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Innovative Public Service Delivery: How to assess the new relationship between public agencies and society?

Cláudia Carvalho () and Carlos Brito ()
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Cláudia Carvalho: Universidade Portucalense, Postal: CIGE – Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia, Universidade Portucalense – Infante D. Henrique, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 541/619, 4200-072 PORTO, PORTUGAL,, http://www.upt.pt
Carlos Brito: University of Porto-Faculty of Economics, Postal: Rua Roberto Frias , 4200-464 Porto , Portugal, http://www.fep.up.pt

No 8/2009, Working Papers from Universidade Portucalense, Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia (CIGE)

Abstract: One of the major challenges faced by the Public Administration is how to create more value for both citizens and firms, mainly because of the increasing budgetary constraints and challenging demands from society. In fact, over the past two decades there has been a general movement of public reform in most developed countries, and for this reason it is essential to understand how users assess public services’ quality. This paper aims at understanding the determinants of public services’ quality. Due to the nature of the research problem, we have adopted a case-study methodology. The research involved an extensive qualitative and quantitative data collection with managers, citizens and front and back-office public servants, by means of interviews, questionnaires and focus groups. The paper presents the case of Citizen Shops in Portugal, a recent and innovative channel of public services’ delivery, within a strong relationship perspective. Firstly, it explores the kind of relationships that are developed during the public service encounter between the citizen, the public organization and society. Secondly, both citizen’s satisfaction and dissatisfaction with public services are investigated. The basic premise is that these two concepts are not opposite but have different determinants instead. Furthermore, the paper also explores the existence of a zone of tolerance and emphasizes the importance of managing emotions in the public service encounter. Finally, it is discussed that public services’ quality assessment should also take into consideration the implications on the value to society.

Keywords: Public services; citizen shops; quality determinants; satisfaction; dissatisfaction (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H40 M31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2009-07-31
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe
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