Comparative Administration Change

Comparative Administration Change: Lessons Learned

JON PIERRE
PATRICIA W. INGRAHAM
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 360
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt80j26
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  • Book Info
    Comparative Administration Change
    Book Description:

    Providing important insights into the origins of policy ideas, the qualities and capabilities of leaders, the nature and challenges of large organizational changes, and the complexity of efforts to evaluate the outcomes of reform, the contributors consider aspects of public administration reform in countries such as Canada, Thailand, Mexico, and China as well as the ways in which changes have been shaped by global forces, national values, traditions, and culture. An invaluable work for understanding the new challenges faced by the governments around the world, Comparative Administration Change and Reform offers a clear analysis of both the successes and failures of reform and should be read by anyone interested in politics, administration, and public sector reform.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8384-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Ideas In Action: Why the Reality of the Administrative Reform Grinder Matters
    (pp. 3-12)
    PATRICIA INGRAHAM and JON PIERRE

    Public management reform was a compelling target of analysis and scholarly thought for much of the late twentieth century. The issues addressed by the reforms ranged widely, at some point including topics such as public sector productivity, public sector change, effective governance, and institutionalism. As disparate as these concepts might appear, there are complex interrelationships among them. Inherent in these relationships and connections is a growing body of evidence of the coming of age of public management, both as an empirical phenomenon and as an academic object of study. This is evident in the ever clearer difficulties of transposing private...

  5. PART ONE THE IDEAS OF REFORM:: REFORMING GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

    • 1 Change and Continuity: An Institutional Approach to Institutions of Democratic Government
      (pp. 15-48)
      JOHAN P. OLSEN

      It is commonplace to argue that political institutions are a source of inertia and resistance to change. Institutions are seen as excessively static and likely to remain on the same path unless some effort is made to divert them. It is also a commonplace to claim that the “new institutionalism” as an approach to political life is not useful for making sense of institutional change, planned or not. The assumed inability to explain change is a result, because the new institutionalism is overly structuralist and does not grant purposeful actors a proper role. The approach does not deal adequately with...

  6. PART TWO THE IDEAS OF REFORM:: LEADERS AND CHANGE

    • 2 New Public Leadership for Public Service Reform
      (pp. 51-67)
      GEERT BOUCKAERT

      Increasingly, countries are coping with new challenges that will require improved mechanisms to take the lead in guiding, controlling, and evaluating societal reforms. In this chapter I describe six competencies that governments will need in order to cope with volatile environments and that will require new leadership to foster public service reform and to interconnect with other leaders in public management and public governance. Reform will require not just new models for governing (Peters 1996) but also new types of political, administrative, and citizen leadership.

      In an OECD report,Government of the Future(OECD 2000), the question, “Why public management...

    • 3 Leaders and Leadership in Administrative Reform
      (pp. 68-88)
      IAN THYNNE

      Leaders and leadership clearly matter. This proposition is no less relevant to administrative reform than it is to most other aspects of governance, politics, and management. It recognizes that when we seek to understand the reform of administrative systems, structures, and operations, there is definite merit in considering the contributions of senior politicians and administrators. For, whatever the context, political and administrative leaders determine the focus, scope, and extent of reform. Accordingly, any study of reform ideas, initiatives, and results, both within and across national boundaries, needs to appreciate the nature and significance of leaders and their involvement.

      The leader-leadership...

  7. PART THREE THE IDEAS OF REFORM:: MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AND OTHER REFORMED TOOLS

    • 4 Simply the Best? The International Benchmarking of Reform and Good Governance
      (pp. 91-113)
      CHRISTOPHER POLLITT

      So there we have it: the ultimate comparison. Of the 212 countries compared, Denmark is the most effectively governed country in the world, and Somalia is the worst. And those Italians — well, what would you expect? Such magical figures could threaten to put oldfashioned comparativists like Guy Peters out of business. No longer does one need to wade through all those pages of description and analysis (and associated caveats): now there are these powerful, convenient, summary statistics. As their chief architects say, “a useful role of the aggregate indicators is that they allow us to summarize in a compact way...

    • 5 Cyber-bureaucracy: If Information Technology Is So Central to Public Administration, Why Is It So Ghetto-ized?
      (pp. 114-136)
      CHRISTOPHER HOOD and HELEN MARGETTS

      It has now been seventy-odd years since the first computers appeared, over forty years since digital information technology came to be widely used as an instrument for the delivery of public services (for instance, in criminal records and tax and welfare payments), and more than a decade since the internet began to revolutionize the way individuals exchange information with government. But even in an age of egovernment and cyber-bureaucracy, information technology remains curiously ghetto-ized in public administration, both in theory and in practice (see Hood and Margetts 2007; Dunleavy et al. 2006).

      In the world of practice, information technology spending...

  8. PART FOUR THE DESIGN OF REFORM:: THE EVOLUTION OF POLICY TOOLS

    • 6 Reforming Management and Management Systems: Impacts and Issues
      (pp. 139-156)
      JOHN HALLIGAN

      The reform era elevated “management” as a core concept of public sectors, a centrality reflected in the reform slogans of managerialism and new public management (NPM). After two or so decades of reform the question of the long-term impact of management is of interest and the question of how it has been accommodated within the more recent focus on public governance.

      In this chapter, these questions are addressed first by examining the standing of management and management systems and how they have evolved during the reform era. Specialized management systems can be examined separately, and management generically, but management is...

  9. PART FIVE THE DESIGN OF REFORM:: WESTERN IDEAS AND MODELS IN NON-WESTERN SETTINGS

    • 7 Implementing Developed Countries’ Administrative Reforms in Developing Countries: The Case of Mexico
      (pp. 159-181)
      JOSÉ LUIS MÉNDEZ

      The year 2003 saw the approval in Mexico of a merit civil service, introducing elements contained in the traditional approach to civil service (merit entry, for instance), as well as elements closer to the so-called new public management (such as performance assessment). In that context, there are at least two questions of interest, given this book’s approach. The first one asks, how did the administrative ideas or reforms in developed countries influence the reforms in a developing country like Mexico? To answer this question, the first section of this chapter will discuss the administrative trends in those countries, and the...

    • 8 Western Models and Administrative Reform in China: Pragmatism and the Search for Modernity
      (pp. 182-206)
      JOHN P. BURNS

      Political leaders play a key role in the initiation and implementation of public management reform (Pollitt and Boukhaert 2000). In various contexts they perceive the need for reform, draft reform proposals, assess their feasibility, and sell them to the bureaucracy and the public. Which reforms get on a public management reform agenda depends largely on the convergence of problems, policies, and politics (Kingdon 1995). In the process leaders look around for reform ideas and in an increasingly globalized world, their search can be global. This paper examines the incentives political leaders have to investigate and adopt “Western” models of public...

    • 9 Bureaucrats, Politicians, and the Transfer of Administrative Reform into Thailand
      (pp. 207-230)
      BIDHYA BOWORNWATHANA

      This chapter investigates the transfer of ideas about administrative reform from developed countries into the Thai polity from the perspectives of bureaucrats and politicians. They play key roles in shaping the diffusion of reform into the Thai polity. Since administrative reform involves changing their attitudes, the powerful bureaucrats and politicians tend to block attempts to introduce administrative reform that may jeopardize their power and authority in the public sector. After a reform is introduced, it meets with stiff resistance, and the intended results do not occur. Instead, reform hybrids are created that prolong or augment the traditional power of bureaucrats...

  10. PART SIX CHANGE AND REFORM IN A MULTINATIONAL CONTEXT

    • 10 Change and Reform in the European Union
      (pp. 233-256)
      ALBERTA M. SBRAGIA

      The European Union has grown ever more important as its membership has increased along with the range of policy areas under its jurisdiction. It is now a global actor in many areas, as well as a major force in its member states’ policy environment. The unique nature of the EU, which differs from both traditional states and traditional international organizations, is such that its features can seem either quite familiar or quite the opposite, depending on the characteristic chosen for analysis. Neither a state nor simply a multilateral institution, it combines the attributes of an intergovernmental organization with those of...

  11. PART SEVEN LOOKING BACK AT REFORM EFFORTS:: WHAT WORKED?

    • 11 Success and Failure of Reform: Taking Stock
      (pp. 259-277)
      DONALD J. SAVOIE

      We have witnessed numerous attempts at reforming government operations throughout the Western world, but particularly in Anglo-American democracies, during the past thirty years. Some of the reforms were inspired by private sector management practices, others by a desire on the part of the political executive to exert greater authority over the shaping of public policies, others by a willingness to improve the delivery of public services to “clients,” and still others by the need to deal with demanding fiscal challenges. This chapter takes stock of the various reform measures from a comparative perspective, but with a focus on Anglo-American democracies....

    • 12 Conclusions: The Future of Public Managements
      (pp. 278-286)
      JON PIERRE

      In 1990, the Caidens, reflecting on the state of comparative public administration research, argued that “one thing certain about the future of comparative public administration is that it has one” (Caiden and Caiden 1990, 384). As the chapters in this volume all seem to testify, the same statement could be made about the future of public management as an empirical phenomenon and as a research field; the one thing certain is that it has one. As the preceding chapters also suggest, however, there is much to suggest that the future of public management will look rather different compared to its...

  12. Contributors
    (pp. 287-288)
  13. References
    (pp. 289-336)
  14. Index
    (pp. 337-349)