Integrating service user and workforce involvement to support responsive public services in tough times
Dr. Eva Knies, i.c.w. prof. dr. Peter Leisink
This comparative research examines how service user involvement in schools and hospitals is being combined with traditional forms of employee involvement and participation. A variety of pressures including austerity measures and public policy initiatives to increase user voice and choice are impacting on participation and governance practices.
This project investigates how employers, trade unions and public authorities are responding. Specifically, how far, and in what ways, does increased service user involvement contribute to more responsive public services and an engaged workforce?
The fieldwork concentrates on developments in hospitals and schools, but there has been little investigation of consequences of these public policy developments. The questions driving the project include:
- To what extent and in what ways has service user pressure emerged in recent years?
- In what ways, and in relation to what issues, are service users involved in these organisations?
- What are the consequences of service user involvement for traditional forms of employee involvement and participation and the implications for HR policy and practice?
The comparative study comprises five countries: Britain, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and Slovakia with differing levels of service user involvement.