The leadership and management of public services reform in Scotland

John Connolly, Robert Pyper

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter provides an overview of key developments in public services reform since the SNP came to power in Scotland in 2007. Drawing on the public value leadership and network governance literature, the chapter argues that the combination of an outcomes-focused approach (pursued via the SNP government's National Performance Framework), a commitment to an 'empowerment agenda', together with the challenges of national 'policy distraction' towards constitutional matters have served to undermine attempts to engender national public value leadership within a network governance context. The chapter draws on interviews with public service actors and a range of policy documents and academic commentaries. It concludes by identifying opportunities for establishing coordinated leadership structures and highlights the political, constitutional and public finance challenges that need to be addressed in this context. The article identifies key governance lessons for devolved polities based on the Scottish case.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics
EditorsMichael Keating
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780198825098
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2020


  • Scottish politics
  • governance
  • public service
  • public sector
  • SNP


Dive into the research topics of 'The leadership and management of public services reform in Scotland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this