I am currently a doctoral researcher at Warwick Business School undertaking a PhD which is collaboratively funded by the ESRC and a Housing and Support Partnership comprising a consortium of local authorities. The title of my PhD research is:
Creating the currency of institutional change:
Understanding and developing shared value in the
strategic integration of home improvement services
This PhD research project explores the facilitation of effective integrated and holistic ways of working using lean systems methodology which is a fundamental social and public policy problem for many public services. This is a collaborative working partnership between Warwick Business School and the local authorities in the Home Improvement Agency. It intends to develop a longer term understanding of how a shared vision, value and language for existing and future services can be created across current and future stakeholders.
Value will be defined from the perspective of:
- Customer values that are outcomes focused
- Organisational values from a housing, health and social care perspective including:
- developing a common language
- working to the same goals and objectives
- working to agreed performance data.
The work of the Home Improvement Agency is to facilitate the delivery of more integrated home improvement services to enable elderly and disabled people to enable them to live within their home environment for as long as possible. This may reduce the demands on other heath and social care agencies.
A key issue that the Home Improvement Agency faces is how they communicate and ensure that all stakeholders are able to see and recognise the benefits of these services and understand how they contribute towards their priorities.
Aims of the Research and What it Will Address
The PhD research will be expected to make academic and theoretical contributions, as well as presenting empirical findings in the form of robust evidence and recommendations to both policy-makers and service providers.
A system that allows an understanding of the outcomes being achieved for customers will be developed within a framework of relevant benefits. This will be used to feed back into future investment decisions made by public sector organisations. This model will include
- The level and type of need within the area
- The service and delivery model and customer outcomes framework
- The organisational benefits (linked back to level and type of need).
The research will attempt to understand and improve how those managing the strategic integration of home improvement services (The Home Improvement Agency Board), using lean systems methodology, go about engaging the organizations and professionals that deliver the service in a shared vision and collective action for the creation of new service configurations.
In essence, the study will examine the actions of members of the ‘The Home Improvement AgencyBoard’, aimed at creating a new service configuration, and the response from those delivering the service to this. Consideration will be given to the factors that are preventing other partners engaging in the Project Board.
Change efforts could focus on three simple examples, ‘evidence’ collected through audit or illustrations of best practice from other local authorities and relevant research. Alternatively, there may be a requirement for an organization development type intervention.
Finally, there may be issues arising from the outcomes framework feedback system that need to be addressed.
Academically, for the purposes of the PhD, the research will develop knowledge in the areas of institutional theory, public policy and inter-organisational working.