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NPM and beyond — structure, culture and demography

NPM and beyond — structure, culture and demography The main research questions in this article are to what degree New Public Management (NPM) and post-NPM reform elements have been perceived as relevant or significant in the Norwegian civil service; what have been the most significant reform elements; and how to explain the variation in the perceived significance of different administrative reform tools. How important is leadership relative to other structural factors and to demographic and cultural features? The empirical data used in the analysis are taken mainly from surveys of civil servants in the Norwegian ministries conducted in 1996 and 2006. A general finding is that cultural features make a significant difference, but having a leadership position and task structure also have explanatory power. Generally, we face a combination of robustness and amenability to administrative policy reforms.Points for practitionersThis article shows that the perceived significance of different administrative reform tools is high within government ministries in Norway. Four families of reform measures are revealed: performance-management reforms, cultural-managerial reforms, structural reforms and market-related reforms. Reform measures connected to performance management systems generally have high scores, while market-related reforms score low. The administrative reforms show a robust pattern from 1996 to 2006, but new reform tools are added to existing measures and this produces increased complexity. The variations in significance of different reform tools can be traced back to administrative culture, leadership position and main tasks. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Review of Administrative Sciences: An International Journal of Comparative Public Administration SAGE

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References (30)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0020-8523
eISSN
1461-7226
DOI
10.1177/0020852307085730
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The main research questions in this article are to what degree New Public Management (NPM) and post-NPM reform elements have been perceived as relevant or significant in the Norwegian civil service; what have been the most significant reform elements; and how to explain the variation in the perceived significance of different administrative reform tools. How important is leadership relative to other structural factors and to demographic and cultural features? The empirical data used in the analysis are taken mainly from surveys of civil servants in the Norwegian ministries conducted in 1996 and 2006. A general finding is that cultural features make a significant difference, but having a leadership position and task structure also have explanatory power. Generally, we face a combination of robustness and amenability to administrative policy reforms.Points for practitionersThis article shows that the perceived significance of different administrative reform tools is high within government ministries in Norway. Four families of reform measures are revealed: performance-management reforms, cultural-managerial reforms, structural reforms and market-related reforms. Reform measures connected to performance management systems generally have high scores, while market-related reforms score low. The administrative reforms show a robust pattern from 1996 to 2006, but new reform tools are added to existing measures and this produces increased complexity. The variations in significance of different reform tools can be traced back to administrative culture, leadership position and main tasks.

Journal

International Review of Administrative Sciences: An International Journal of Comparative Public AdministrationSAGE

Published: Mar 1, 2008

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