Essay: Public Sector Management

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Public Sector Management

The term 'public service' needs to be defined in such a manner that the need that created the public service and the implication of it to the economy has to be explained. We must therefore consider the definition of a public service. Public services are always oriented to the welfare of the community and are aimed at providing key services that must be available to all on an equitable basis. In other words public services and utilities are welfare oriented rather than profit oriented. The orientation to welfare and service with minimum or no returns thus puts huge burden on the exchequer. Thus today there is high increase in the support of reform in public services. We have to however understand that public services do not normally produce profits and these services depend on revenue from taxes, levies and other forms of revenue generated by the state or local body. Taxes and such levies are not widely favored by the public and this friction has caused the reexamination of the profitability of public services and the advisability of removing state controls.

Public services largely depend on state or municipal finance which in turn has to be funded directly with tax or grants. Today running deficits is frowned upon. Thus privatization of these 'Public Services' is advocated so that competition and investment can produce better services and less incidence of expenditure on the exchequer. Privatization evokes the feeling that assets and activities are sold to private bidders and allow them to continue the service for a profit margin. This is only one of the activities. The other sphere where privatization occurs is more wide and complex, because it also can consist of transferring some of the functions that were hitherto in the exclusive domain of the government, to the private sector which essentially increases the prices of the services.

There are many different types of services -- for example the judiciary is a public service but cannot become commercial, and the water supply is a service that can be assigned to any other entity. Thus there is a need to differentiate between public management and public governance. These concepts are fundamentally extremely important to the discussion. The matters of public management and governance arise in the everyday activities which are very important in people's lives. For most of the past hundred years, these subjects were generally felt to remain only in academic discussion. From simple things like the blocks that happen in London, to clean water all are now serious issues. For example what was apparently impossible - doing something around endemic traffic congestion - is without a doubt, possible. Political action can turn our world for the better service. (Bovaird, Loffler, 2003, p. 3) These issues warrant a discussion on public service reform with the history of the development in mind.

Looking Back:

During the 1980s, budget deficits were a huge motive for public sector reforms in several parts of the world - reforms which covered the two content of public policy and the way in which public policy was made. Then again, since that time, many governing bodies, at least in the OECD states, have achieved more favourable funding positions. Since then, other challenges have emerged. New pressures on governments consist of an array of external factors and internal factors. These new pressures have emphasized the quality of life implications of public policies along with the governance aspects of public community organizations. They have typically pushed men and women working in the sector in a different direction with the managerial reforms of the 1980s and even early 1990s. In particular, they have perhaps re-emphasized the role of politicians with the public policy arena. (Bovaird, Loffler, 2003, p. 14)

There is no historical evidence to show of any consistent strategy for development of public policy. Bovaird, Loffler (2003, p. 14) says that not having a strategy makes endeavors directionless and incompetent. Thus strategic decisions help to determine what the organization must and must not do and many issues like the technologies that ought to be adapted and the value that ought to be added to the stakeholders, and how decisions ought to be made and implemented. This in the long run will avoid the "narrow-minded and selfish decisions made in separate 'silos' of the organization." (Bovaird, Loffler, 2003, p. 14)

In this context the term 'strategic' is different from the term 'important'. While strategic and operational decisions are both important there is a subtle difference between them. The strategy will be concerned with issues like implications for operational change, long-term direction for the organization, objectives of strategy, organization's activities and matching them to the environment and importantly the reallocation of major resources for the achievement of what the organization was created to achieve. In this respect the public sector organizations will benefit the stakeholders only in the achievement of services attempted at their creation. Before the 1980s the public sectors were flogging horses for politicians. (Ferlie, Ewan; et al. 1996, p. 1)

After globalization there were changes in the way the public perceived the services. After 1980s this sector management in the UK public services came under sustained pressure pertaining to change. There was a clamor for new organizational kinds, roles, and nationalities. With the advantages of hindsight, it became apparent that the old-style public industry organizations had also pressed the virtues with their vices, with an emphasis on due process, value of treatment, probity, along with accountability. (Ferlie, Ewan; et al. 1996, p. 1)

As similar restructurings preceded in many different public assistance settings, so it became clear that a broadly-based organizational happening was emerging, due to the rise of your 'new public management'. While there are many of studies involving particular settings are scarce. This deficiency of interest relates to the academic division involving labour. The analysis of public industry organizations has generally been left for you to scholars of general public administration while 'Organization School' academics most often have privileged the analysis of private businesses. This is amazing given the core role that not-for-profit organizations including hospitals, universities, along with voluntary associations get historically played inside the development of corporation theory. (Ferlie, Ewan; et al. 1996, p. 30)

There has been the emergence of the new public management within the wider context and this has been associated with public sector restructuring in Britain as has been prevalent in other developed countries. Common factors like the impact of nationwide and world recession and also the growth of federal government have increasingly resulted in attempts to control public expenditure to restructure public sectors with the aim that they be effective and receptive. The emergence of the New Right in Britain has resulted in the search with regard to answers being centered on an ideological perspective that advocates the primacy of markets with regard to production and submission of goods as well as services. Concomitant with this are the ideals of individualism as well as freedom from government that have resulted in the actual drive for privatization. The impact of the ideology in Great Britain and elsewhere and the consequences for open public sector restructuring has to be analysed. (Ferlie, Ewan; et al. 1996, p. 30)

But the theories of organizational development itself did not have a firm base. For the reason that most researches in this field concentrated on the private sector and in the U.S.A. The public service was being scaled down and sent to the private providers. The emphasis was more on privatization that could improve the services rather than taking a look at the scenario of the services as they were. Thus the financial and public finance implication for the services became top priority.

The Changes in Perception:

The quality management is a new concept as far as public services are concerned. Quality management is emerging as a new form of control according to Corby, White (1999, p. 156) The management of quality has become a serious issue and it also began to create a new paradigm for employee relations of the public services. It has become the cornerstone for commercialization. The public service commercialization and mercerization began during the Conservative government since the 1980s have been changed after the Labour government in 1997. However, the development of quality management in the public sector "continues to be influenced by contextual factors: political regulation, bureaucratic and political intervention, and extensive trade union influence." (Corby, White, 1999, p. 156)

Quality management systems for public services are a new concept that has gone on to redefine the role of employees and employee relations and the shifting of importance to the customer and evaluation by performance measurement. Likewise there has been a thorough overhaul of the managerial control over the employee within the public sector. These management practices have begun to ensure that the public services become more and more profitable and deliver better. Labour wise, these have created differences between the employees, unions and management and public sector industrial relations.

Revamping the Sector:

What is the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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