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Still, compared to most Asian countries, which continue to struggle with highly hierarchical political systems, South Korea has developed and implemented more open reforms. It has to be noted that the efforts made to better reform the South Korean public sector have been determined by a natural sense of alignment to international features and a relative emergence of the country from its communist past.
In both cases of South Korea and New Zealand, the implementation of the reform has generated important impacts on all three components of the public sector mix -- the market, the hierarchy and the networks. As it would be generally expected, the principles of the market were adopted into the public sector. The federal agencies became more focused on efficiency, performance and even began to outsource part of their operations. A particular application of the market principles within the public context is the creation of the electronic government, understood as " new government domain which a country including tangible and intangible governance activities, facility and construction as well as the ground, underground, and sea is digitalized in similar with the real nation" (Lee, 2007). Among its benefits, one can point out to the fact that it reduces corruption, it empowers the citizens to take part in the decision making process, it increases transparency or it improves the quality of the public services (Bhatngar, 2004).
In terms of hierarchies, some of them were removed from the context in order to create a more relaxed environment, in which several informal networks allowed the participants and the system to thrive.
4. Convergence towards a Similar Public Management Model
In a context of increasingly popular new public sector management, a question is being posed relative to the future applicability of the reform. The opinions within the specialized literature vary, just as do the opinions relative to the up to day measurable impacts of the reform. But in general, opinions regarding each and every individual topic differ. The view of the individual is often based on the personal experiences it has had with the new public sector management, his own system of thinking as well as the materials to which he has been subjected.
As a personal opinion, this reader tends to believe that most countries on the globe will, sooner or later, converge to the new public sector management reform and system. The main reason supporting this view is given by the rapid pace of development characterizing the modern society. For instance:
The growing forces of globalization and market liberalization have allowed for economic agents to transcend boundaries and set operations in foreign locations -- this situation creates a necessity for modern legislation which can only be achieved through a reform of the public management sector.
The private sector has comprehended the importance of the staff members. They now cherish the employees as the most valuable organizational asset. And while this is important in all organizations, it is even more pivotal within service providing companies. In a context in which major differences occur in the treatment of the private and the public employees, the latter category is expected to decrease its performances and to seek employment within the private sector. As such, federal institutions do not afford to not reform their systems.
A third reason is derived from the field of information technology and communications. This domain has, in the recent years, set a rapid speed of development. It is now necessary that all public and private institutions use the latest technological applications in order to be able to keep up with the changes in the society.
In such a context, it becomes not only advisable to reshape the public sector so that it becomes better able to answer the emergent requirements, but such a decision is imperative. Federal agencies do not afford to not modernize their sector.
A final argument in support of the previously mentioned belief is given by the incremental popularity of the electronic government. It is retrieved from the broader idea of electronic governance, which sees the efficient implementation of technologies within the public sector.
The concepts and tool of the electronic government were implemented as early and the 1990s decade, but most of the results were only observable during the 2000s. For three consecutive decades prior to the electronic government, the populations had been gradually losing trust in the federal institutions. Yet, as electronic governance took shape, the people began to once again trust the state.
Now, as the globe still struggles with the internationalized economic crisis, a question is being posed relative to the future of electronic government, as a component of the measures aimed to reform the public sector management. The national responses has been conflicting, with some countries reducing their e-government efforts to reallocate the resources, while others increased their efforts to enhance the electronic government. This second category of countries is the one which stands the most chances of sooner overcoming the crisis, developing and implementing the most adequate strategies and policies, and regaining the trust of the people, all to sit at the basis of the countries' economic and social reconstruction (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, 2009). Following this line of thoughts then, it is safe to assume that, at one point in the future, all countries will converge towards a similar model of public sector management.
The contemporaneous community forces the individual and the group to face numerous challenges. Examples of such challenges include the incremental need to better serve the needs of the various stakeholder categories, to protect the environment or to motivate the teams. The economic agents recognized that the best means to addressing these new complexities was to develop and implement strategies focused on operational efficiency, work ethics and dynamics, profit maximization, efficient resource allocation, personnel training and motivation and so on. Gradually, the lessons have been learnt by the federal agencies, which began to implement these concepts at the level of public sector management.
The decision generates mutations in the composition of the public sector mix. In this order of ideas, the principles of the market are being introduced within the public sector to increase its performances and its competitiveness. However, as the market principles are being integrated into the administration, the hierarchical structures are being gradually removed. In exchange, they are being replaced with more informal networks. Today, most public sector agencies continue to function based on hierarchies, but networks are becoming more popular.
Given the current global status, as well as the lessons learnt from countries which already implemented the new public sector management concepts, the belief is that, at one point or the other, the future will bring about a convergence of the countries towards a public sector management model drawn from market principles. For now, the scope remains the overcoming of the crisis.
Bhatnagar, S.C., 2004, E-government from vision to implementation: a practical guide with case studies, SAGE, ISBN 0761932593
Boston, J., 2001, The challenge of evaluating systemic change: the case of public management reform in New Zealand, Learning from International Public Management Reform, Vol. 11
Davies, L., Wright, K., Price, C.W., Experience of Privatization, Regulation and Competition: Lessons for Governments, Economics and Social Research Council, ISSN 1745-9648
Fortin, Y., van Hassel, H., 2000, Contracting in the new public management: from economics to law and citizenship, IOS Press, ISBN 158603037X
Freeman, J., Minow, M., 2009, Government by contract: outsourcing and American democracy, Harvard University Press, ISBN 067403208X
Lee, DH, 2007, e-Government and digital city in Korea, Information and Communications University, Korea
Salminen, A., 2003, Governing networks: EGPA yearbook, IOS Press, ISBN 1586033212
Scott, G., 2001, Public management reforms and lessons from experience in New Zealand, The World Bank Research Observer, February Edition
2010, The financial and economic crisis -- Impact on e-government in OECD countries, Organization…[continue]
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