Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

From the third sector to the big society: how changing UK Government policies have eroded third sector trust

Milbourne, Linda and Cushman, Mike (2013) From the third sector to the big society: how changing UK Government policies have eroded third sector trust. Voluntas, 24 (2). pp. 485-508. ISSN 0957-8765

Download (348kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1007/s11266-012-9302-0


This article draws on concepts of trust to analyse recent policies affecting public/third sector relationships, examining competition, ‘command and control’ mechanisms and the community turn in shaping cultures of relationships. Drawing on examples from empirical studies in two English inner-city areas we explore ways in which power and controls exerted through dominant organisational cultures and arrangements undermine independent approaches, innovation and organisational learning across sectors. State bodies have taken trust in their actions as given while shifting responsibilities for service delivery and risks of failure to others. We argue that increasing market cultures and regulation have damaged cross-sector trust promoting divisive interests and risk-averse behaviours, restricting the local autonomy, innovation and community action presumed in the Big Society agenda. We conclude by highlighting issues that need to be addressed to ensure future collaboration with community-based providers; these include a focus on the processes and relational spaces which enable alternatives.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 International Society for Third-Sector Research and The John’s Hopkins University
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2012 13:03
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2024 21:48

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics