choice: Lessons for the LDC’s’ in V. Wright and L. Perrotti (eds) Privatization and Public Policy Vol I, 2000 (USA: The International Library of Comparative Public Policy Elgar) pp. 331–42.Google Scholar
  24. Hodge, G. (1996) Contracting out Government Services: A Review of International Evidence (Melbourne: Monash University).Google Scholar
  25. Industry Commission (1995) Competitive Tendering and Contracting by Public Sector Agencies, Draft Report, October (Australia: Industry Commission).Google Scholar
  26. Morkel, A. (1993) ‘Industry Clusters and Value-System Strategies for Australia’ in G. Lewis, A. Morkel and G. Hubbard (eds) Australian Strategic Management Concepts, Contexts and Cases (Sydney: Prentice-Hall) pp. 389–99.Google Scholar
  27. Pfeffer, J. (1994) ‘Competitive Advantage through People’ California Management Review, 36(2), pp. 9–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Porter, M. E. (1980) Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors (New York: The Free Press).Google Scholar
  29. Quinn, J. (1992) ‘The Intelligent Enterprise a New Paradigm’ Academy of Management Executive, 6(4), pp. 48–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Reilly, P. and Tamkin, P. (1996) Outsourcing: A Flexible Option for the Future? IES Report 320 (Brighton UK: The Institute for Employment Studies).Google Scholar
  31. Rimmer, S. (1993) Aspects of Competitive Tendering and Contracting in Local Government Administration, PhD thesis, University of New England.Google Scholar
  32. Sharp, P. (1995) ‘Competition as Opposed to Outsourcing: The Commercial Support Program in the Defence Science and Technology Organisation’ in How to Run a Business within Government (Sydney: IIR Conferences Pty Ltd).Google Scholar
  33. Smith, J. (1991) ‘Corporate Little Helpers’ Australian Business, Aug 7, pp. 44–6.Google Scholar
  34. State Government of Victoria (1996) Competitive Neutrality A Statement of Victorian Government Policy (Melbourne: Department of Premier and Cabinet).Google Scholar
  35. Stockdale, A. (1995) ‘Contracting Out: A Victorian Perspective’ in J. Guthrie (ed.) Making the Australian Public Sector Count in the 1990s (Sydney: IIR Conferences Pty Ltd) pp. 26–9.Google Scholar
  36. Walsh, K. (1991) Competitive Tendering of Local Authority Services: Initial Experience (United Kingdom: Dept. of Environment, HMSO).Google Scholar
  37. Walsh, K. and Davis, H. (1993) Competition and Services: The Impact of the Local Government Act 1988 (United Kingdom: Dept. of Environment, HMSO).Google Scholar
  38. Williamson, O. (1979) ‘Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractual Relations’ Journal of Law and Economics, 22, pp. 233–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Williamson, O. (1986) ‘Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractual Relations’ in J. Barney and W. Ouchi (eds) Organizational Economics (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass), pp. 98–129.Google Scholar
  40. Willcocks, L. (1994) ‘Managing Information Systems in UK Public Administration: Issues and Prospects’ Public Administration, 72(1), pp. 13–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Willcocks, L. and Currie, W. (1997) ‘Contracting Out Information Technology in Public Sector Contexts: Research and Critique’ Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management, 3(2), pp. 34–49.Google Scholar
  42. Young, S. (2000) ‘Outsourcing: Lessons from the Literature’ Labour and Industry, April, 10(3), pp. 97–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Young, S. (2002) ‘Outsourcing and Downsizing: Processes of Workplace Change in Public Health’ The Economic and Labour Relations Review, December, 13(2), pp. 244–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Young, S. (2005) ‘Outsourcing in the Australian Health Sector: The Interplay of Economics and Politics’ International Journal of Public Sector Management, 18(1), pp. 25–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Contributors 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne Young

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations