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The New Public Management

The New Public Management: Improving Research and Policy Dialogue

Michael Barzelay
Copyright Date: 2001
Edition: 1
Pages: 238
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  • Book Info
    The New Public Management
    Book Description:

    How policymakers should guide, manage, and oversee public bureaucracies is a question that lies at the heart of contemporary debates about government and public administration. In their search for better systems of public management, reformers have looked in particular at the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. These countries are exemplars of the New Public Management, a term used to describe distinctive new themes, styles, and patterns of public service management. Calling for public management to become a vibrant field of public policy, this valuable book consolidates recent work on the New Public Management and provides a basis for improving research and policy debate on managing public bureaucracies.A copublication with the Russell Sage Foundation

    eISBN: 978-0-520-92527-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures and Boxes
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xx)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Studying the New Public Management
    (pp. 1-13)

    For much of the twentieth century, policy debates about administration and management in government took place within narrow bandwidths, at least among the developed democracies. The once contentious political and policy questions about the role and structure of public bureaucracy were substantially settled. In the affluent post-war era of governmental expansion, public administration and management essentially receded to the background, with attention focused instead on such policy issues as national security, economic performance, social security, and health and safety. Public management was generally regarded as a process through which policies were formulated, resources allocated, and programs implemented, rather than as...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Case Studies on Public Management Policy-Making
    (pp. 14-50)

    This chapter reviews the empirical research literature on public management policy-making in selected countries during the 1980s and 1990s. The contributors to the literature reviewed are mainly academic public administrationists and political scientists specializing in executive government. The criteria for inclusion in this review are as follows.

    First, the primary subject matter must be public management policy-making in central or federal governments. Public management policy is defined here as the sum of institutional rules that guide, constrain, and motivate the public service as a whole. Public management policies belong to such established categories as expenditure planning and financial management, civil...

  8. CHAPTER THREE Comparative Analysis of Public Management Policy-Making
    (pp. 51-98)

    This chapter aims to demonstrate that research on public management policy could quickly advance if scholars were to converge on a similar research design—specifically, in the definition of case outcomes, selection of explanatory frameworks, and use of comparative methods. The first research task undertaken here is to explain public management policy change in three cases that exemplify the New Public Management: the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. The second research task is to bring the comparative method to bear in explaining similarities and differences between these “benchmark cases,” taken as a group, and three other cases: Sweden, the...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR How to Argue about the New Public Management
    (pp. 99-133)

    As an empirical matter, public management policy choices in the benchmark cases have been influenced by ideas entering the problem and policy streams from economics and management. For this reason, much scholarly commentary on NPM has revolved around how far public management policy choicesshould beinfluenced by such bodies of thought. Some critics of NPM have rejected the assumptions of economic models, while others have focused their concerns on the borrowing of management ideas and practices from the private sector (Pollitt 1993; Savoie 1994; Gregory 1995). Even writers sympathetic to NPM tend to evaluate whether ideas from economics and...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE Controversy and Cumulation in NPM Argumentation
    (pp. 134-155)

    Aucoin’s evaluation of public management policies in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand is highly favorable. But this is not a judgment universally shared by academic specialists in public administration. Much of the controversy surrounds the New Zealand case, especially its emphasis on securing accountability for outputs—one of its main attractions from Aucoin’s point of view. For instance, Robert Gregory (1995) doubts that a focus on outputs is suitable for most types of government programs. Allen Schick (1996), in a study commissioned by the New Zealand government, argues that securing output accountability should be balanced with management processes...

  11. CHAPTER SIX Conclusion
    (pp. 156-172)

    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 made within government. While they do not determine the scope or programmatic content of governmental activity, these government-wide institutional rules and organizational routines affect how government agencies are managed, operated, and overseen: they structure that part of the governmental process usefully described as...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 173-190)
  13. References
    (pp. 191-204)
  14. Subject Index
    (pp. 205-214)
  15. Name Index
    (pp. 215-218)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 219-219)