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About this book

This major new text on the theory and practice of public management moves away from descriptive accounts of its evolution to provide a systematic treatment of the key paradigms of public management today. It examines their competing outlooks, values, tools and assumptions and – using a wide range of examples from different areas of management around the world – their implications for practice.

The text sets out three contrasting 'logics' for management – performance, professionalism and politics – and shows how public managers act on the interplay between these for effective results. Relating all three logics to a wide range of diverse contexts – from police services to healthcare, social services to educational providers – the text shows how managers can simultaneously perform to a high standard, act professionally through their work, and cope with internal and external politics.

Incorporating the latest theories and practices, this comprehensive book will appeal to readers around the world wanting to understand, and contribute to, public management today.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
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.
Mirko Noordegraaf

Chapter 2. The Rise of Public Management

Abstract
What we call ‘public management’ is omnipresent. There are many management systems and instruments, used to optimize organizational performances. Municipalities, police forces and hospitals usually work with performance management systems and quality systems aimed at setting targets, monitoring results, accounting for outputs and enhancing client or ‘customer’ satisfaction. They ‘produce’ passports, permits and public benefits, or fines and police investigations, or diagnosis and treatment. They use these systems and instruments to maximize effects and minimize (financial) means spent. Public and non-profit organizations seek organizational development and opt for change programmes; they strive for cultural change and establish leadership development programmes. In addition, there are many public managers who are not only ‘developed’ but are also responsible for using instruments aimed at actively managing policy organizations, inspectorates and public and non-profit services.
Mirko Noordegraaf

Chapter 3. Competing Logics: Theories and Tools

Abstract
Public management is a highly practical phenomenon. It is about how real public organizations are organized, why reorganizations happen and which ambitions are relevant. Many governments, for example, emphasize performance management and establish systems accordingly. They want their personnel to perform well, they want optimal results based upon well-functioning well-organized personnel and work forces. This raises many questions. Why a strong emphasis on performance management with many strict goals and objectives? What happens when such ambitions are introduced and implemented? How can an emphasis on planning, monitoring and alignment be related to the fuzzy circumstances in which government organizations often find themselves ? How can such ambitions be aligned with changing demographic conditions and increasingly flexible workforces?
Mirko Noordegraaf

Chapter 4. Managing Performance

Abstract
Against the background of the public management evolution described in Chapter 3 and the rise of new public management, this chapter deals more extensively with how public and non-profit organizations try to perform better. The chapter highlights the performance logic, which concentrates on systematic, rational organizational improvement and systems optimization, according to a set of strict principles. The new public management described in Chapter 2 fuels optimization but embodies a rather heterogeneous set of ideas and instruments. In addition to businesslike principles, for example, there are more entrepreneurial and contractual principles for managing performances, rooted in the various theories derived from economics, accountancy and business administration (see Chapter 3). These various principles will be discussed in this chapter.
Mirko Noordegraaf

Chapter 5. Managing Professionalism

Abstract
The patient information website of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) ‘brings the expertise and resources of ASCO to people living with cancer and those who care for and care about them’ (ASCO, 2014). The website explains: ‘It is a situation people often fear — sitting in the doctor’s office and hearing the word cancer. People diagnosed with cancer often say they were stunned when they heard the news and unable to process much that was said afterward. After the initial shock, consider the following steps to learn about your diagnosis, find treatment, and cope.’ It also explains that ‘some patients desire more information, while others prefer less. For example, some want to avoid hearing statistics about chances of survival. Tell your doctor and other members of your health care team your preferences for receiving information about your diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis (chance of recovery).’
Mirko Noordegraaf

Chapter 6. Managing Politics

Abstract
Neither performance nor professionalism logic — nor indeed both — are sufficient to enable a complete understanding of the nature of public management. In addition to the situations faced by public transport companies, hospitals, police forces and schools, discussed in the previous chapters, there are many situations that are less about production processes and service delivery, less about identifiable services and professional acts, and less about internal organizational processes that include learning and professional development. These situations are much more about public and political controversies that cut across organizations, stakeholders and citizens, but that have to be ‘managed’ anyway. Much more than in the organization of professional services, something is at stake and some result must be realized, but it is unclear what is at stake and which results are desirable. Moreover, some participants will do whatever is necessary to prevent results from occurring, because they have distinctive preferences or preoccupations. They might seek public exposure in order to accomplish this. The processes — publicly exposed or behind the scenes — that evolve when issues are dealt with will be a matter of complex negotiations, coalition building, stakeholder alignment and symbolism, much more than we saw when we discussed the management of outputs or of professionals.
Mirko Noordegraaf

Chapter 7. Public Management Practices

Abstract
We have reached the stage of putting the various logics into perspective. While the first part of this book provided the societal and theoretical background against which the performance logic starts to affect and pervade public domains, including their professional and political sides, this latter part of the book focuses on more practical questions, such as: What do the various logics mean when they are applied to actual public management practices? Are they equally valuable, or do some practices call for a specific management logic? Can the influence of the performance logic be reduced when professional and/or political logics are relevant? Can the various logics be combined and if so, how?
Mirko Noordegraaf

Chapter 8. Conclusions

Abstract
The previous chapters have explained the nature of public management, stressed its differentiated appearance and highlighted the practical ways in which it is actually performed. At the same time, this book has sought to highlight the complexities and ambiguities of public policy, public service and non-profit services and the consequent ‘complications’ — or challenges — of dealing with management situations. We have therefore clarified public management, but there remain some areas that are less clear. Although obvious perspectives on public management can be distinguished, it is difficult to be precise about which perspectives can be applied in what ways, especially when circumstances are messy and political. Public management models and instruments cannot be detached from real and distinctive circumstances. ‘Organizational theories describe the delicate conversion of conflict into cooperation, the mobilization of resources, and the coordination of effort that facilitate the joint survival of an organization and its members’ (March and Simon, 1958: 2), and this can take many shapes and guises. Although general guidelines for these processes can be given, they have to be performed on a day-to-day basis, amidst ever variable circumstances.
Mirko Noordegraaf
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