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Thomas Turner

Abstract

Drawing on the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS), this paper examines changes in the proportion of people aged over 50, active in the Irish labour market from 1998 to 2014. Results indicate that an increasing number of workers over 50 remain active, due mainly to the dramatic increase in the proportion of older females remaining in the labour force. By 2014 the 50 to 64 age group accounted for a quarter of all economically active people in the labour market between 15 and 64. Older workers are more likely to be employees and less likely to be employers or self-employed in 2014 compared to 1998. Older workers in lower-level occupations, particularly over the age of 60, are more likely to remain economically active. Level of education is strongly associated with the likelihood of older workers remaining economically active, particularly for the 50-59 age group and for females. .

Open access

Lorraine Ryan and Joseph Wallace

Abstract

This paper examines the conditions under which annual hours (AH) are likely to succeed or fail and the role of workplace partnership in delivering mutual gains. We explore two case studies, in one company with a positive experience and in a second where AH were regarded as a failed initiative. The case studies are constructed from interviews with trade union and management representatives in the companies involved; from secondary sources and from a worker survey. The findings echo previous research that AH can deliver mutual gains in both the presence and absence of workplace partnership (Author and Author, 2016) and that delivery of real mutual gains is the key driver of the long term viability of AH. However, the balance of mutual gains is subject to change and is strongly influenced by structural factors determining the suitability of AH to the particular enterprise.

Open access

Thomas Joseph McCabe and Sally Anne Sambrook

Abstract

This study explores the effects of New Public Management (NPM) on trust amongst nursing professionals, nurses and nurse ward managers within the British National Health Service (NHS). Thirty-nine nurses and nurse ward managers, recruited randomly, participated in semi-structured interviews. The original data, collected in 2000-2002, are re-analysed from a discourse analysis perspective. The findings support and extend contemporary research. They show that nurses have a strong professional identity and commitment and that increasing managerialism is eroding trust. Nurses both accommodate and resist managerialist discourses. They conceptualise trust in terms of their own ward environment, line-manager and colleagues. Trust is reciprocal and related to previous experiences and other factors. Trust is beneficial to healthcare organisations, healthcare professionals and their patients. Good communication and openness positively influence the development of trust. Nurse ward managers play a pivotal role in translating contested managerialist discourse into nursing practice to sustain trust and effect professional patient care.

Open access

James A. Walsh

Abstract

The evolution of spatial planning in Ireland, and more widely, has been a complex process in which many narratives have been explored at different times. In 2018 the government published the National Planning Framework (NPF) to guide and support the achievement of a challenging and potentially transformative development strategy for Ireland 2040. The NPF is grounded in a vision that sets out to be disruptive of what has become embedded as the status quo in political, administrative and planning decision-making. While it is a very innovative addition to the portfolio of government policies and strategies, it is not the first time that radical visions have been proposed. This paper reviews previous visions and plans for regional development that have been proposed over the last seventy-five years, and critically compares and contrasts the approaches represented by the National Spatial Strategy (2002–20) and the NPF (2018–40), including the subsequent draft regional spatial and economic strategies. The implications of the population projections and the proposed settlement patterns for the achievement of the NPF objective of effective regional development, which is expressed as a regional parity target, are closely examined.

Open access

Des McCafferty

Abstract

In the fifty years since the publication of the Buchanan report, Regional Studies in Ireland, Ireland has transitioned from a rural to an urban society. Although a number of spatial plans have been introduced at regional and local levels, the growth of over 1.5 million people in the urban population has occurred in the absence of any strong national-level direction of spatial or settlement policy. This paper examines the nature of urbanisation in the half-century since 1966, by looking at the development of the urban hierarchy of cities and towns. Significant long-term changes in both the structure and the spatial expression of the urban hierarchy are identified, on the basis of which urbanisation is characterised as having been deconcentrated and decentralised. The paper identifies some implications of the observed shifts for contemporary policy concerns, and in particular the 2018 National Planning Framework.

Open access

Proinnsias Breathnach

Abstract

The so-called Buchanan report, commissioned by the Irish government and published in May 1969, comprised a set of proposals for regional industrial development in Ireland over the period 1966–86. The main thrust of the report was the concentration of the great bulk of new industrial employment creation in Dublin and eight proposed ‘growth centres’. The plan provided for the creation of powerful planning authorities to oversee development in the regions. The government rejected these proposals and opted instead to continue with the existing policy of widespread dispersal of new industry. While meeting with initial success, this policy proved unsustainable in the long term. The paper reviews the implications of the Buchanan report experience for the regional planning process in Ireland, arguing that failure to learn from this experience served to undermine the National Spatial Strategy, with a similar fate likely for the forthcoming National Planning Framework.

Open access

Stephan Köppe and Muiris MacCarthaigh

Abstract

The creation of Intreo as a one-stop shop for jobseekers in Ireland occurred during the financial and sovereign debt crisis period of 2010–16. The organisational merger was the product of an extensive programme of successful administrative reorganisation and service integration that deserves attention. This article begins with an overview of the policy to merge insurance-based unemployment benefit, discretionary social welfare payments and labour market activation measures, as well as the various political and institutional rationales that led to this development. Drawing on the special issue framework concerning how the interaction of ideology, institutions and interests comes into play during policy change, we consider the contextual factors that facilitated the rapid implementation of the programme and its overall successful execution. Whilst focusing on the success, we also critically point out the inhibitors in the implementation chain, some of which predated the crisis, as well as problems during the implementation process, such as delays in the national rollout and back-office supports. We identify the main contributing factors for successful implementation of a one-stop shop for activation and unemployment services as (a) a high problem pressure, (b) a small and agile implementation team, (c) changing labour relations (e.g. binding arbitration, weakened unions) and (d) a modern communication strategy.