How networks explain unintended policy implementation outcomes: the case of UK rail privatization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

How a government secures the implementation of its policies is one of the most interesting processes in public administration. The tendency of scholars is to ignore implementation and how it impacts on the form of policy, something which invariably changes once resources have been allocated to implementing agencies and the policy detail is addressed. Traditional ‘top-down’ (Pressman and Wildavsky 1984, Mazmanian and Sabatier 1981) and ‘bottom-up’ (Elmore 1979, Hjern and Porter 1981, Hull and Hjern 1983) analytical frameworks give only a partial explanation of outcomes. In making the case for a network approach, a typology of implementation networks is presented. The utility of this typology is evaluated in the context of one of the most complex privatization programmes attempted by any government: the privatization of British Rail (BR) between 1992 and 1997. In the case of the sale of one BR subsidiary train operating company, ScotRail, a variety of agencies with competing interests and acting in a politically-charged climate exchanged essential resources to deliver the policy, though not without generating unintended outcomes in the form of significant change to the policy and the agencies charged with implementing it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-870
Number of pages20
JournalPublic administration
Volume79
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Fingerprint

policy implementation
privatization
typology
sale
resources
public administration
climate

Bibliographical note

The definitive version is available to subscribers at www.blackwell-synergy.com

Cite this

@article{2769d0cab1284141908bbbee0b80f60c,
title = "How networks explain unintended policy implementation outcomes: the case of UK rail privatization",
abstract = "How a government secures the implementation of its policies is one of the most interesting processes in public administration. The tendency of scholars is to ignore implementation and how it impacts on the form of policy, something which invariably changes once resources have been allocated to implementing agencies and the policy detail is addressed. Traditional ‘top-down’ (Pressman and Wildavsky 1984, Mazmanian and Sabatier 1981) and ‘bottom-up’ (Elmore 1979, Hjern and Porter 1981, Hull and Hjern 1983) analytical frameworks give only a partial explanation of outcomes. In making the case for a network approach, a typology of implementation networks is presented. The utility of this typology is evaluated in the context of one of the most complex privatization programmes attempted by any government: the privatization of British Rail (BR) between 1992 and 1997. In the case of the sale of one BR subsidiary train operating company, ScotRail, a variety of agencies with competing interests and acting in a politically-charged climate exchanged essential resources to deliver the policy, though not without generating unintended outcomes in the form of significant change to the policy and the agencies charged with implementing it.",
author = "Andrew Grantham",
note = "The definitive version is available to subscribers at www.blackwell-synergy.com",
year = "2001",
doi = "doi:10.1111/1467-9299.00283",
language = "English",
volume = "79",
pages = "851--870",
journal = "Public administration",
issn = "0033-3298",
number = "4",

}

How networks explain unintended policy implementation outcomes: the case of UK rail privatization. / Grantham, Andrew.

In: Public administration, Vol. 79, No. 4, 2001, p. 851-870.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - How networks explain unintended policy implementation outcomes: the case of UK rail privatization

AU - Grantham, Andrew

N1 - The definitive version is available to subscribers at www.blackwell-synergy.com

PY - 2001

Y1 - 2001

N2 - How a government secures the implementation of its policies is one of the most interesting processes in public administration. The tendency of scholars is to ignore implementation and how it impacts on the form of policy, something which invariably changes once resources have been allocated to implementing agencies and the policy detail is addressed. Traditional ‘top-down’ (Pressman and Wildavsky 1984, Mazmanian and Sabatier 1981) and ‘bottom-up’ (Elmore 1979, Hjern and Porter 1981, Hull and Hjern 1983) analytical frameworks give only a partial explanation of outcomes. In making the case for a network approach, a typology of implementation networks is presented. The utility of this typology is evaluated in the context of one of the most complex privatization programmes attempted by any government: the privatization of British Rail (BR) between 1992 and 1997. In the case of the sale of one BR subsidiary train operating company, ScotRail, a variety of agencies with competing interests and acting in a politically-charged climate exchanged essential resources to deliver the policy, though not without generating unintended outcomes in the form of significant change to the policy and the agencies charged with implementing it.

AB - How a government secures the implementation of its policies is one of the most interesting processes in public administration. The tendency of scholars is to ignore implementation and how it impacts on the form of policy, something which invariably changes once resources have been allocated to implementing agencies and the policy detail is addressed. Traditional ‘top-down’ (Pressman and Wildavsky 1984, Mazmanian and Sabatier 1981) and ‘bottom-up’ (Elmore 1979, Hjern and Porter 1981, Hull and Hjern 1983) analytical frameworks give only a partial explanation of outcomes. In making the case for a network approach, a typology of implementation networks is presented. The utility of this typology is evaluated in the context of one of the most complex privatization programmes attempted by any government: the privatization of British Rail (BR) between 1992 and 1997. In the case of the sale of one BR subsidiary train operating company, ScotRail, a variety of agencies with competing interests and acting in a politically-charged climate exchanged essential resources to deliver the policy, though not without generating unintended outcomes in the form of significant change to the policy and the agencies charged with implementing it.

U2 - doi:10.1111/1467-9299.00283

DO - doi:10.1111/1467-9299.00283

M3 - Article

VL - 79

SP - 851

EP - 870

JO - Public administration

JF - Public administration

SN - 0033-3298

IS - 4

ER -