Melbourne School of Government researchers win prestigious international award

Image: L-R Prof Jenny Lewis, Vice Chancellor Prof Glyn Davis and Prof Mark Considine. Photo: Peter Casamento.
Image: L-R Prof Jenny Lewis, Vice Chancellor
Prof Glyn Davis and Prof Mark Considine.
Photo: Peter Casamento.

Professor Mark Considine, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and Professor Jenny Lewis, Melbourne School of Government, have become the first Australians to win one of the most prestigious international awards for research in the field of organisation studies and governance.

They won the Jan Kooiman Prize for the best research published in the journal Public Management Review in 2012. The prize is named after Jan Kooiman, an internationally renowned Dutch scholar who pioneered the study of governance and its role in explaining the steering capacity of public institutions.

The chair of the judging panel, Professor Stephen Osborne from the University of Edinburgh, described the research as “…path-breaking in its contribution to our knowledge of the way networks of actors impact the delivery of public services.”

Titled Networks and Interactivity: Ten years of street-level governance in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Australia, the study involved a 10 year examination of the way front-line staff in public service agencies, NGOs and private contractors in Australia, the UK and the Netherlands responded to the needs of their clients as processes of contracting and privatisation took root.

Prof Lewis said, “The research findings have significant implications for the way governments design public services and for the debate about the importance of different governance arrangements and their impact on contracting out services.”