Management, consultancy and the British state, c.1960-c.2010

Weiss, Antonio E. (2017) Management, consultancy and the British state, c.1960-c.2010. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Abstract

Management consultants have been important, but hitherto largely unnoticed, features of the postwar British state. This thesis traces the emergence and development of the relationship between management consultancies and the British state. It seeks to answer three questions. First, why were management consultants brought into the machinery of the state? Second, how has state power been impacted by bringing profit-seeking actors into the machinery of the state? And third, how has the nature of management consultancy changed over time? The thesis demonstrates the role consultants played in major developments in the postwar period. The role of British consultants in helping to professionalise the civil service in the 1960s is considered, and contrasted with the impact American consultants had in seeking to overturn perceived British decline in the 1970s. Consultancies from accounting backgrounds turned their hands to attempts to automate major state operations in the 1980s. Specific case studies interrogate how consultancies influenced the policy fields of health service reform and social security benefits. And the work of consultancies during New Labour’s public sector reforms and moves towards outsourcing of state services in the 1990s and 2000s is analysed. The history of the work of these varied consultancies helps to deepen and further nuance understandings of the nature of state power and the role of elite networks and governing circles in postwar Britain.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Social Sciences, History & Philosophy > History, Classics & Archaeology
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2018 13:19
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2018 10:59
URI: http://bbktheses.da.ulcc.ac.uk/id/eprint/299

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