Northern Ireland ‘Silo mentality’ must go, says new Queen’s public sector expert

| October 5, 2011

Increased co-operation across public sector functions is vital if quality service delivery in Northern Ireland is to be maintained in the current economic climate. That’s according to international public sector expert Professor Matthias Beck, who has recently joined the staff of Queen’s University Management School.

Dr Beck, previously Director of Research at the York Management School, has been appointed Professor of Public Sector Management at the University. His main research interests are in public sector finance, infrastructure procurement and public sector risk management.

Among his first tasks will be forging relationships with civil servants, elected representatives and business leaders to ascertain how best service quality can be maintained with lower resources.

He said: “Public sector management is an issue of significant economic importance in Northern Ireland, particularly in an era of cutbacks when politicians are looking for ‘more for less’.

“I firmly believe that an increased level of co-operation across functions is essential – we must dispense with any form of ‘silo mentality’.”

Professor Beck, who said he was attracted to Queen’s by its “outstanding academic reputation”, added: “I am delighted to be joining the Management School at such an exciting time, with the imminent opening of the University’s new £15 million executive and postgraduate education centre at Riddel Hall.”

Professor Beck was educated in Germany and the United States, receiving his doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996. He has held lecturing posts at the University of Glasgow and the University of St Andrews, and was Professor of Risk Management at Glasgow Caledonian University from 1999 to 2005.

Professor Beck has recently completed a study on ‘The role and effectiveness of public-private partnerships in the development of enhanced primary care premises and services’ which was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Service Delivery and Organisation (NIHR SDO) programme. He is now serving as a Lead Reviewer for this programme.

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