The Implementation of Contracting Out in Taiwan’s Local Governments: An Application of Q Methodology
Contracting out has been practiced in Taiwan since 1993, and the recent reform efforts are to encourage its implementation at the local government level. To ensure the success of contracting out in Taiwan, it is argued that the practical experiences of local practitioners are more helpful in designing its implementation strategy. Q methodology is applied from a “bottom-up” approach through which street-level bureaucrats are invited to contribute their opinions and to perform the Q sorting. There are at least five discourses been revealed, each of them represents a distinctive perception of contracting out on the basis of personal experiences. It is argued that contracting out has been perceived as an administrative means through which public-private relationships can be promoted and ensured. Therefore, efforts to strengthen contract and network management capacities are needed to guarantee the success of implementing contracting out at local governments in Taiwan.