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Public sector reform, global trends vs. local needs: the case of a state rental organisation in Fiji

Public sector reform, global trends vs. local needs: the case of a state rental organisation in Fiji Purpose – This paper examines the public sector reforms in Fiji and the introduction of market‐oriented practices in the Public Rental Board (PRB). The tensions between profit seeking and provision of public service are explicated. Design/methodology/approach – The case study method is employed. The empirical evidence is interpreted using new institutional sociology as well as the technical rational perspective. Findings – The PRB implemented private sector business techniques such as economic rents, sale of state houses, and performance measurement in the form of the balanced scorecard. Such a businesslike approach was demanded by financial institutions such as the World Bank. In return for lending money, international financiers expect a more efficient, wealth producing economy. However, global trends in the form of imposed restructuring of the public sector do not necessarily meet local needs. Tensions are created between the mission and performance of the state rental organization charged with providing accommodation for the less fortunate in Fiji. Research limitations/implications – Institutional theory may be helpful in explaining the introduction of private sector practices into the public sector. The technical rational explanations in terms of achieving greater economy and efficiency need to be considered in relation to institutional factors and the mission of state organizations. Practical implications – The case study illustrates the limitations of the introduction of private sector techniques of managerialism into one state sector organization. There are implications for other state sector organizations in Fiji and elsewhere. Originality value – The paper improves understanding of the rationales for public sector reform especially in developing countries. The reforms can be understood from a technical rational perspective, but may need also to be understood in terms of external institutional influences. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change Emerald Publishing

Public sector reform, global trends vs. local needs: the case of a state rental organisation in Fiji

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1832-5912
DOI
10.1108/18325910510635335
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper examines the public sector reforms in Fiji and the introduction of market‐oriented practices in the Public Rental Board (PRB). The tensions between profit seeking and provision of public service are explicated. Design/methodology/approach – The case study method is employed. The empirical evidence is interpreted using new institutional sociology as well as the technical rational perspective. Findings – The PRB implemented private sector business techniques such as economic rents, sale of state houses, and performance measurement in the form of the balanced scorecard. Such a businesslike approach was demanded by financial institutions such as the World Bank. In return for lending money, international financiers expect a more efficient, wealth producing economy. However, global trends in the form of imposed restructuring of the public sector do not necessarily meet local needs. Tensions are created between the mission and performance of the state rental organization charged with providing accommodation for the less fortunate in Fiji. Research limitations/implications – Institutional theory may be helpful in explaining the introduction of private sector practices into the public sector. The technical rational explanations in terms of achieving greater economy and efficiency need to be considered in relation to institutional factors and the mission of state organizations. Practical implications – The case study illustrates the limitations of the introduction of private sector techniques of managerialism into one state sector organization. There are implications for other state sector organizations in Fiji and elsewhere. Originality value – The paper improves understanding of the rationales for public sector reform especially in developing countries. The reforms can be understood from a technical rational perspective, but may need also to be understood in terms of external institutional influences.

Journal

Journal of Accounting & Organizational ChangeEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 1, 2005

Keywords: Public sector organizations; Public sector reform; Fiji

References