Joining up public services : a critical realist framework for holistic governance

BREESE, Richard Michael (2007). Joining up public services : a critical realist framework for holistic governance. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The thesis is concerned with the conceptual development and application to practical management issues of the general descriptive theory called the 'Operational Dimensions Framework'. It is argued that attempts to join up public services need to take into account the dimensional complexity of the operating environment for their delivery. The Operational Dimensions Framework is underpinned by realist assumptions, and the methods used to evaluate it apply critical realist social theories in innovative ways.

The Operational Dimensions Framework was originally developed when the author was working as a regeneration programmes manager at Barnsley MBC in the late 1990's, continually involved in the interplay between different dimension in the formulation and implementation of regeneration programmes. The basic model have been further developed and refined in the course of the research.

The research uses theories of truth as criteria against which to assess the Operational Dimensions Framework as a tool to assist public service

  • assessing the coherence of the Operational Dimensions Framework as a general descriptive theory (coherence theory of truth)
  • reviewing practice in joined up government in Great Britain against the Operational Dimensions Framework (correspondence theory of truth)
  • assessing where there are gaps in existing theories which could be addressed through the Operational Dimensions Framework (consensus theory of truth)
  • using the Operational Dimensions Framework to help with the practical management issues (pragmatism theory of truth)

The conclusion drawn is that both the Operational Dimensions Framework itself and the methods used in the research make significant contributions to management theory. Furthermore, the Operational Dimensions Framework can be used to develop management tools to improve practice in a variety of contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Departments: Sheffield Business School > Management
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2012 10:33
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2016 17:37

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