Service in the Field
The World of Front-line Public Servants
As governments attempt to focus more on service delivery, it has become apparent that little is known about the people who actually provide the services. Barbara Wake Carroll and David Siegel discuss structural issues and analyse the various administrative reforms developed in the last few years. They highlight field officers’ perceptions of the problems in the system and suggest ways to improve field office-head office relations and the operation of field offices generally. The authors’ analysis is based on more than two hundred interviews with federal and provincial civil servants in all ten provinces, in the smallest hamlets and largest cities across Canada. Using extensive quotations from these interviews, the authors allow public servants to tell their own stories and, in so doing, provide examples of the application of systematic qualitative research to Canadian political science. With its accessible style and emphasis on personal experience, Service in the Field will be of interest to students and scholars of public administration, political science, organization theory, and related disciplines in addition to people in government in both field and head offices.