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Title: Public leisure management : a strategic analysis of effectiveness and performance outcomes
Authors: Hodgkinson, Ian R.
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: © Ian Richard Hodgkinson
Abstract: Local government in England have reformed the management of their public services over many years. The increase in collaboration across the public sector between the public, private and voluntary sectors has been promoted under New Labour in public leisure provision, either through contracts or partnership arrangements. The transfer to collaboration has created significantly new modes of service delivery, including in-house, leisure trust, and private leisure management contractor arrangements. There is a need to examine and test in a more focused way the practices of those engaged in collaborative structures and reflect upon the implications these models present from a strategic management perspective. To this end, the thesis adopts a resource-based view of the firm and seeks to examine how the three approaches to public leisure provision develop strategies and effectively utilise and deploy resources through their strategic actions, with the overarching aim to achieve strategic outcomes. The main findings of the empirical analyses are two-fold. Firstly, of the three approaches examined, in-house provision has the most to gain from being more strategically aware. The case is made for significant strengthening oflocal government in-house managed facilities, which has often been viewed as the poor relation in public leisure provision and stands to lose the most in funding cuts and the subsidies provided to leisure trust rivals. Secondly, leisure trusts receive significant government funds and subsidies through tax breaks that are not forthcoming to rivals, which raises questions as to whether leisure trusts deserve such aid for delivering upon the social inclusion agenda of the government. Given that inclusion is not heavily emphasised or significantly achieved to any greater degree than rivals, it can be argued that this approach to provision does not justify the financial perks oftrust status provided to it. This thesis calls for a fundamental rethink of public policy and for the current public leisure management playing field to be levelled in a rebalance of opportunity and investment through the removal of anti-competitive measures in service delivery.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/12169
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Business School)

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