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Leadership: a perniciously vague concept. (2012)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 2012. Leadership: a perniciously vague concept. International journal of public sector management [online], 25(1), pages 34-47. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1108/09513551211200276

Purpose “ Despite the vast amount of literature covering the concept of leadership, it remains contentious, under-conceptualised and often uncritical. The purpose of this paper is to question the validity of the concept and dispute its application. D... Read More about Leadership: a perniciously vague concept..

Stigma and social welfare. (2011)
Book
SPICKER, P. 2011. Stigma and social welfare. [Self-published]

This book looks at the concept of stigma in the context of social welfare. The idea of 'social welfare' is commonly identified with the 'social services'. Both terms are regrettably unclear. 'Welfare' can be taken to mean 'relief'; a 'welfare recipie... Read More about Stigma and social welfare..

Generalisation and phronesis: rethinking the methodology of social policy. (2010)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 2011. Generalisation and phronesis: rethinking the methodology of social policy. Journal of social policy [online], 40(1), pages 1-19. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279410000334

Social policy research often depends on the application of generalisations from social science. Questions like "what works?" assume that general principles can be translated from specific examples into other contexts. Pawson and Tilley argue that eff... Read More about Generalisation and phronesis: rethinking the methodology of social policy..

The nature of a public service. (2009)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 2009. The nature of a public service. International journal of public administration [online], 32(11), pages 970-991. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/01900690903050927

Public services have been misunderstood. They are not simply services in the public sector, they are not necessarily there because of market failure, and they cannot be analysed by the same criteria as market-based provision. They have four defining... Read More about The nature of a public service..

What is a priority? (2009)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 2009. What is a priority? Journal of health services research and policy [online], 14(2), pages 112-116. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1258/jhsrp.2008.008056

What does it mean to say that something is a priority? Priority setting is used to balance competing claims for resources, but the nature of the exercise is ambiguous. The priorities which are claimed might be for time, resources, process, rights or... Read More about What is a priority?.

The ethics of policy research. (2007)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 2007. The ethics of policy research. Evidence and policy: a journal of research, debate and practice [online], 3(1), pages 99-118. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1332/174426407779702148

Codes of ethics governing research in social science have tended to focus on the rights of participants in research. This focus is too narrow to be an effective guide for ethical policy research. Some typical problems concern the development of organ... Read More about The ethics of policy research..

Five types of complexity. (2005)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 2005. Five types of complexity. Benefits, 13(1), pages 5-9.

This article describes five types of complexity in the operation of social security benefits. The first is intrinsic complexity: some benefits are complex in their concept, structure or operation. The second is extrinsic: systems become complicated w... Read More about Five types of complexity..

Developing indicators: issues in the use of quantitative data about poverty. (2004)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 2004. Developing indicators: issues in the use of quantitative data about poverty. Policy and politics [online], 32(4), pages 431-440. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1332/0305573042009499

Indicators are often confused with measures. This article argues that precise measurement is often inappropriate in relation to complex, multidimensional issues such as poverty. A good indicator should be understood as a pointer, not a measure. It sh... Read More about Developing indicators: issues in the use of quantitative data about poverty..

Matching services to needs in the health care of elderly people. (1997)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. and HANSLIP, J. 1997. Matching services to needs in the health care of elderly people. Health services management research, 10(1-2), pages 113-120. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/095148489701000112

This paper is based on the results of a postal enquiry to health care professionals working in the care of elderly people in a Scottish Health Board. Responses fall into three main categories. The first refers to issues of process, where lack of info... Read More about Matching services to needs in the health care of elderly people..

Perceived mismatches between needs and services in the health care of elderly people. (1994)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. and HANSLIP, J. 1994. Perceived mismatches between needs and services in the health care of elderly people. Scottish medical journal [online], 39(6), pages 172-174. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/003693309403900606

A postal enquiry to professionals involved in service delivery points to a number of problems in the process of referring elderly people appropriately. These problems related to lack of choice and constrained options, rather than mis-referral through... Read More about Perceived mismatches between needs and services in the health care of elderly people..

Understanding particularism. (1994)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 1994. Understanding particularism. Critical social policy [online], 13(39), pages 5-20. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/026101839401303901

Particularism refers to the idea that different moral standards apply to different people. This view is inherently discriminatory. The universal application of moral principles has been challenged in 'communitarian' critiques, which argue that moral... Read More about Understanding particularism..

Planning for the needs of people with dementia. (1992)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. and GORDON, D. 1992. Planning for the needs of people with dementia. Scottish medical journal [online], 37(2), pages 38-40. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/003693309203700203

Provision for people with dementia requires a complex mix of different kinds of services, primarily concerned with maintenance and support rather than treatment. In principle, planning for their needs begins with assessment of the problems, a review... Read More about Planning for the needs of people with dementia..

Equality versus solidarity. (1992)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 1992. Equality versus solidarity. Government and opposition [online], 27(1), pages 66-77. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1477-7053.1992.tb00767.x

Although equality and solidarity are often thought of as constituent parts of the same ideological framework, there are inconsistencies between them. Both concepts refer to a range of meanings: equality can refer to equal treatment, opportunity or re... Read More about Equality versus solidarity..

The principle of subsidiarity and the social policy of the European Community. (1991)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 1991. The principle of subsidiarity and the social policy of the European Community. Journal of European social policy [online], 1(1), pages 3-14. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/095892879100100102

The idea of ’subsidiarity’ has been gaining influence within the European Community. ’Subsidiarity’ is based on a view of society in which responsibilities are conditioned by the closeness of people’s relationships. Intervention at higher levels of s... Read More about The principle of subsidiarity and the social policy of the European Community..

Charles Booth: the examination of poverty. (1990)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 1990. Charles Booth: the examination of poverty. Social policy and administration [online], 24(1), pages 21-38. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9515.1990.tb00322.x

Charles Booth's studies of poverty are widely misrepresented in the literature of social policy. His work is commonly bracketed with Rowntree's, but his methods were quite different. His definition of poverty was explicitly relative; he based the des... Read More about Charles Booth: the examination of poverty..

Social work and self-determination. (1990)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 1990. Social work and self-determination. British journal of social work [online], 20(3), pages 221-236. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bjsw.a055683

Self-determination is a curious concept, related to, but not quite the same as, freedom and autonomy. As an ethical principle, the principle of self-determination bears little relationship to the way social workers behave. It is used as if clients we... Read More about Social work and self-determination..

Poverty and depressed estates: a critique of Utopia on trial. (1987)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 1987. Poverty and depressed estates: a critique of Utopia on trial. Housing studies [online], 2(4), pages 283-292. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/02673038708720608

Alice Coleman's Utopia on Trial explains the incidence of social problems in council housing in terms of the design of the estates. This paper offers an alternative explanation. Many issues which appear to be problems of planning, design, maintenance... Read More about Poverty and depressed estates: a critique of Utopia on trial..

Concepts of need in housing allocation. (1987)
Journal Article
SPICKER, P. 1987. Concepts of need in housing allocation. Policy and politics [online], 15(1), pages 17-27. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1332/030557387782514636

Policies for the allocation of council housing are subject to considerable local variation. Despite the differences, the schemes which housing departments have developed seem often to reflect a common understanding of the concept of 'need'. Their emp... Read More about Concepts of need in housing allocation..