In most Western countries, public and non-profit organizations are managed in such a way as to optimize performance. National governments, municipalities, police forces, the judiciary, immigration services, prisons, public transport, hospitals, schools, universities and welfare organizations have all, since the 1980s, become more like normal businesses and today resemble private companies that operate on markets. Public and non-profit organizations have left their bureaucratic features behind and have adopted businesslike management tools in order to become more effective, efficient and accountable. This is known as ‘new public management’ (NPM) or businesslike management (Hood, 1991; Pollitt and Bouckaert, 2004) — a collection of insights and instruments used to generate controlled organizational action. Organizational performances are improved by strategic planning and management; by setting clear targets; by planning and control systems; by monitoring techniques and quality control; and by tools like cost—benefit analysis, (key) performance indicators, customer satisfaction ratings and servicelevel agreements. Market conditions are established by creating market-like playing fields, with competitive pressures and price-based relations between supply and demand.
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