chapter  14
The Intelligent Organisation and Public Services
WithJohn Beckford
Pages 18

There are particular questions to be considered when thinking about and applying the ideas of intelligent organisation to public services. The organisational motivations and performance criteria are very different to the commercial sector and the ‘political’ dimension has greater impact. This chapter considers the particular challenges faced by public and third sector organisations and shows how thinking about the Information Organisation can provide significant benefits. The key factors that distinguish public service from private sector organisations in general are a lesser degree of self-determination than those in the private sector, a focus on output and compliance, the organisational inertia which has to be overcome to deliver substantial change and their reliance on information coupled to a historically poor record of investment and benefits realisation. The chapter explores how these ideas work out and what their implications are. Case studies showing what can be achieved when the ideas are competently applied are elaborated. The reader will comprehend the potential for public service transformation.