Does ownership matter for service delivery value? an examination of citizens’ service satisfaction

Governments across the world outsource service delivery to external agents, but does ownership matter for service delivery value? Though theory points to clear ownership differences on effectiveness, there remains limited empirical evidence of the impact of ownership on citizens’ satisfaction. Focusing on local authorities in England, we draw on secondary data (2007 and 2009) to examine if ownership type matters. The findings indicate that ownership – public, non-profit, private – confers no direct benefits for citizens’ satisfaction suggesting that the outsourcing decision should not rely on unfounded assumptions about performance differentials between ownership types. The implications for public management are explored.