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About this book

Introducing the scope and scale of government, competing approaches to the study of management in the public sector, different forms of service delivery and the major topics in the subject such as strategic management, leadership and performance management, this book continues to be a key point of reference for lecturers and students in the field.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. An Era of Change

Abstract
That the present era of public management is one of change is an obvious truism. Since the early 1980s, a raft of changes have occurred in public sector management in a number of countries, and it appears that more change is yet to come. By itself this should not be altogether surprising as making change engenders yet more change. Truly can it be said that ‘the transformation of public administration around the globe in the last 30 years shows no sign of abating’ (Massey, 2015, p. 1). Real stability and order are hard to find for those inside the system. What follows is to track the various aspects of reform and to explain the context and changes in theory and how these have overturned how governments organize themselves and carry out their roles. The key argument is that management in the public sector has been transformed over that time from what is termed the traditional model of public administration – relatively stable for most of the twentieth century – to public management. A public administrator is someone who follows the rules to the letter, who carries out instructions given by someone else, in theory the political leadership. Socialized into the primacy of process and procedure, a public administrator is responsible only indirectly for the delivery of results. On the other hand, a public manager is personally responsible for the achievement of results, and from this fundamental change much else follows. If a public manager is personally responsible for the delivery of results, he or she will draw on any kind of theory – management, economic, behavioural or sociological – that will help in carrying out the task.
Owen Hughes

Chapter 2. The Role of Government

Abstract
In mixed economies there must be some demarcation between, and a rationale for, those activities that fall into either the public or the private sector. The dividing line changes in different nations at various times: in some periods, government scope and scale increases; in others it decreases. In recent decades, the line has moved away from the public sector towards the private sector and to greater questioning as to why government involves itself in particular activities. A transfer of resources and functions to the private sector affects those who work in the public sector or rely on it in some way. If a public activity is less valued by the community, if activities historically provided by governments are being marketized, the rationales for doing these things should be of obvious interest to public managers
Owen Hughes

Chapter 3. The Traditional Model of Public Administration

Abstract
What is here called the traditional model of public administration was once a major reform movement in its own right. Prior to the embedding of the traditional model into the public sectors of many countries, starting in the latter part of the nineteenth century, public administration was carried out largely by amateurs bound by personal loyalties to their leaders, sovereigns and politicians. With the advent of the traditional model, the task of administration became more of a professional occupation carried out by a distinct merit-based public service. Serving the public was a high calling, one that required the best people available to form a distinct administrative elite within the society, a group that would always act according to the law and established precedents. Politicians might come and go, but while the apparatus of government was in the hands of permanent officials, the transition between regimes could be handled smoothly. Public administration as both theory and practice lasted in most Western countries with remarkably little theoretical change until around the last quarter of the twentieth century. Change did occur - public administration was not entirely static - but it did not threaten the established paradigm.
Owen Hughes

Chapter 4. Public Management

Abstract
In the mid-1980s, new approaches to the management of the public sector started to be adopted by governments in many parts of the world. These began as a direct response to what many had regarded as the inadequacies of the time-honoured but ineffective administrative system, referred to here as the traditional model of public administration. In the earliest stages of transition to public management, quite radical change occurred. There was an expressed intention to move away from classical bureaucracy to make organizations, personnel and employment terms and conditions more flexible. Organizational and personal objectives would be set clearly, in order to enable assessment of whether or not they had been achieved. Systematic evaluation of programmes became commonplace. Government functions were more likely to face market tests to see if the private sector could deliver some governmental functions, perhaps through subsidies. This was referred to as the separation of steering from rowing (Savas, 1987). The mere fact of government involvement in an area need not always mean government provision through bureaucratic means. There was a parallel trend towards reducing government functions through privatization, load-shedding, contracting or franchising, in some cases quite radically. All these points were derived from an overarching change from process to results and to operate more efficiently.
Owen Hughes

Chapter 5. Public Policy

Abstract
Public policy has for several decades tended to see itself as a separate field within the broader area of public administration. Adherents distanced themselves consciously and deliberately from the older discipline; their 1970s movement derived from an assumption that orthodox public administration had reached a dead end (Kettl, 2002, p. 13). Most public policy practitioners at the time saw it as being about decisions, and in particular with the application of formal methods to solve public sector problems. Public policy is important in its own right and as an influence on public management and administration, but there is a question as to whether it is truly different from other approaches to the public sector and whether there is any advantage in maintaining it as a separate discipline.
Owen Hughes

Chapter 6. Governance

Abstract
The period since the mid-1990s has seen a re-emergence of concepts of governance in public and private management. Although the word governance is far from new - it dates back several centuries in English and even further back in French - the recent revival of its usage has been most useful for those circumstances where the term government is too narrow and too specific to capture all relevant interactions. Perhaps government has inadequate explanatory power when societal institutions in the very broadest sense can organize and provide a social benefit without direct involvement from any governmental authority. That the present era of public management is one of change is an obvious truism. Since the early 1980s, a raft of changes have occurred in public sector management in a number of countries, and it appears that more change is yet to come. By itself this should not be altogether surprising as making change engenders yet more change.
Owen Hughes

Chapter 7. Accountability

Abstract
Recent years have seen more public discourse around issues of accountability, now seen as the buzzword of modern governance (Bovens et al., 2014, p. 1). A government any government is argued to require some form of accountability to maintain its claim to be acting in ways that are broadly approved by the community that it governs. Government organizations are created by the public, for the public, and, therefore, need to be accountable to the public. That accountability is important is beyond doubt. As Bovens argues, there is no accountable governance without accountability arrangements. Accountability mechanisms keep public actors on the virtuous path and prevent them from going astray (2010, p. 963). And yet, it is not easy to specify its meaning exactly or how public officials and the citizenry are to act and to use it in practice.
Owen Hughes

Chapter 8. Stakeholders and External Constituencies

Abstract
One of the key parts of the transition from the traditional model of administration to public management has been the extra attention paid to matters affecting the organization that are outside its immediate control. Part of this renewed external focus, as noted earlier, has been to look at strategy, and at the threats and opportunities in the environment in which the organization finds itself. The other part is the need to deal directly with outside individuals and institutions and how to manage these relationships. A key role for any manager is to attempt to control the organizations environment, or at least to influence as far as possible any factor that might impinge on its mission and objectives. External constituencies are important influences, and any manager needs to take them into account in the management task. The management of stakeholders and other external constituencies is now carried out quite differently from how it was under the traditional model of administration. There are two aspects to this.
Owen Hughes

Chapter 9. Regulation, Contracting and Public Ownership

Abstract
Governments interact with businesses in many ways: through regulation, through taxation, through purchasing and through provision of goods and services, to mention but a few. Both government and business are interested in the creation of a buoyant economy and interact in a number of ways to this end. Some private companies owe their very existence to government contracts, and lobbying of government can be directed at achieving commercial advantage. Rather than examining the broad relationship of government and business (see Hughes and O'Neill, 2008), this chapter focuses on three aspects of it, each of which has featured as part of recent public sector reform. First, through regulation, governments set the rules within which the private sector has to operate; second, through contracting out, governments purchase goods and, increasingly, services from the private sector, and may even deliver some of their own work through such means; and, third, through public enterprise, governments may sell goods or (more likely) services to the public in the same way as though they were companies (see Chapter 2).
Owen Hughes

Chapter 10. Strategic Management

Abstract
Public managers are now more often required to consider an overarching strategy for their organizations. A strategic perspective considers the position of an organization within its external environment; it aims to specify clear goals and objectives; and it attempts to move away from routine management tasks to consider, in a more systematic way, longer-term considerations of where the organization will go and what it should do. Strategy is about setting a direction for the future. As noted earlier, a concern with strategy is one of the fundamental differences between an administrative model and a managerial model in the public sector. If a public manager is personally responsible for the delivery of results, he or she will draw on any kind of theory – management, economic, behavioural or sociological – that will help in carrying out the task.
Owen Hughes

Chapter 11. Managing People and Leadership

Abstract
Public sector reforms have affected many parts of government, including the way that offices are organized, how they are staffed and how they are led. The operations of government may still take place in offices that, apart from improvements in technology and fashions in furniture design, are basically the same as those of a hundred years ago. What are quite different, though, are the rules, procedures and terms and conditions relating to the people who work for the government. Despite some continuity with the traditional model of administration, there has been marked change in staffing and the systems of personnel and human resource management (HRM).
Owen Hughes

Chapter 12. Service Delivery

Abstract
The main experience of government for most members of a society is as recipients of a service or services provided by that government. Participation in political processes may be another experience, but this tends to be episodic. The service delivery part of government is more of a constant, whether it is receiving services or as part of a mandated obligation to government such as paying taxes or complying with regulations. Citizens are involved in many transactions with government as individuals, and, in addition, even if citizens are not involved in particular services, they may still have an interest in them as a member of the society and as a taxpayer (Alford, 2002). If a public manager is personally responsible for the delivery of results, he or she will draw on any kind of theory – management, economic, behavioural or sociological – that will help in carrying out the task.
Owen Hughes

Chapter 13. Managing with Technology

Abstract
Over the last three or so decades, an information and communication technology (ICT) revolution led to a real transformation in the economies of many countries. New industries were created producing both software and hardware; older ones disappeared through disintermediation. While overall productivity increased, there were unsettling effects for many workers. There were equally far-reaching effects on the operations of government. Developments in the private sector led to the invention of the terms e-business and e-commerce: parallel developments in the operations of government led to the term e-government being coined to refer to the specifics of the ICT revolution in government, as well as to something of a specialist area within public management. The changes induced in the operations of government by technology are far-reaching but still have some distance to progress. If a public manager is personally responsible for the delivery of results, he or she will draw on any kind of theory – management, economic, behavioural or sociological – that will help in carrying out the task.
Owen Hughes

Chapter 14. Financial and Performance Management

Abstract
Financial management is central to the very existence of government. Any government activity needs money in order to operate; indeed, the ability to raise taxation compulsorily and spend it sets the institution of government apart from other parts of society. There are very few parts of government activity not reliant in some degree on money extracted from taxpayers and used for public purposes. But raising and spending money are not narrow, technical operations. The ability to use resources determines the very nature and extent of government activity, as well as the winners and losers in the political competition for financial favours. A party or group elected to govern has access to the governments taxation revenues to spend, while an opposition does not. With increased pressure to provide services and to contain or reduce its costs, the budgetary process is even more of a battleground. As Kioko et al. argue, The current financial crisis has forced public organizations around the world to cut budgets, restructure service delivery strategies, reset priorities, and assume enormous new financial responsibilities. This experience reminds us of the centrality of financial resources to public service delivery (Kioko et al., 2011, p. i113
Owen Hughes

Chapter 15. Conclusion: Paradigms in Public Management

Abstract
It is argued here that the traditional model of administration is obsolete and has been replaced by public management, and, further, that this change represents a change of paradigm in the internal management of the public sector. It is argued here that using either the ordinary meaning of the word or the usage associated with the work of Kuhn (1970), the term paradigm is appropriate for both the traditional model of administration and that of public management. It follows that the change from the one to the other can be characterized as a paradigm shift. On the other hand, a public manager is personally responsible for the achievement of results, and from this fundamental change much else follows. If a public manager is personally responsible for the delivery of results, he or she will draw on any kind of theory – management, economic, behavioural or sociological – that will help in carrying out the task.
Owen Hughes
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