ANZSOG/PSC Western Australia series - Zoe Radnor

On Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 August 2017 Professor Zoe Radnor, Dean of the School of Business and Professor of Service Operations Management at the University of Leicester delivered a number of workshops on the application of ‘Lean’ in public services.  

‘Lean’ has become a popular approach to public service reform around the world. Professor Radnor’s extensive research into the theory and implementation of ‘lean’, across a number of sectors, has demonstrated that ‘the house of lean for public services’ needs a completely different approach to architecture, process and culture if it is to yield real benefits. Professor Radnor led a number of thought-provoking sessions on what it would take to really deliver the promised benefits of ‘lean’ in the Western Australian public sector.

Her presentations and links to additional material are below.

  • Presentation – ‘Lean’ in public service: Panacea or paradox (CEO breakfast session)
  • Presentation – Making ‘lean’ work (SES workshop)
  • Presentation – Applying ‘lean’ in the public sector (Public sector manager workshop)

Further reading on the application of Lean principles to public services:

  • Why Lean Matters – Advanced Institute of Management Research report, Professor Zoe Radnor, 2012

    This paper both explains the essentials principles of Lean, and also provides a framework for the successful implementation Lean in a public service setting.

  • The SERVICE Framework: A Public-service-dominant Approach to Sustainable Public Services – British Journal of Management, Osborne Radnor etal, 2015

    This paper argues that the new public management theory has been a flawed paradigm for public services delivery that has produced very internally efficient but externally ineffective public service organisations. A SERVICE framework for sustainable public services and public service organizations is presented that is rooted within the public-service-dominant business logic and emphasises the need for a focus on external value creation rather than internal efficiency alone.

  • Lean: A failed theory for public services? - Public Management Review, Radnor & Osborne, 2013

    Drawing on literature and empirical data, this paper argues that the implementation of Lean to date has been defective – it has focused on the technical tools of implementation without an over-arching business logic to validate it. This paper argues that Lean can only achieve its potential in public services when based within a public service dominant business logic. Without this, Lean is doomed to fail both as a theory and a set of practices.


Page last updated 1 November 2017