Coordination in Labour Market Policy: The Influence of Governance and Institutional Logics

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


This PhD analyses the factors that affect the existence or absence of coordination in the field of labour market policy for the long-term unemployed in three cities in Great Britain (Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Newcastle). The interest in coordination in public service provision has become more relevant since the state’s previously dominant role in services provision gave way to a decentralised and multi-actor landscape. The complexity of social issues also fostered the involvement of multiple organisations. Furthermore, the recent move toward activation in labour market policy has renewed the interest in localised and personalised services, which require coordination.

The implications for individuals of the shift toward activation is the main driver for this thesis. Activation has changed the relationship between the state and its citizens, has redefined social exclusion, has individualised responsibility for unemployment, and has increased individuals’ obligations to become employed and employable. Also, a greater number of individuals—often with multiple, complex, and overlapping problems—are now required to take part in paid employment. If activation is to effectively support unemployed individuals, its governance would have to facilitate coordination.
Even though networks and partnership-working have been buzz-terms in relation to public service planning and delivery for some years, empirically, there is still a question over whether this discourse has resulted in coordination on the ground. Studies of coordination in the field of labour market policies have often focused on the link between social assistance and labour market policy. This research examines instead the coordination between labour market and other related policy areas, as well as the coordination between administrative levels and various service providers. Drawing upon document analysis and semi-structure interviews, this thesis shows that coordination is still elusive in practice and develops a framework of governance that might help to better achieve coordination in service provision.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • McQuaid, Ronald, Supervisor, External person
  • Raeside, Robert, Supervisor, External person
  • McMillan, Valerie, Supervisor, External person
  • McMillan, Janice, Supervisor, External person
Award date14 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Co-ordination
  • Governance
  • Labour market policy
  • 331 Labor economics
  • HB economic theory


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