Public Service Quality Improvement

John Øvretveit

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Management

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780199226443
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 Public Service Quality Improvement

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In many respects quality originated as a collection of poorly theorized methods which were developed through practice in the workplace. The “quality movement” was built by adherents who tried to provide a theoretical basis and ideology from mostly atheoretical practical tools. In transferring these methods to the public sector, a similar industry has evolved, developing an ideology and packages of tools for the less competitive and culturally different environment of this sector. The purpose of this article is to give a balanced and critical overview of the different ideas and methods of quality assurance and improvement as applied in the public sector. It describes approaches which have been used in multi-professional services, such as health care; in single quasi-professional services, such as education, police, fire, library, and social services; and other government services such as clerical services and industrial-type services which include a physical goods products such as refuse collection and road maintenance.

Keywords: public sector; multi-professional services; public service quality; quality improvement; quasi-professional services; health care

Article.  9891 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Public Management and Administration ; Business Strategy

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