Public Sector Management: Beyond the Hype - Page 7


What have we learned from the new public sector management? There is no doubt that old moulds have been broken. Very few view the public sector through the lens of traditional public administration. There is a radicalism in the way in which the public sector management is perceived. New moulds, however, as yet, do not exist. There is no dominant Weltanschaung. Models of the new public sector management, which incorporate recent developments in thinking about the role of the state and the locus of the interface between the public and private sectors, are emerging but are not fully crafted. These new models both reflect and guide the cultural change which is running through the public sectors around the world. Cultural change takes time. It takes much longer than many of the change makers originally supposed. Change also has to be managed and learned and in many instances that learning has been painful. There are costs of transition which cannot be ignored. The neoclassical model of change as an instantaneous costless process is a myth of text book writers. Anyone who has observed the adjustments to a market economy which the economies of the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern European states have endured will testify to this. Successful change needs learning mechanisms. Learning is, however, continuous and not periodic. One of the challenges facing public service organisations is to put in place those mechanisms that will enable public service managers to cut through the hype and learn from the implementation of policies and practices.


(1) see various issues of Public Money and Management; articles by Walker, Hood, Shand, and Bichard in The Public Finance Foundation Review August 1995; the special issue of Public Administration (ed) R.A.W. Rhodes, Spring 1991; D. McKevitt and A. Lawton (eds) Public Sector Management: Sage, 1994; S. Ranson and J. Stewart, Management for the Public Domain: Macmillan, 1994; C. Pollitt, Managerialism and The Public Services: Blackwell; 1990. A. Rose and A. Lawton, Public Services Management, Financial Times, Prentice Hall 1999. This is only a selection of a rapidly developing literature.
(2) H. Glennerster (1994) "New Challenges for Management Accounting: Issues in Health and Social Services" Financial Accountability and Management Vol 10, No 2, ppl3l-141.
(3) A. Dunsire, K. Hartley, and D. Parker (1991) "Organisational Status and Performance: a summary of the findings" Public Administration, Vol 69, No 1, pp2l-40.
(4) M. Bishop and J. A. Kay (1989) Privatisation in the United Kingdom: lessons World Development Vol 17, No 5, see also P. M. Jackson (1995) "Privatisation of the British Public Sector: An Assessment of a Policy Innovation".
(5) M. Bishop, J. A. Kay and C. Mayer (1994) Privatisation and Economic Performance, Oxford University Press.
(6) for a survey of the State of the art see P. M. Jackson (1995) Measures for Success in the Public Sector: CIPFA/PFF London.
(7) see P. M. Jackson and D. R. Palmer (1992) Developing Performance Monitoring in Public Sector Organisations Leicester University.
(8) see J. Le Grand (1991) "Quasi markets and Social Policy", J. Le Grand and W. Bartlett (eds) Economic Journal, September (1993). Quasi Markets and Social Policy, Macmillan;
P. M. Jackson (1994) "The New Public Sector Management: Surrogate Competition and Contracting Out", in P.M. Jackson and C. M. Price Privatisation and Regulation, Longmans.
(9) see M. Sako (1992) Prices Quality and Trust: Inter Firm Relations in Britain and Japan: Cambridge University Press.
(10) see J.B. Quinn (1977) "Strategic Change: Logical Incrementalism", Sloan Management Review, Fall; H. Mintzberg (1978) "Patterns of Strategy Formation", Management Science, May; H. Mintzberg (1987) "Crafting Strategy", Harvard Business Review.

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