Corcoran, M, Maguire, M and Williams, K (2019) Constructive ambiguity, market imaginaries and the penal voluntary sector in England and Wales. In: Privatisation and Marketisation in Criminal Justice. Policy Press, Bristol. (In Press)

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This chapter draws on the findings of a major research project on voluntary sector adaptation and resilience in the face of the mixed market in penal services that has emerged during a period of austerity and deep disruption to the social economy. Based on interviews with stakeholders, it is argued that senior personnel in the sector have developed both shared and divergent understandings (or ‘imaginaries’) of the ‘rules of engagement’ that pertain if they are to participate in this challenging and changing world of market competition. The chapter explores three broad strategic responses: (i) a greater tendency towards service diversification and commoditisation; (ii) mergers, acquisitions and seeking a place in larger consortia; (iii) varied dispositions towards market adaptive strategies. We codify the latter along the lines of Hirschman’s options of ‘exit, voice and loyalty’ (1970). However, it is shown that individual organisations often combine elements of all three dispositions, and that the overall picture of adaptation in the sector is greatly more complex and nuanced than some commentators have claimed.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an extract/chapter to be published in Privatisation and Marketisation in Criminal Justice. Details of the definitive published version and how to purchase it will be available online at:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV7231 Criminal justice administration
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Science and Public Policy
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2019 08:08
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2021 01:30

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