Front-line practice

Somerville, Peter (2015) Front-line practice. Working Paper. University of Lincoln, Lincoln.

Street-level working 2015 v2.pdf
Street-level working 2015 v2.pdf - Whole Document
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Item Type:Paper or Report (Working Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


This paper interrogates concepts of street-level and ‘front-line’ bureaucracy/ practice/ working/ organising by reviewing a number of distinct literatures. It questions the distinction between public and private service, and argues that front-line practice involves a type of co-production, based on public encounters, building relationships, and multi-service coordination and management. It emphasises that the responsibility of front-line workers is primarily to those who pay them for what they do, and only secondarily to those they serve. Nevertheless, front-line workers have to manage the relationships built in the course of their practice, and this management is potentially transformative of service users. The literature describes various ways in which front-line workers manage these relationships, but these ways remain insufficiently explored or understood. The paper further discusses whether front-line practice strengthens or weakens democracy, and concludes with an attempt to understand why front-line practice continues to be dominated by more powerful forces.

Keywords:practice, front-line, service, discretion, co-production, relationship, keyworking
Subjects:L Social studies > L231 Public Administration
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:17573
Deposited On:03 Jun 2015 18:15

Repository Staff Only: item control page