International Public Management Network (IPMN)

Vol. 4, No. 1

Book review: Innovating with Integrity. How Local Heroes are Transforming American Government
Book review: New Public Management
Letting and making managers manage: the effect of control systems on management action in New Zealand’s central government
Managing airports: a test of the New Public Management
Origin and theoretical basis of New Public Management
Public management in Russia: changes and inertia
The diffusion of managerial innovations: a comparison of Australian public and private sector take-up rates of new organizational 
      practices

Documents

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The diffusion of managerial innovations: a comparison of The diffusion of managerial innovations: a comparison of

Filesize: 79.13 kB

Ian Palmer, Richard Dunford

Innovative approaches to organization and management are advocated for both public and private sector organizations, yet few attempts have been made to compare the relative take-up rates of these innovations in the two sectors. In this paper we report the results of an Australian study of the use of nine new organizational practices and observe that managers in government-owned commercial enterprises and private sector organizations have a similar view of the nature of their external environment, a similar level of use of these new practices, and a similar level of formalization and centralization. We then discuss the relevance of economic/rational and neo-institutional theories to these findings.

Public management in Russia: changes and inertia Public management in Russia: changes and inertia

Filesize: 108.86 kB

Lev Jakobson

Public sector reforms in Russia are typically half-hearted attempts at privatization. At the same time, there are attempts to bring about bureaucratization in a Weberian sense by increasing the role of formal rules. Given the Russian tradition of disloyalty to rules, however, all attempts to establish some sort of Rechtsstaat (law and order) are likely to fail in the short run. It is essential for the government to build social capital through more public consultation and improved accountability to the public. But the development of civil society in Russia will take time. In the short term, creating new kinds of management teams could be the next best approach to solving the resource and management problems in the public sector.

Origin and theoretical basis of New Public Management Origin and theoretical basis of New Public Management

Filesize: 148.18 kB

Gernod Gruening

The article describes the characteristics of New Public Management (NPM) and gives a cursory overview of the development of the behavioral-administrative sciences and their relation to NPM. A descriptive model of the behavioral-administrative sciences is developed that pits three internally consistent scientific worldviews that are incommensurable to each other. From this, the theoretical origins of NPM can be traced to a variety of theoretical perspectives. Although the special mix of characteristics of NPM is new, it does not represent a paradigm change. Indeed, it is improbable that there will ever be one paradigm for the behavioral–administrative sciences; and without an accepted paradigm, a paradigm change is not really possible.

Managing airports: a test of the New Public Management Managing airports: a test of the New Public Management

Filesize: 80.41 kB

Asheesh Advania, Sandford Borins

New Public Management advocates privatization, competition, and managerial incentives as means to achieve the goal of improving the quality of public services. This study draws from literature on market orientation to measure the customer responsiveness of managers of both government and privately owned organizations. Using data from 201 airports, this study examines how managerial market orientation is affected by ownership status, expected privatization, competition, performance- related pay, managerial contracts for nonaeronautical activities, and a number of control variables. We find that market orientation is significantly higher for privately owned airports than for government- owned airports, and that expected privatization and competition increase market orientation. Perfor- mance-related pay and management contracts are more frequently found in privately owned than publicly owned airports. We conclude with suggestions for ways to enhance this study, if it were replicated, and consider how this approach could be applied to other public services or industries under mixed ownership.

Letting and making managers manage: the effect of control systems on management action in New Zealan Letting and making managers manage: the effect of control systems on management action in New Zealan

Filesize: 124.55 kB

Richard Norman

Business-like control systems that seek to let managers manage and hold them accountable for results have been a feature of New Zealand’s public management model since the late 1980s. In the experience of a sample of 41 Capital City public servants and consultants, these systems have clarified roles and responsibilities, created managerial freedoms and led to more transparent information. They have also fostered organizational silos and a climate of fear that inhibits innovation, as accountability and transparency have become synonymous with public and political criticism. Using a four-sided levers of control model (Simons 1995) the paper concludes that the New Zealand system over- emphasizes diagnostic controls based on formal plans and overlooks the paradox that effective control systems require a balance between control and empowerment. More balance is needed between formal reporting and more motivating, but less easily observed, controls related to organizational purpose and learning.

Book review: New Public Management (Jan-Erik Lane; London, Routledge, 2000, 256 pages paperback) Book review: New Public Management (Jan-Erik Lane; London, Routledge, 2000, 256 pages paperback)

Filesize: 29.82 kB

Alex Matheson

Jan-Erik Lane, a professor of political science in Switzerland, sets out in this book to articulate New Public Management (NPM) as a single, coherent theory of public sector management, and also to reaffirm the continuing relevance of the public sector.

Lane’s discussion of NPM makes specific reference to Australia and New Zealand, two of its most adventurous practitioners. It is perhaps mainly to a Swiss audience that Lane intends to demonstrate that NPM is intellectually respectable, and that adopting it does not mean public sector management is about to be displaced by commercial management. In a distinct discussion meant to contribute to political and policy argument in Switzerland, Lane also seeks to challenge what he sees as a misconception about the extent of the state in that country.

Book review: Innovating with Integrity. How Local Heroes are Transforming American Government (Sandf Book review: Innovating with Integrity. How Local Heroes are Transforming American Government (Sandf

Filesize: 35.63 kB

Elke Löffer

Despite increasing production of case studies on innovation in public management, we still know very little about the conditions that are conducive to public sector innovation. Sandford Borins’ study of public sector innovations is especially noteworthy because it engages in "serious hypothesis-testing rather than just more hypothesis-generation," as Alan D. Altshuler puts it in his foreword.

The data used in Borins’ empirical study are drawn from applications submitted to the Ford Foundation-Kennedy School of Government’s state and local government innovations awards program. The author limits his pool to the 217 innovative public programs reaching the semifinal round (about the top five percent of applicants) between 1990 and 1994. Selection criteria for the American semifinalists were the novelty of the innovation, its significance in addressing an important problem of both local and national concern, the value it brings to its clients and other citizens, and its transferability.