Managerial Discretion

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter explores managerial discretion, identifying the distinctive features and dilemmas of discretion for people working in managerial positions. Looking first at managerial discretion more broadly, it then focuses on managerial discretion in the context of a move towards public services which are more ‘person-centred’. Person-centredness is a theme of welfare reform across advanced democracies, as the technological possibilities of individually tailored services mesh with the rise of ‘assertive citizens’, less content with ‘one size fits all’ welfare. Person-centredness disrupts the notion of rule-bound and standardized public services in ways that expand the scope for discretion—although it may be citizens or frontline staff who determine what ‘person-centredness’ means. The core management challenge is remaining accountable for public money, for performance metrics and for the public duty of care, whilst supporting person-centred ways of working for citizens and staff.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiscretion and the Quest for Controlled Freedom
EditorsTony Evans, Peter Hupe
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-19566-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-19565-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


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