Public Services Management According to Term Paper

  • Length: 14 pages
  • Subject: Business - Management
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #67874481

Excerpt from Term Paper :

" (Bissessar, nd) the evidence showed, however "that the choice of 'new' methods of management had become a regional fad. Indeed the universality of NPM could not be disputed." (Bissessar, nd) New Public Management had been introduced in many countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia and "was accordingly considered a more than appropriate model for the Caribbean and Latin American states as well." (Bissessar, nd)

There were various differences in the models of NPM being introduced in each of these countries. Bissessar states that "variations in the extent to which NPM had been adopted in many countries was not a new phenomenon." (Bissessar, nd) Hood (1996) notes that "...some countries have placed more emphasis on ideas than other countries, and NPM styles have even varied within the same family groups' of countries." (Bissessar, nd) it is noted that in Australia, the UK and New Zealand held a tendency for decentralization of personnel management "to line departments away from central personnel agencies..." (Bissessar, nd) no such move had been made in Japan in which the National Personnel Authority was actually provided more strength in the 1980s. Another contention is that while some countries such as Denmark, New Zealand and Sweden had adopted pay-for-performance policies that Germany had not followed suit.


The work of Hood (1991) makes the contention that there are "seven doctrinal precepts which appear in most discussion of the NPM. He regards the NPM as a 'marriage of opposites' of two different streams of ideas. One is the new institutional economics of public choice, transactions cost theory, and principal-agent theory, which generated a set of administrative reform doctrines built around the ideas of contestability, user choice, transparency and the use of incentive structures. The other element in this combination is the business type 'manageralism' drawing on the notions of scientific management and incorporating a set of doctrines based on professional management, freedom to manage and high discretionary power for the manager. The rise of the NPM was inextricably linked with the prevailing political situation in the UK in the 1980s and early 1990s." (Hewison, 2004) Therefore, the shift or transformation which occurred was one that shifted to active 'manageralism' from the consensus management that had history been typically used by public service agencies. There is stated in the work of Hewison, who cites the work of Wilson & Doig (1996) to be no actual "single or unified model of the NPM, rather it is a short-hand term for a range of principles which have been applied in a variety of ways and have different effects." (Hewison, 2004) the work of Ferlie et al. (1996) states that "There is no clear or agreed definition of what the new public management actually is and not only is there controversy about what is, or what is in the process of becoming, but also what it ought to be. (Ferlie et al., 1996; p. 10)

The work of Michael Barzelay entitled; "The New Public Management: Improving Research and Policy Dialogue" (2001) relates that New Public Management "is a field of discussion largely about policy interventions within executive government. The characteristic instruments of such policy interventions are institutional rules and organizational routines affecting expenditure planning and financial management, civil service and labor relations, procurement, organization and methods, and audit and evaluation. These instruments exercise pervasive influence over many kinds of decisions within government." (Barzelay, 2001) These instruments do not make determination of the "scope or programmatic content of governmental activity" yet at the same time "these government-wide institutional rules and organizational routines affect how government agencies are managed, operated and overseen: they structure that art of the governmental process usefully described as public management." (Barzelay, 2001) Barclay states that New Public Management (NPM) is related to analysis in a systematic manner as well as the management of public management policy.

Barzelay relates that this policy domain relates to all government-wide, centrally managed institutional rules and routines affecting the public management process." (2001) Because of this the domain of NPM "encompasses multiple organizations within government, including central agencies responsible for budgeting, accounting, civil service and labor relations, efficiency and quality, auditing and evaluation. Systematic analysis involves clear argumentation about the relationship between context, goals, policy instruments and choices." (Barzelay, 2001) This type of systematic management is a process of decision making that "is both informed by analysis and well adapted to the political and organizational forces that shape decisions and their downstream effects." (Barzelay, 2001) New Policy Management is rooted in systematic management and policy analysis. Barzelay writes that NPM is a field of discussion surrounding public management policy and states that there are two primary elements and the first of which "focuses on the political and organizational processes through which policy change takes place." (Barzelay, 2001) According to Barzelay the processes are "influenced by a host of conditions, both institutional and non-institutional. Institutional processes are that such as the "overall structure of the governmental system and the specific organization of central administrative responsibilities" (Barzelay, 2001) while non-institutional are those such as "policy spillover and interference effects." (Barzelay, 2001)

Barzelay states that it is possible to analyze policy dynamics in terms of "specific mechanisms and patterns through which policy-making processes operate." (2001) According to Barzelay the "...focus of the second element is the substantive analysis of public management policy" and is an analysis that "concerns the advantages and disadvantages of various combinations of government -wide institutional rules and routines within specified contexts." (2001) First, states Barzelay, policy conclusions "...even retrospective, evaluative ones - are supported by beliefs about government that are plausible rather than definitively true. Second, analysis takes place in a dialectical context where disagreement arises because of the variety of beliefs, expertise, and interests that are relevant to the choice of management controls in government." (Barzelay, 2001) the categories of process and substance are broad categories and provide structure to the "abstract conception of NPM...thinking of NPM in these terms helps to focus inquiry on each of the two key issues of public policy analysis - feasibility and desirability - that are relevant for policy-makers." (Barzelay, 2001) as well, a focus on these issues of analysis further makes the provision of a "more definitive context for discussing methods for conducting research and argumentation on public management policy." (Barzelay, 2001) Because of this, the conception of NPM from this view is much better for learning from experience than was the initial formulation of NPM.

Barzelay (2001) relates the evolution of NPM as follows:

The concept of New Public Management - originated in NPM3 (Hood and Jackson, 1991; Hood, 1991)

NPM was initially characterized as "an international trend. The essence of the trend was distilled from an array of specific ideas about management and government drawn from NPM1 and NPM2 (Hood, 1991) an influential account identified two paradigms of ideas, public choice and managerialism (Aucoin, 1990).

The main empirical referents of the trend were the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand in the 1980s.

The case of New Zealand acquired special significance in both NPM2 and NPM3 for two main reasons. First policy change took place across a wide range of distinct areas - expenditure planning, financial management, organization, civil service, and labor relations - within a single-three parliamentary mandate (Boston et al., 1991)

Barzelay relates that the New Zealand case "thereby demonstrated even more clearly than the United Kingdom under Margeret Thatcher that public management had become a policy domain. Second, the New Zealand Treasury's deliberations and policy arguments were framed in terms of economic theories of organization and government." (2001) Barzelay states that this type of argumentation "was high unconventional in public management policy-making. The conjecture of rapid comprehensive change in public management policies and an unconventional pattern of argumentation made by the New Zealand case (NPM1) especially noteworthy." (2001)

In professional and academic discussion, countries were public management policy change has been less than comprehensive were labeled as 'laggards'. (Aucoin, 1995; as cited in Barzelay, 2001)

The notion that the NPM is a widely applicable blueprint for the organizational design of the public sector in commonplace in professional discussion.

Some scholars in continental Europe argued that NPM is an Anglo-American model whose relevance outside its core cases is highly questionable. (Barzelay, 2001)

Barzelay states that is the field of discourse concerning NPM " to be more useful for practitioners, a decisive turn away from its initial contours is required. Adopting a public policy approach to this subject constitutes such a turn." (2001)


The work of Hood (1991) is stated to have "...signaled a new departure in the study of management of public sector organizations...before this the study of public administration, as it was called, was based on the belief that there is a major difference between private and public administration and management." (Hewison, 2004; p. 27) it has been argued by some that the distinction should be…

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