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8 - Public Administration and Contemporary Management Reforms.doc

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Public Administration
Frank Ohemeng

1 Public Administration and Contemporary Management Reforms - Changes and Reforms of Public Administration - Theories that have influenced the changes or reforms of public administration - The New Public Management as a reform tool - The Reinventing Government Idea - The Post-Bureaucratic Idea - Collaborative Governance The administrative state was charged with crimes, such as failure to perform, abuse of power, and repression of employees, clients and people in general. Self-destructive. Expended hate object. The Road to Reform - The emergence and influence of conservative thinking, especially in Great Britain under Margaret Thatcher, the United States under Ronald Reagan, and a host of other countries led to the promotion of ideas supportive of smaller government and of government that would be less intrusive and interventionalist in the private sector and be more supportive of the interests and values of private enterprise. - A fundamental assumption of neo-liberalism is a minimalist role for the public sector while enhancing the role of the private sector. - The emergence of conservative politicians in most countries in the western world (especially with the west-minister model of government) in turn stimulated the growth of neo-liberalism in restraining and changing the state in the late 1970s. - The policies that were implemented to restrain and change the state have been described by Prof. Hood as the New Public Management - According to Hood, “New Public Management, like most administrative levels, is a loose term. Its usefulness lies in its convenience as a short-hand name for the set of broadly similar administrative doctrines which dominated the bureaucratic reform agenda of the OECD group of countries from the late 1970s. - According to Prof. Gow and Duford, the term NPM can be used in different ways: i. It denotes the objective of the approach, which is the management of public organisations ii. It is applied as a normative idea, which is made up of value judgements iii. It is inspired by private organisations’ management, values, and practices 2 iv. The focus is on public administration as a profession and on the public manager as a practitioner of that profession rather than as a politician or a statesman v. It is political - Used to denote the application of business principles and market mechanisms to public organisations - Used to embrace a wide range of approaches to public sector governance. Theories Influencing the Reforms - The New Public Management (NPM) - The Reinvention of Government (REGOV) - The Post-Bureaucratic Idea - These theories have been influenced by neo-liberal perspective of the state - Collaborative Governance New Public Management (NPM) The main thrusts of the NPM include: a. A greater focus on results and increased value for money and on a client-and service-orientation b. A strengthened capacity for developing strategy and policy c. The introduction of competition and other market elements; changed relationships with other levels of government d. Explicit standards and measures of performance; a stress on private- sector style management practices e. Greater discipline and parsimony in resource use The Rise of NPM - Emergence of more right wing politicians - Prof. Pollitt attributes the acceptance of the NPM to the belief that: i. The main roots or mechanisms to social progress lies through the achievement of continuing increases in economically defined productivity. ii. Such productivity increases would mainly come from the application of technologies, including information and organisational technologies. iii. The application of these technologies can only be achieved with a labour force disciplined
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