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Case study description


Case study description

A large local authority was not functioning as efficiently or as effectively as it wanted. It was not being fully responsive to the needs of its citizens or its various communities of interest. We conducted an organizational analysis of the city council to find out what was helping the council achieve its stated outcomes and what was getting in the way of this. The analysis consisted of interviews with directors and strategic managers, and focus groups with middle managers and front-line staff. Leading politicians of all political persuasions were interviewed. A number of key stakeholders such as citizens’ panels, partnerships and the trade unions were also involved. Our report highlighted six interrelated areas in which the council needed to significantly improve its overall effectiveness and thereby reduce internal and external pressure.

The commitment, talent and effort of all those we met were impressive. Many people from front-line workers to the most senior politicians and officers were enthusiastic about the city and what the council might contribute to its life and development. There were clearly many very good services being offered to the city. However, at the same time there was a strong feeling at all levels of untapped potential. The council’s energies were being dissipated through not having a true focus.

The emerging themes are outlined below and illustrated in Figure 7.1

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Figure 7.1: Six key points from case study one

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