Representations of New Public Management in Australian Public Service gender equality policies

Representations of New Public Management in Australian Public Service gender equality policies PurposeGovernments have demonstrated a renewed interest in progressing gender equality for their workforces, including in Australia. This refocusing has resulted in a tranche of new gender equality policies being introduced into the Australian Public Service (APS). The purpose of this paper is to examine how New Public Management (NPM) is reflected in these gender equality policies and consider whether NPM may assist or hinder gender being “undone” or “redone” in APS organisations.Design/methodology/approachA content analysis was conducted to assess the strategies contained within the gender equality policies of all 18 Australian government departments.FindingsThe content analysis reveals that the policies strongly reflect an NPM framing, except in one important area – that of monitoring and evaluation. The lack of attention to this crucial element of NPM may hinder effective implementation of many of the policies. The authors also conclude that while good intent is evident in the policies, they may “redo” rather than “undo” gender in organisations.Practical implicationsThe paper will assist organisations which are developing and implementing gender equality policies. Even though NPM is specific to the public sector, the research highlights the potential and pitfalls when developing such policies in an environment focused on increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.Originality/valueWhile gender equality and public sector reforms occurred simultaneously in Australia, few researchers have examined the interactions between the two. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Representations of New Public Management in Australian Public Service gender equality policies

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-7149
DOI
10.1108/EDI-05-2019-0145
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeGovernments have demonstrated a renewed interest in progressing gender equality for their workforces, including in Australia. This refocusing has resulted in a tranche of new gender equality policies being introduced into the Australian Public Service (APS). The purpose of this paper is to examine how New Public Management (NPM) is reflected in these gender equality policies and consider whether NPM may assist or hinder gender being “undone” or “redone” in APS organisations.Design/methodology/approachA content analysis was conducted to assess the strategies contained within the gender equality policies of all 18 Australian government departments.FindingsThe content analysis reveals that the policies strongly reflect an NPM framing, except in one important area – that of monitoring and evaluation. The lack of attention to this crucial element of NPM may hinder effective implementation of many of the policies. The authors also conclude that while good intent is evident in the policies, they may “redo” rather than “undo” gender in organisations.Practical implicationsThe paper will assist organisations which are developing and implementing gender equality policies. Even though NPM is specific to the public sector, the research highlights the potential and pitfalls when developing such policies in an environment focused on increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.Originality/valueWhile gender equality and public sector reforms occurred simultaneously in Australia, few researchers have examined the interactions between the two.

Journal

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 23, 2019

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