Performance & Quality Measurement in Goverment Issues & Experiences

Entrepreneurial Operations and Service Quality in The Public Sector

Thomas D. Lynch and Daryl S. de Armond


The industrialized world is hurling into the Information Age at an irresistible, mind-boggling pace. Almost daily there are news stories extolling the virtues of some new technology that will allow more information to be processed more quickly at less cost. This rapid pace of progress is particularly noteworthy, when compared to the rate of change experienced in the Industrial Age that now seems painstakingly slow. While innovation in the Industrial Age was capital intensive, many of the improvements of today are in software written by individuals or small groups working in relatively small companies. Comparatively, there is little in the way of resources being used, other that human thought. The Internet has disseminated these new ideas and innovations instantaneously over the world. Collaboration and cooperation are possible with almost no effort. Informal groups of individuals can develop ideas and produce the final product without ever meeting face to face.

The purpose of this chapter is to show how web organizations can be used by public administrators to take advantage of the innovations of the information age while striving to retain the needed accountability in the process. The public bureaucracy is said to be slow and is allegedly resistant to the idea of change. However, the same can be true of private bureaucracy. Look at the major American automakers and the difficulty they had reacting to Japanese competition. Even IBM, a leader in the development of information technology, was slow in reacting to the Information Age revolution. The challenge for the public sector is to participate in this information revolution in a time when the public appears to be demanding more services and rejecting new taxes.

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