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From the third sector to the big society: how changing UK government policies have eroded third sector trust

Milbourne, Linda and Cushman, M. (2011) From the third sector to the big society: how changing UK government policies have eroded third sector trust. Working Paper. Information Systems and Innovation Group, London, UK.

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This paper draws on concepts of trust to analyse recent policies affecting the management of public/third sector relationships, examining the parallel policy strands of competition, 'command and control' mechanisms and the community turn in shaping recent changes and associated cultures of relationships. The paper draws on examples from two empirical studies in English inner-city areas to explore ways in which power and regulatory frameworks exerted through dominant organisational cultures and the increase in regulatory frameworks have encouraged distrust in cross-sector relationships, promoting divisive competitive interests and risk-averse behaviours, restricting autonomy and innovation. If aspirations towards effective cross-sector working, community partnerships, and the presumption of community action in the Big Society agenda are to achieve meaningful outcomes, attention needs to be focused on the processes and relational spaces which will enable positive outcomes. State bodies have behaved as though trust in their actions is a given, while increasingly shifting responsibilities for service delivery and risks of failure to others. Our research identifies ways in which trust has been damaged in such transitions; and consequently we highlight issues that need to be addressed to ensure the development of innovative and effective services in collaboration with community-based providers in the future.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Trust, control, innovation, risk, voluntary and community organisations, performance audit, new public management, Big Society
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Social Policy and Education (Old)
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2012 09:33
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:22

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