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Service Contracting and Labor-Management Partnerships: Transforming the Public Sector

PAQ, Vol. 31 No. 2, (2007)

In response to the prospect of service contracting and the privatization initiatives in the City of Indianapolis, a unique partnership has evolved between labor and management that encourages both cooperation and competition between city departments and their represented employees with outside private contractors. A conceptual model was utilized to analyze the Indianapolis partnership with respect to five developmental stages of collaboration. Empirical data were collected from a questionnaire given to all employees within the Department of Public Works. These data were assessed using multivariate regression and logit analyses, and combined with insights drawn from interviews with labor and management. The results from the multivariate regression indicated that 88% of the variation in the perceived success of the Indianapolis partnership could be explained by the five stages of the conceptual model. Moreover, the regression results, when coupled with the results of the logit analyses, identified a number of critical antecedents for successful service contracting in the form of labor-management partnerships.

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