Part One provides a theoretical framework which helps the reader make sense of the detail contained in the later case studies. It also locates quality improvement in the special political and organizational context of the public sector. It shows how choosing a particular concept of quality has significant political and organizational consequences and also discusses how quality may be measured.
In Part Two seven case studies illuminate detailed operational issues in quality improvement by drawing on the experience of a range of different types of public services from a number of countries. The third part reviews the general lessons of the case studies in terms of fitting strategies for improvement to the purposes and circumstances of the organization in question, and reflects upon the nature of service quality and the range of approaches to its improvement.