Flexible working practices In the public, not-for-profit and commercial leisure sectors In Scotland

Anna MacVicar, Malcom Foley, Margaret Graham, Susan Ogden, Bernadette Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Public sector leisure managers in the UK have been struggling, since the extension of compulsory competitive tendering to leisure management in 1989, to reconcile the conflicts between becoming more consumer led and satisfying the needs of the ‘recreationally deprived’. Rationalization has ensured that a fundamental priority for managers has been the introduction of more cost-effective working practices. This article examines the diversity in employment practices across the three sectors of the leisure industry, that is, the public, not-for-profit and private sectors. The case study evidence presented found clear differences between the sectors. Although managers in not-for-profit leisure facilities have more freedom to use greater flexibility in employment practices as compared with their public sector counterparts, they are still somewhat constrained by having to meet the social objectives set by their Board of Directors. Private sector managers were found to be providing the highest proportion of full-time jobs, although they offered lower conditions of employment. This was made possible by the funding certainties created by regular monthly/annual customer memberships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Management: An International Journal of Research and Theory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • charitable trust status
  • public sector leisure
  • flexibility
  • best value


Dive into the research topics of 'Flexible working practices In the public, not-for-profit and commercial leisure sectors In Scotland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this