International Public Management Network (IPMN)

Vol. 2, No. 2

Book review: An Operational Approach to Policy Analysis: The Craft: Prescriptions for Better Analysis
Book review: The Art of the State: Culture, Rhetoric, and Public Management Book review: Unmasking Administrative Evil
Don't Try This at Home?
A New Zealand Approach to Public Mangement Reform in Mongolia
From Managerial Reform to Democratic Reformation: Towards a Deliberative Public Administration
How To Argue About  The New Public Mangement
International Public Management Network Symposium on Administratives Philosophies and Management Practice
Privatization and Corruption: Patronage vs. Spoils
Trends in Training Public Managers: A Report on a Commonwealth Seminar Useful to Whom?
Public Management Research, Social Science, and the Standpoint Problem
Using Organization Theory to Understand International Organizations: Four Models of Multilateral Decision Making

Documents

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Using Organization Theory to Understand International Organizations: Four Models of Multilateral Dec Using Organization Theory to Understand International Organizations: Four Models of Multilateral Dec

Filesize: 2.41 MB

Anna Fosdick

This article addresses an enduring public management question: "Is organizational functioning a product of politics, manage­ment, or both?" It speaks to this issue by analyzing the decisional dynamics of the world's most inclusive, and prominent international organization: the United Nations. To assess the ability of international organizations to develop and implement international public policy, this study draws upon an extensive literature in organization theory to develop four models of multilateral decision making:

· A Cognitive Ambiguity Model;

· A Bounded Pragmatism Model;

· An Organizational Expansion Model; and

· A Political Interests Model.

In considering the obstacles to effective policy, this study asks whether policy is produced by intellectual confusion, routine-based decision making, bureaucratic ego, or base political motives. This project closes by arguing for broad approaches to the politics/management continuum, and an integration of the four models.

Useful to Whom? Public Management Research, Social Science, and the Standpoint Problem Useful to Whom? Public Management Research, Social Science, and the Standpoint Problem

Filesize: 694.96 kB

Howart Frant

Answering "Big Questions" in public management will require close connections to social science, in particular political science. Yet connections are impeded by the difference in standpoint from which these questions are regarded by public management researchers and political scientists. Changing to a citizen standpoint changes the Big Questions. and pushes political science and PM research toward unification. It also makes research more useful-at least to citizens.

Trends in Training Public Managers: A Report on a Commonwealth Seminar Trends in Training Public Managers: A Report on a Commonwealth Seminar

Filesize: 812.35 kB

Sandford Borins

This article reports on a conference on issues and trends in training practicing public managers. Some trends identified include: greater competition between civil service colleges and outside providers of training; university programs that compete in this market being based in business schools or autonomous units, rather than in traditional political science departments; a convergence among training providers on the use of adult education methodology; elite training programs now playing a larger role in training the entire public service; and some civil service training institutes simultaneously identifying more closely with strategic government priorities and developing a research role comparable to the university.

Privatization and Corruption: Patronage vs. Spoils Privatization and Corruption: Patronage vs. Spoils

Filesize: 1.36 MB

Masako N. Darrough

We examine the issue of privatization of those public goods that can be provided in-house or contracted out. Such privatization appears straightforward, yet history shows otherwise. For example, the private contracting system for street cleaning in 19`h-century New York City was a failure, despite the safeguards instituted to ensure competition. The contract system was criticized for corruption, while in-house provision suffered from patronage abuses. We present two variations of the "rotten apple" theory to capture the salient features of the New York experience. The public officials and contractors were both operating under high-powered incentives, which invited opportunism. When players act strategically, the adverse effect of opportunism increases. Since the amounts of spoils can be larger than political contributions, contracting-out ends up being more costly, even though competition promotes productive efficiency. Another advantage of in-house provision is that incentives can be made low-powered by depoliticizing of the system.

International Public Management Network Symposium on Administratives Philosophies and Management Pra International Public Management Network Symposium on Administratives Philosophies and Management Pra

Filesize: 1013.8 kB

L. R. Jones

Do administrative philosophies, however defined, lead or trail change in public sector organizations? How may we define administrative philosophy and is useful to distinguish between philosophy, doctrine and justification? To what extent does academic research and theory influence administrative practice? Do academics learn most of what they theorize about from practitioners? These and other questions are addressed in this first IPMN electronic symposium.

How To Argue About  The New Public Mangement How To Argue About The New Public Mangement

Filesize: 1.88 MB

Michael Barzelay

Hood and Jackson's (1991) distinction between ad­ministrative argument and administrative philosophy has been largely overlooked in writings on NPM. This seemingly subtle distinction flows from the more obvious one between "practical argument" and "social scientific explanation." These terms refer to different scholarly prac­tices. Practical reasoning is a highly-developed form of scholarship in law, public policy, and political theory. Explanation is a highly-developed scholarly activity in political science and related disciplines. The fact that practical argument and explanation are, in principle, complementary scholarly activities in practically-oriented fields such as public management is not a reason to overlook the distinction between them. If scholars writing on NPM made more of this distinction, it might prove easier for their readers to see precisely how social science explanations and practical arguments are interrelated. Discussion of how well claims have been supported would then be facilitated. Also, it would be easier for writers to decide how to engage the NPM literature. Not only would the issues be clearer, but it would also be easier to discuss the merits of alternative approaches to tackling them. If more weight is given to the distinction between practical argumentation and social scientific research by scholars of NPM, an urgent question is: how should the scholarly practice of practical argumentation be characterized?

From Managerial Reform to Democratic Reformation: Towards a Deliberative Public Administration From Managerial Reform to Democratic Reformation: Towards a Deliberative Public Administration

Filesize: 2.14 MB
Spencer Zifcak
In the State of Victoria, Australia the Kennett govern­ment implemented a radical public sector reforms matched perhaps only in Britain and New Zealand. Responding to fiscal crisis, the Government balanced the budget, attracted new investment and capital projects, and instilled new economic confidence. However, the revolution had its costs. This article examines the effects of managerial reform on accountability and democracy. The structures, systems and methodologies of the Gov­ernment eliminated real deliberation over options, benefits and costs. The quality of public discourse between government and constituents about the democratic process was stifled. An economic and fiscal perspective replaced a political and legal understanding of public bureaucracy. The article provides a case study of Victorian reforms, and a theoretical examination of the case, suggesting that public administration should be reconceptualized in more pluralistic and democratic terms.

Don't Try This at Home? A New Zealand Approach to Public Mangement Reform in Mongolia Don't Try This at Home? A New Zealand Approach to Public Mangement Reform in Mongolia

Filesize: 1019.61 kB

Rob Laking

This article reports on proposals to implement a form of New Zealand's radical public management reforms in Mongolia, a state in transition from a Russian public administration model. The transferability of New Zealand style financial management reforms in particular is discussed in the context of a comparison of the precondi­tions and risks of centralized and decentralized financial management. Some observations are also made on the change process in developing or transitional economies contemplating major public management reform.

Book review: Unmasking Administrative Evil (by Guy D. Adams, Danny L. Balfour) Book review: Unmasking Administrative Evil (by Guy D. Adams, Danny L. Balfour)

Filesize: 301.95 kB

Alasair Roberts

Unmasking Administrative Evil attempts to warn us about the capacity of public institutions to cause pain and suffering. It acknowledges, but does not focus on, the fact that technological advances have given contemporary governments an unprecedented capacity to do harm. Instead, the authors emphasize the increasing propensity of governments to use available technologies for harmful purposes. They believe that this trend is attributable to the inability of public institutions to recognize or account for the ethical considerations associated with the use of harmful technologies. Because of these defects in our public institutions, it is argued, we live in an era in which a "new and frightening form of evil"-what the authors call "administrative evil"-has become ubiquitous (pages xx and xxix)...

Book review: The Art of the State: Culture, Rhetoric, and Public Management (by Christopher Hood) Book review: The Art of the State: Culture, Rhetoric, and Public Management (by Christopher Hood)

Filesize: 224.4 kB

Eugene Bardach

Christopher Hood, Professor of Public Administration and Public Policy at LSE, looks at "public management," and particularly its expression in "the New Public Management" (NPM), through the backward end of a telescope, locating it in a field of history measured in millennia and crossing a global range of cultures. The telescope lens is constructed of anthropologist Mary Douglas's "gridlgroup" theory of cultures. Douglas classifies all cultures into four types depending on whether they are group- or individual-centered and on whether they are governed by strong ("high-grid") or weak ("low-grid") bundles of norms, rules, and conventions. Hood judges NPM advocates to be deluded by their own version of the Whig theory of history. NPM is not, in Hood's view, inevitably going to sweep away all older doctrines of public administration with its superior rationality or its more realistic (and economistic) theory of how the world works. We have seen it all before, in many places, argues Hood; moreover, what passes for a theory based on universal truths about human nature and institutional design is just so much culture-bound parochialism....

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