Purpose – Based on the concept of “intelligent public organisation” as a new theoretical trajectory for New Public Management (NPM) theory, this paper brings together the recent critical discussion on NPM as it relates to public services and service science while specifically pinpointing the nature of public sector intelligence, evaluation, as well as management and leadership of public services. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – The paper highlights the ongoing discussion on service‐dominant logic and reflects the major innovations in service research, innovation studies, organisational learning, development methods, and evaluation from the public services’ perspective. Findings – It is argued that contemporary public management theories and practices – and theories reflecting the role of public services – should make more use of that body of literature focusing on substantive service‐dominant theories found in marketing and business studies. The paper concludes that the academic discourse on NPM and New Public Governance (NPG) has been rich in content, but to date rather biased from a public services perspective. Practical implications – It is argued that public services are arenas for interaction, co‐operation, and co‐creation, orchestrated by the networks of organisations providing these services. The essence of “service user” has also changed in recent decades. This development has practical implications for developing leadership practices in public services. Originality/value – Doctrines of NPM and NPG have been missing an appreciation of the comprehensive role played by public services and the role of evaluation of public services has also been largely ignored. In this light and in regards to public services in particular, the new wave of public policy evaluation paradigms could usefully be integrated with NPG.
The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 6, 2014
Keywords: Leadership; Evaluation; New Public Management; Public services; New Public Governance