Evaluating the extent of inter-organizational learning and change through the Beacon Council Scheme

Downe, James; Hartley, Jean and Rashman, Lyndsay (2004). Evaluating the extent of inter-organizational learning and change through the Beacon Council Scheme. Public Management Review, 6(4) pp. 531–554.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1471903042000303328

Abstract

This article examines the English Beacon Council Scheme, established by central government to reward excellence in service delivery and to disseminate good practice across local government. Using data from a national survey (N = 314) and seventy-two interviews from twelve case studies, this article examines three research questions. First, how much learning takes place at or through Beacon Council events? Second, to what extent has this learning led to implementation of service and corporate changes in local authorities? Third, what are the enablers and barriers of inter-organizational learning and change from the Beacon Council Scheme? The article demonstrates that the Beacon Council Scheme is relatively successful in sharing good practice but there is uncertainty over where the Scheme fits into the local government modernization agenda. Lessons learnt from sharing good practice in the Beacon Council Scheme may be applicable to other areas of the public sector, in the UK and beyond.

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