|Generalist philosophy||Preference for relevant degrees||Rejected|
|Little management training||
Civil Service College and|
Implemented, but most training|
Staff management inadequate;|
career planning inadequate;
promotion too dependent on
Civil Service Department|
headed by prime minister
Established 1968 but abolished|
proliferation of grades
Unified grading and job|
"Open structure" with little|
Two-way transfers with private|
Pension rules modified with|
|SOURCE: Adapted from Dowding 1992, p. 237.|
the workings of government necessitated the employment of specialist personnel including economists, statisticians, and engineers (p. 102). What emerged from these concerns was the Fulton Report ( 1968) -- the most significant inquiry into the civil service after Northcote-Trevelyan -- which advocated a range of fundamental reforms.
The Fulton Report contained two major elements. The first was a critique of the organization and management of Northcote-Trevelyan reforms against the growing demands on the civil service. Here, the report pointed to deficiencies in the civil service arising from the "generalist" philosophy and the undervaluing of specialist skills, the lack of management skills and training, excessive departmentalism and proliferation of grades, too much secrecy and inward-looking orientation, and a system of "classes," which impeded the work of administration. The second was a series of recommendations including: a preference for "relevant" degrees and greater administrative specialization; the establishment of a civil service college and more management training; a unified Civil Service Department headed by the prime minister, unified grading and job evaluation; arrangements with the private sector to facilitate two-way transfer of personnel; and an inquiry into recruitment. The report was thus significant in its fundamental attack inter alia on the "generalist philosophy" that had characterized British public administration for over a century.
As Greenwood and Wilson ( 1989) pointed out, the experiences of Fulton "reveal wider lessons about the problems of reforming bureaucracies" (p. 107). In 1968 the Fulton recommendations were officially accepted by the government, with the exception of proposals that preference should be given to graduates with relevant degrees. However, as Table I illustrates, actual implementation was limited in scope and had far less impact than its advocates envisaged.
Commentators provide various explanations for the limited introduction of the Fulton recommendations. Peter Kellner and Lord Crowther-Hunt ( 1980), for example, have argued that implementation was hindered because the reform process was administered by senior civil servants, who in turn had considerable discretion over what to introduce and what to ignore. In a similar vein Greenwood and Wilson ( 1989) have pointed out that reform was undermined in part by the tension between department individualism and the "pull" of the center. Instead, more fundamental changes to British administrative institutions were to emerge later during the 1980s, under the initiatives adopted after the election of the Margaret Thatcher government in 1979 -- which were to include privatization, market testing, and new mechanisms for public sector management directed more proactively at "changing the culture" of Whitehall.
MATTHEW R. H. UTTLEY
Dowding, K., 1992. "Managing the Civil Service". In R. Maidment , and G. Thompson, eds. Managing the United Kingdom: An Introduction to Its Political Economy and Public Policy. London: Sage.
Fulton Report, 1968. The Civil Service, Vol. 1. Report of the Committee. Cmnd. 3638. London: HMSO.
Greenwood, J., and D. Wilson, 1989. Public Administration in Britain Today. London: Unwin Hyman.