Motivation and commissioning: perceived and expressed motivations of care home providers

Social Policy & Administration (Impact Factor: 0.57). 01/2008; DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2007.00594.x

ABSTRACT Commissioning of social care for older people has seen major changes since the early 1990s. Considerable responsibility now rests with local authority staff, whose views of care home providers’ motivations, their perceived strengths and weaknesses as service providers, will have a bearing on commissioning decisions. We examine commissioners’ views of provider motivations in eight English local authorities and compare their perceived motivations with providers’ expressed motives. Data were collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews with commissioners and care home providers. Providers are generally perceived by commissioners as highly altruistic, but also relatively financially motivated individuals. Further analysis revealed significantly different views towards profit-maximizing, which commissioners perceive as very important, while providers consider it to be of little motivational value. Private sector providers are described by commissioners as significantly more motivated by personal income. Associations are found between commissioners’ perceptions of motivations and the nature of their relationships with providers. Perceptions of providers’ motivations appear important within the commissioning framework.