Julian Le Grand, Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and a former Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister (2003-2005) gave a seminar entitled ‘Trust, shove or nudge? Reflections on public service reform’ at HSMC on 14th May.
Julian drew on his time in the PM’s Office to reflect on different models of public service reform – trust; targets; voice and choice- outlined in his book ‘The Other Invisible Hand: Delivering Public Services through Choice and Competition’ (Princeton University Press, 2007). He argued that trust-based models are too paternalistic and open to manipulation by providers; target-based models demotivate staff, stifle innovation and encourage gaming, while voice-based models rely on protest channels that are dominated by the middle classes and easy for monopoly providers to ignore. Julian argues that choice-based models are the best or ‘least worst’ ways to organise public services.