Public’s path

01 December 2004

Public’s path

ASTON Business School’s public services management group is changing its name to the policy studies and services management group.

The group’s convenor, Professor Stephen Osborne, explained the reasons for the name change after three successful decades.

‘Essentially, it is a reflection of the changing nature of public services. When the group started there was a distinction between public sector and public services. Now 'public' services are provided by a mixture of the public and private sectors.

‘This makes it necessary to start the study of public services from a more cross-sectoral perspective. Moreover,’ Prof Osborne explained, ‘many traditional 'private' services, such as tourism, are now increasingly interlocked with public policy.

‘This change also means that we can start addressing key issues of the nature of services management but from a cross sectoral perspective; before, it was only done from a public- or private sector perspective.

‘Our first big research project is to be a proposal to the Economic and Social Research Council for a cross-sectoral study of the nature of services in the UK.’

Prof Osborne confirmed that initially the group will make two new appointments next autumn, specifically in the fields of tourism and leisure services: ‘As the group then builds up a new teaching portfolio,’ he continued, ‘including new under- and postgraduate courses, further appointments will be made.

Prof Osborne considers that the public-private mix in the provision of public services is likely to continue and increase: ‘we will be well placed to evaluate as well as research and teach in this area,’ he said.

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For further information please call 0121 204 4549 or email: b.a.l.coombes@aston.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

For further information about Aston Business School’s policy studies and services management group visit its website: www.abs.aston.ac.uk/newweb/AcademicGroups/pms/

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