Making Tax and Social Security Decisions: Lean and Deskilling in the UK Civil Service

14 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2017

See all articles by Douglas Martin

Douglas Martin

University of Central Lancashire

Date Written: July 2017

Abstract

Lean working has had a significant impact on the work skills of civil servants. This study examines the impact of lean specifically focusing on ‘decision‐makers’, those civil servants engaged in deciding tax and social security claims. Using qualitative data from trade union members and stewards in two major government departments, this study found significant evidence of deskilling often in the face of dealing with potentially complex legal and factual issues. Using Mashaw’s framework of administrative justice, the article argues that management’s use of lean was evidence of an accelerated shift to a managerial model of administering tax and benefits where the administrative processes of decision‐making become paramount at the expense of the quality of the decisions made.

Keywords: Lean working, Administrative justice, Deskilling, Decision‐making, Civil service, Tax, Social security

Suggested Citation

Martin, Douglas, Making Tax and Social Security Decisions: Lean and Deskilling in the UK Civil Service (July 2017). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 32, Issue 2, pp. 146-159, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3008931 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12092

Douglas Martin (Contact Author)

University of Central Lancashire ( email )

The Lancashire Law School
Corporation Street
Preston, PR1 2HE
United Kingdom

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