Informations and abstract
Keywords: Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; H44 - Publicly Provided Goods: Mixed Markets.
In recent decades, local governments in Western democracies have experienced a number of significant changes in the organizational arrangements to deliver public services. The article aims at systematizing the knowledge currently available on the organizational tools to manage local public services, providing a classification of delivery arrangements that goes beyond the public-private and hierarchy-market dichotomies, trying to unpack these categories so as to take into account the most recent mixed, or hybrid, solutions that are becoming widespread. Then, the article proposes an analytical framework anchored to the conceptual categories of instrumentality and legitimacy to understand how, and under what conditions, different types of factors combine in leading local governments to choose one organisational tool for service delivery over the others. That framework is applied to two Italian municipalities (Bergamo and Livorno) in order to understand how local decision-makers combine cost-efficiency considerations with concerns on the appropriateness of policy solutions in two distinct policy areas, i.e., garbage collection and early childhood services, which should supposedly drive towards different management choices