The leadership and management of public services reform in Scotland

John Connolly, Robert Pyper

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter provides an overview of key developments in public services reform since the SNP came to power in Scotland in 2007. Drawing on the public value leadership and network governance literature, the chapter argues that the combination of an outcomes-focused approach (pursued via the SNP Government’s National Performance Framework), a commitment to an ‘empowerment agenda’, together with the challenges of national ‘policy distraction’ towards constitutional matters have served to undermine attempts to engender national public value leadership within a network governance context. The chapter draws on interviews with public sector actors and a range of policy documents and academic commentaries. It concludes by identifying opportunities for establishing co-ordinated leadership structures and highlights the political, constitutional, and public finance challenges that need to be addressed in this context. The article identifies key governance lessons for devolved polities based on the Scottish case.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics
EditorsMichael Keating
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherOxford University Press Pakistan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780191863776
ISBN (Print)9780198825098
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2020


  • Scottish politics
  • governance
  • public service
  • public sector
  • SNP
  • civil service
  • public administration
  • Scotland
  • management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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