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Corporatization, Administrative Intensity, and the Performance of Public Sector Organizations

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  • Gianluca Veronesi, University of Bristol
  • ,
  • Ian Kirkpatrick, York University Toronto
  • ,
  • Ali Altanlar, University of Leeds
  • ,
  • Fabrizia Sarto, University of Naples Federico II

The process of corporatization in public services has led to the emergence of new, more autonomous organizational forms. However, while these reforms have been centrally about the development of management capabilities in public sector organizations, we know surprisingly little about what this process involves. To address this concern, we draw on the literature on administrative intensity (AI) to frame hypotheses about the likely relationship between corporatization and investments in management and administration, and the consequences of these investments for performance. As an empirical case, we then focus on the effects of Foundation Trust status on AI and efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness in the acute care hospital sector in the English NHS. Based on a database of nine years (2008/09-2016/17) and dynamic panel data regressions, the results show that corporatization leads to a leaner administration and improved organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness. In addition, the analysis reveals that lower levels of AI positively mediate the relationship between corporatization and performance, although only in relation to the efficiency dimension. These findings highlight the crucial, but previously misunderstood, importance of lean administration as part of the corporatization reform package, with implications for theory, research, and policy.

TidsskriftJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Sider (fra-til)701-715
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2023

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