Public service mutuals: towards a theoretical understanding of the spin-out process

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  • University of Northampton, The


Over the past few decades the policy environment in the UK has gradually sought to encourage public sector workers to ‘spin-out’ their services into social enterprises. This paper reports the common experiences and barriers experienced by four local authorities in the UK that ‘spun-out’ a public service into a social enterprise. The analysis is underpinned by Takahashi and Smutny’s (2002) theoretical model of partnerships and uses this to present a new model of the spin-out process. In doing so, the research identifies the complex partnership arrangements used in a spin-out involving collaborations with staff, services users and public/private/third sector organisations.


Original languageEnglish
JournalPolicy and politics
Early online date30 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • partnership; policy; public services; spin-outs