Public Services Management According to Hood ) Term Paper

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Public Services Management According to Hood (1991)

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According to Hood (1991) the New Public Management (NPM) has come to represent a global phenomenon. This work will answer what the main trends in the worldwide movement have been since 1991 and in which countries the NPM has proven to be the most successful. Bissessar (nd) n the work entitled: "The Introduction of New Public Management in Small States" writes that in the 1980s "many countries worldwide attempted to reform their public bureaucracies by replacing the traditional system of Public Administration with what Hood (1991) commonly referred to as New Public Management (NPM). It was obvious that the ideological justification for introducing NPM was based on the doctrines of the 'new right' which placed increasingly reliance on market forces and a reduced role for the state. The introduction of NPM was thus a universal movement which emphasized competition between service providers, a new mix of reform involving state and market, decentralization, freedom of choice to citizens and new managers who were 'free to manage'." (Bissessar, nd) New Public Management promised "...both in academia and government...a cheaper and better government" which came with "the added bonus of politicians being spared the daily humbug of administrative detail. By adopting a new philosophy of administration, politicians would increase their capacity to exert control over the public sector." (Boin, James, and Lodge, 2005) According to Boin, James and Lodge: "The NPM philosophy has a miraculous quality to it, if only because it promises to reconcile the irreconcilable: less red tape, higher performance, and full accountability. Whilst there are many different definitions of NPM, the core of NPM is easily summarized. Politicians formulate clear targets and specify the various outputs that must be produced. They contract with agents of implementation. Freed from traditional forms of oversight associated with Weberian bureaucracy, these agents will employ their expertise to fulfill the prescribed policy aims." (2005)

Term Paper on Public Services Management According to Hood (1991) Assignment

Bissessar relates that it was obvious "that reforms in many countries of the world were being pursued with varying degrees of enthusiasm and some governments were adopting one set of policies while other governments focused on other features." (nd) Hood (1991) held that the shift from an administrative model to a management model could be attributed to "several interrelated imperatives and he linked these to what he termed four mega-trends." (Bissessar, nd) the first trend was identified by Hood as having emerged from the need to "slow down or reverse the growth of government, particularly in areas such as staffing." (Bissessar, nd) the second trend identified by Hood (1991) was the "shift toward privatization and semi-privatization, while the development of automation was cited as the third trends and governmental cooperation represented the fourth trend." (Bissessar, nd) Boin, James and Lodge state:

Debates about the 'New Public Management' have dominated the disciplines of public administration and public management since the early 1990s (Hood, 1991; Pollitt, 1993). The term has been used in a variety of ways, referring to 'market-based administration' (Lan and Rosenbloom, 1992), decentralized (organizationally and spatially) methods of organizing production (Hoggett 1991: 243), 'the hollowing out of the state' (Rhodes, 1994; Saward, 1997) or 'reinventing government' (Osborne and Gaebler, 1992). These terms reflect both the fear and the excitement that observers have brought to the discussion table." (Boin, James and Lodge, 2005)

Osborne and Gaebler (1992) relate that a core element of the NPM perspective is in the belief that the job of politicians is not to 'row' the boat but instead to 'steer' the boat of public service management. Boin, James and Lodge state: "This is, in essence, a return to the once classic division between the domains of politics and administration. In this classic perspective, Politicians are responsible for making critical decisions; administrators are the experts in implementing them. Politicians should not be engaged too much in micro-management, whereas administrators should refrain from becoming too preoccupied with the political dimensions of their work." (2005) Noted as a second element is the notion that: "...administrators should be given much more room to exercise their judgment and to apply their expertise in the implementation of policy. In the NPM line of thought, politicians suffer from the illusion of control: they think that they can micro-manage the policy process. Politicians must learn to trust implementing agents providing them with authority, discretion and funds to do the job." (Boin, James and Lodge, 2005) Finally stated as a third element is: "...the continued belief in the pillars of democratic governance: political control and accountability." (Boin, James and Lodge, 2005) These three perspectives "leave the problem of bureaucratic autonomy to be resolved in practice. The premise of increased discretion and the emphasis on output performance management combine to increase the autonomy of a policy sector. Too much autonomy, however, may give rise to "runaway" bureaucracies. The right mixture of control mechanisms should prevent this from happening, or so we may deduce from NPM thinking..." (Boin, James and Lodge, 2005)


The islands of the Commonwealth Caribbean are comprised by a cluster of nations that were previously under colonial rule and "apart from a shared history, each of these islands also has a distinctive socio-economic order which has been largely determined by the experiences of slavery..." (Bissessar, nd) Presently these countries are concerned with maintaining a "stable democratic system of government, a health economic climate, and, with the imposition of structural adjustment conditions in the 1980s to attract new investment." (Bissessar, nd) During what is known as the post-independence period in these countries, many of these countries in the Caribbean used the funding of public services and sectors which are large in justifying "their ongoing policy to cater to the wide-ranging development needs of their societies." (Bissessar, nd) it was noted however, that while the public services and sectors had expanded in size there was too an increased efficiency in these sectors.

There were criticisms however the government had used public sectors as "vehicles for patronage" (Bissessar, nd) While there were committees formed to examine these criticism between 1960 and 1980 the reforms actually implemented in these sectors were at the very least minimal in nature. It has been suggested that the public sector reform in the Caribbean were somehow "constrained by a number of actors." (Bissessar, nd) Bissessar writes that Caiden (1991) "suggested that the history of the country, the geography and even the culture of the public sectors were critical obstacles to reform." (nd) Bissessar also writes that "Wilenski (1986) argued that the greatest impediment to reform was the lack of political will. But lack of political will, it seemed, was only part of the problem." (nd) Bissessar writes that Mills states that the 'public servants were unable to take decisions because they were trained by the colonial administrators to adhere steadfastly to rules and regulations." (Bissessar, nd) the argument has been stated that "while there were always internal push factors, better placed under the umbrella of globalization, was responsible for the reforms that were introduced in the 1980s and 1990s in many Caribbean states." (nd)


Bissessar writes that: "Globalization, it has been pointed out, is not a single phenomenon. Some writers consider globalization as an economic logo, while others contend that contemporary globalization is wholly exaggerated and that the forces of internalization depend on the regulatory power of national governments to ensure continuing economic liberalization." (Bissessar, nd) Other writes have argued that various internal forces also were influential including those of:

Changing population structures, which meant that the demands placed on public services had to change;

Mounting criticism of the way by which services were delivered (Hood, 1991); and Declines in domestic economies. (Bissessar, nd)

The experience in the Caribbean Commonwealth makes the suggest that a number of internal factors actually were responsible for pushing toward reform and that these were only secondary to largest driving force behind NPM being introduced which is stated to be "the external pressure of globalization and more particularly the conditions imposed by the International Lending Agencies in the 1980s." (Bissessar, nd) the work of La Guerre (1994) makes note that the "structural adjustment conditions that were accompanied by these loans were not confined to the economic sphere alone but also impacted on the public sector as well. Indeed, apart from the regulatory policies to be implemented, it was argued that the public sectors in the various countries should be reduced and service delivery was to become more efficient. It was also suggested that standards and measures were to be introduced and that governments should contract out services that had become too costly. In essence, it appeared that the conditions introduced by the lending agencies were very much in keeping with the general doctrines of NPM that had been introduced in the developed countries." (Bissessar, nd)


Furthermore, it was also believed that attracting other potential investors that the governments would be "forced to introduce efficient and standardized systems… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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