The contracting-out of public services has often been accompanied by a strong academic focus on the emergence of new governance forms, and a general neglect of the processes and practices through which contracted-out services are controlled and monitored. To fill this gap, we draw on contracting-out and inter-organizational control literatures to explore the adoption of control mechanisms for public service provision at the municipal level and the variables that can explain their choice. Our results, based on a survey of Italian municipalities, show that in the presence of contracting-out, market-, hierarchy- and trust-based controls display different intensities, can co-exist and are explained by different variables. Service characteristics are more effective in explaining market- and hierarchy-based controls than relationship characteristics. Trust-based controls are the most widespread, but cannot be explained by the variables traditionally identified in contracting-out and inter-organizational control studies.

Control patterns in contracting-out relationships: it matters what you do, not who you are

DITILLO, ANGELO;LIGUORI, MARIANNUNZIATA;SICILIA, MARIA FRANCESCA;STECCOLINI, ILEANA
2014

Abstract

The contracting-out of public services has often been accompanied by a strong academic focus on the emergence of new governance forms, and a general neglect of the processes and practices through which contracted-out services are controlled and monitored. To fill this gap, we draw on contracting-out and inter-organizational control literatures to explore the adoption of control mechanisms for public service provision at the municipal level and the variables that can explain their choice. Our results, based on a survey of Italian municipalities, show that in the presence of contracting-out, market-, hierarchy- and trust-based controls display different intensities, can co-exist and are explained by different variables. Service characteristics are more effective in explaining market- and hierarchy-based controls than relationship characteristics. Trust-based controls are the most widespread, but cannot be explained by the variables traditionally identified in contracting-out and inter-organizational control studies.
Ditillo, Angelo; Liguori, Mariannunziata; Sicilia, MARIA FRANCESCA; Steccolini, Ileana
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11565/3896719
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