What a waste

Outsourcing and how it goes wrong

Edited by Andrew Bowman, Ismail Ertürk, Peter Folkman, Julie Froud, Colin Haslam, Sukhdev Johal, Adam Leaver, Mick Moran, Nick Tsitsianis and Karel Williams

What a waste


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9240-8
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £11.99 (incl. VAT)
  • Published Date: September 2015
  • BIC Category: Central / national / federal government policies, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Economy, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Outsourcing, Society & social sciences / Central government policies, Economics, finance, business & management / Economic theory & philosophy, Sociology, Outsourcing, Economic theory & philosophy
  • Series: Manchester Capitalism


This is the first ever book to analyse outsourcing - contracting out public services to private business interests. It is an unacknowledged revolution in the British economy, and it has happened quietly, but it is creating powerful new corporate interests, transforming the organisation of government at all levels, and is simultaneously enriching a new business elite and creating numerous fiascos in the delivery of public services. What links the brutal treatment of asylum-seeking detainees, the disciplining of welfare benefit claimants, the profits effortlessly earned by the privatised rail companies, and the fiasco of the management of security at the 2012 Olympics? In a word: outsourcing.

This book, by the renowned research team at the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change in Manchester, is the first to combine 'follow the money' research with accessibility for the engaged citizen, and the first to balance critique with practical suggestions for policy reform.


1. Outsourcing fiascos and the dynamics of outsourcing
2. Routine profiteering on contracts
3. Double jeopardy, corporate fragility and the outsourcing sector
4. Centralisation and outsourcing
5. Conclusions


Sukhdev Johal is Chair in Accounting & Strategy at Queen Mary University of London

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