Reforming the Public Sector

Reforming the Public Sector: How to Achieve Better Transparency, Service, and Leadership

GIOVANNI TRIA
GIOVANNI VALOTTI
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 311
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt127xbv
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  • Book Info
    Reforming the Public Sector
    Book Description:

    Many countries are still struggling to adapt to the broad and unexpected effects of modernization initiatives. As changes take shape, governments are challenged to explore new reforms. The public sector is now characterized by profound transformation across the globe, with ramifications that are yet to be interpreted. To convert this transformation into an ongoing state of improvement, policymakers and civil service leaders must learn to implement and evaluate change. This book is an important contribution to that end.

    Reforming the Public Sectorpresents comparative perspectives of government reform and innovation, discussing three decades of reform in public sector strategic management across nations. The contributors examine specific reform-related issues including the uses and abuses of public sector transparency, the "Audit Explosion," and the relationship between public service motivation and job satisfaction in Europe.

    This volume will greatly aid practitioners and policymakers to better understand the principles underpinning ongoing reforms in the public sector. Giovanni Tria, Giovanni Valotti, and their cohorts offer a scientific understanding of the main issues at stake in this arduous process. They place the approach to public administration reform in a broad international context and identify a road map for public management.

    Contributors include: Michael Barzelay, Nicola Bellé, Andrea Bonomi Savignon, Geert Bouckaert, Luca Brusati, Paola Cantarelli, Denita Cepiku, Francesco Cerase, Luigi Corvo, Maria Cucciniello, Isabell Egger-Peitler, Paolo Fedele, Gerhard Hammerschmid, Mario Ianniello, Elaine Ciulla Kamarck, Irvine Lapsley, Peter Leisink, Mariannunziata Liguori, Renate Meyer, Greta Nasi, James L. Perry, Christopher Pollitt, Adrian Ritz, Raffaella Saporito, MariaFrancesca Sicilia, Ileana Steccolini, Bram Steijn, Wouter Vandenabeele, and Montgomery Van Wart.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-2289-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Introduction: Challenges of Public Sector Reform
    (pp. 1-10)
    GIOVANNI TRIA and GIOVANNI VALOTTI

    Public management reform has become a priority on the political agenda of governments in major industrialized countries since the 1980s.¹ Nowadays, the reform of public administration can be considered a stable and autonomous public policy and the object of a distinct stream of studies.² According to Hood and Peters, “the formalization and normalization of the field” of public management studies is the third and last stage of maturation of this discipline.³

    The purpose of this volume is to contribute to this growing body of literature, highlighting the main issues in the ongoing reform processes, and to help develop suggestions for...

  4. PART I TRANSPARENCY:: WHEN THE AUDITOR IS THE SOCIETY

    • 1 Shedding Light or Obfuscating? Audit in an NPM World
      (pp. 13-25)
      IRVINE LAPSLEY

      This chapter examines the significance of audit in contemporary society. The role of audit within the public sphere—and its role in what has come to be called New Public Management, or NPM—has become the subject of intense debate.¹ Specifically, this discussion focuses on the extent to which audit practices and audit work have become a dominant reference point in everyday lives of citizens as they go about their business, whether in a personal capacity or in the course of fulfilling workplace commitments. In this discussion the phenomenon of audit practice is scrutinized from the perspective of whether the...

    • 2 Making Transparency Transparent: An Assessment Model for Local Governments
      (pp. 26-48)
      MARIA CUCCINIELLO, GRETA NASI and RAFFAELLA SAPORITO

      Transparency in government is a highly regarded value, often studied by academics and emphasized by practitioners. In the literature, transparency is discussed as a tool to enhance governments’ accountability, as a principle to activate for reducing public administration corruption, and as a way to distribute information on government’s performance.

      Despite these different concepts, most studies operate on a common underlying assumption: that transparency in government is a critical ingredient for efficient and well-functioning economic and political markets. More generally, transparency is seen as a cornerstone of democracy. In fact, the claim for the need for a transparent government was embedded...

  5. PART II PUBLIC SERVICE MOTIVATION:: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR PRODUCTIVITY

    • 3 Does Making a Difference Make a Difference? Answers from Research on Public Service Motivation
      (pp. 51-67)
      JAMES L. PERRY

      In a classic contribution to our insights about administrative reform, James March and Johan Olsen remind us that administrative reform typically entails two contrasting, but equally important, rhetorics.¹ One is orthodox administrative rhetoric; it speaks of the design of administrative structures to facilitate the efficiency and effectiveness of bureaucracy and is mainly prescriptive in orientation. The second is the rhetoric of realpolitik, which speaks of reform in terms of a political struggle among contending interests. Political interests seek access, representation, and policy benefits, and organizational reforms reflect which interests are victorious and what mechanisms are in place for these interests’...

    • 4 Public Service Motivation and Job Satisfaction in Various European Countries: A Tale of Caution and Hope
      (pp. 68-95)
      WOUTER VANDENABEELE, BRAM STEIJN, PETER LEISINK, FRANCESCO CERASE, ISABELL EGGER-PEITLER, GERHARD HAMMERSCHMID, RENATE MEYER and ADRIAN RITZ

      The motivation of public servants in general and public service motivation (PSM) in particular have become important issues in public administration and public management research in recent years.¹ Whereas the former refers to motivation in general, the latter refers to the motivation people have to contribute to society and is therefore a specific dimension of the broader general motivation. The discussion will hereafter focus on PSM. Much of the research has been concerned with PSM as an independent variable, trying to explain its consequences, but recent research has also examined the question of its origins.² This latter type of studies...

    • 5 Public Service Motivation: The State of the Art
      (pp. 96-126)
      NICOLA BELLÉ and PAOLA CANTARELLI

      The concept of public service motivation, or PSM, can be traced back to 1982, when Hal G. Rainey studied middle managers at four public agencies and four private organizations to understand whether they reported any differences in their reward preferences. Results found that “public managers are higher, to a statistically significant degree, on the items concerning public service and work that is helpful to others.”¹ Even though he did not use the term PSM, with this statement the author advanced the idea that public and private employees have a different motivational basis. The former are particularly attracted by motives regarding...

  6. PART III LEADERSHIP AND PUBLIC SECTOR REFORMS

    • 6 What Can We Learn from Thirty Years of Public Management Reform?
      (pp. 129-135)
      CHRISTOPHER POLLITT

      A fundamental point is that there are always at least three kinds of learning—and especially so in the case of public management reform. The first kind is simply (or not so simply) learningwhat has happened. The second isunlearning—that is, learning what errors there were in some of the views that one held oneself, or influential others held, in the past. We could call this correcting false impressions. The third kind of learning isfinding explanations: identifying reasons and processes that help us understandwhythings happened as they did.

      Public management reform is a difficult area...

    • 7 Leadership Competencies and Their Relevance to Italian Government Reform
      (pp. 136-156)
      MONTGOMERY VAN WART

      Which leadership competencies are related to government reform? Since there are different types of reform, what are the specific competencies related to those distinct reform types?¹ What types of reform are currently being instituted in Italy, through both the historic Legislative Decree 150/2009 and related legislative enactments, and how do they relate to the practical competencies needed by Italian administrators?

      There are literally hundreds of theories that explain leadership.² Some theories are meant to have universal applicability while others are intended to explain leadership in a vast array of special circumstances. Theories generally try to use as few concepts as...

    • 8 Politicians and Administrators: Two Characters in Search of a Role
      (pp. 157-170)
      MARIANNUNZIATA LIGUORI, MARIAFRANCESCA SICILIA and ILEANA STECCOLINI

      Our title is a play on the title of a celebrated Italian work first performed in 1921,Sei personaggi in cerca di autore[Six characters in search of an author], by Luigi Pirandello. Pirandello won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1934, “for his bold and ingenious revival of dramatic and scenic art.” Contemporary politicians and administrators are indeed players on a public stage, seeking their appropriate contemporary roles.

      The relationships and roles of politicians and administrators have long been a well-debated issue in the literature on public administration.¹ In the traditional model of public administration, administrators are viewed as...

  7. PART IV MEASURING PUBLIC SECTOR PERFORMANCE:: MANAGING GOVERNMENTS BY NUMBERS

    • 9 Public Sector Performance: Managing Governments by the Numbers
      (pp. 173-193)
      GEERT BOUCKAERT

      To better understand how governments manage by numbers it is necessary first to look at the logic of numbers, and then at the logic of management. The logic of numbers includes a logic of consequences and appropriateness that is applied to performance. The logic of public management has increasingly included performance measures to manage internal and external relationships. This results in four types of managing by numbers in the public sector: performance administration, managements of performances, performance management, and performance governance.

      These logics and models need to be qualified in reality. First, managing numbers as done by governments is a...

    • 10 Strategic Management in Italian Ministries: An Empirical Assessment of Gains from and Gaps in Reforms
      (pp. 194-216)
      DENITA CEPIKU, ANDREA BONOMI SAVIGNON and LUIGI CORVO

      In the two decades since 1990, governments have been facing very important challenges: the global financial and economic crisis, climate change, and demographic ageing are just the most recent of known issues that need to be addressed. Citizens are turning to the state, seeking immediate solutions to complex problems and demanding high-quality public services. While society’s expectations of government are increasing, the resources available to meet these needs are becoming increasingly limited. As the current global crisis has shown, one of the imperatives is to find a balance between providing short-term solutions to the most immediate problems and ensuring intergenerational...

  8. PART V INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON PUBLIC SECTOR REFORMS

    • 11 The Study of Public Management: Reference Points for a Design Science Approach
      (pp. 219-239)
      MICHAEL BARZELAY

      This chapter’s focus is on the study of public management itself, rather than on this field’s substantive concerns. The issue is how to conceive of good work within this field of study, where the functional role of such work is to contribute to research knowledge or to education about public management. In approaching this issue, I examine the argument that the form of the study of management should be that of a design science. I then elaborate and offer a qualified endorsement of this argument.¹

      Design science approaches to the study of management are fairly elusive. Herbert Simon discussed the...

    • 12 Government Reform and Innovation: A Comparative Perspective
      (pp. 240-259)
      ELAINE CIULLA KAMARCK

      In this chapter I examine central aspects of government reform in the contemporary era, surveying and analyzing developments and patterns in four separate historical contexts:

      1. The late-twentieth-century revolution in governance in advanced Information Age democracies

      2. The late-twentieth-century revolution in governance in the world’s developing nations

      3. The postbureaucratic state in advanced Information Age democracies

      4. The challenge of government capacity building in the developing world

      Twentieth-century government conducted its business through the governmental equivalent of the assembly line. For most of that time, in the United States and in other developed countries, the organizational structures of the private...

    • 13 Stakeholders’ Inclusion: Measuring the Performance of Interactive Decisionmaking
      (pp. 260-284)
      MARIO IANNIELLO, PAOLO FEDELE and LUCA BRUSATI

      Interactive decisionmaking has become an established practice, especially in local governments.¹ Many administrations involve citizens, social organizations, and, broadly speaking, stakeholders in the early stages of policymaking, before concrete policy proposals are developed.² The goal of what has come to be called interactive decisionmaking is to adopt better and more democratic policy decisions and to avoid recurrent problems that are encountered in usual “go it alone” decisionmaking by public officials. There are many pluses with interactive decisionmaking. It may enhance public administrations’ intangible assets and establish bridging relationships with their citizens.³ Generally speaking, stakeholders can provide decisionmakers with information they...

    • 14 Public Sector Reforms: State of the Art and Future Challenges
      (pp. 285-298)
      GIOVANNI VALOTTI

      During the meeting of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ministers held in Venice on November 15, 2010, chaired by Renato Brunetta, the Italian minister for public administration and innovation, the most crucial concern was productivity in the public sector. As stated in the conference proceedings: “Boosting public sector productivity and maximizing returns on investment in technology will be key to governments playing their part in restoring economic growth.”¹ This sentiment is supported by everyone, but what managerial guidelines and devices can be put in place to boost public sector performance?

      The basic assumption, which also triggered the recent reforms...

  9. Contributors
    (pp. 299-300)
  10. Index
    (pp. 301-311)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 312-312)