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New Public Management
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A Teaching Topic in Strategy and Implementation

New Public Management

New Public Management is a term for the policies, starting in the 1980s, which sought to make government more efficient and responsive by employing private sector management techniques and creating market conditions for the delivery of public services (Savoie, 337). This topic examines the genesis of the New Public Management movement internationally, how it has been applied in Canada, and critiques of its approach. It examines newer trends in public administration reform, particularly “New Public Governance” and “New Political Governance” (Carleton PADM 5117). This topic examines alternative service models beyond traditional public delivery and pure market-based delivery. It explores the challenges, risks and opportunities of networked governance (Carleton PADM 5117). Relevant concepts include privatization, entrepreneurial management, policy innovation, public responsiveness and accountability and networked governance (Saskatchewan-Regina JSGS 801).

Topic Learning Outcome: Upon mastering this topic, students will be able to clearly explain how "new public management' changed public administration in Canada, and will be familiar with the major critiques of new public management. Students will be able to clearly explain what types of private sector management techniques became more prominent in the public sector as a result of the NPM, and will be able to articulate the major critiques of efforts to import private sector management strategies to public sector settings.

Core Concepts associated with this Topic: New Public Management

Recommended Reading

Toronto PPG 1000 Governance and Institutions

Osbourne, S. (2006). A New Public Governance? Public Management Review, 8(3): 377-387.

Stoker, G. (1998). Governance as theory: five propositions. International Social Science Journal, 50 (155): 17-28.

Phillips, S.D. (2006). The Intersection of Governance and Citizenship in Canada: Not Quite the Third Way. IRPP Policy Matters. Vol. 7(4).

Blanco, I., Lowndes, V., Pratchett, L. (2011). Policy Networks and Governance Networks: Towards Greater Conceptual Clarity. Political Studies Review, 9: 297 – 308.

Patrick Le Galès, (2011). “Policy Instruments and Governance,” pp. 142 - 160 in The Sage handbook of governance, Mark Bevir (Eds). London: SAGE.

Toronto PPG 2013 Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations in the Policy-Making Process

Banting, Keith. 2006. “Disembedding Liberalism: The Social Policy Trajectory in Canada.” In Dimensions of Inequality in Canada, ed. David Green and Jonathan Kesselman, 417-452.  Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. Retrieved from Disembeding%20Liberalism%20.pdf

Hall, Peter and Rosemary Taylor. 1996. “Political science and the three new institutionalisms.”  Political Studies 44 (1996):936-957.

Pontusson, Jonas. 1995. “From Comparative Public Policy to Political Economy.”  Comparative Political Studies 28 (1):117-147.

Hacker, Jacob. 1998. “The Historical Logic of National Health Insurance: Structures and Sequence in the Development of British, Canadian and US medical policy.”  Studies in American Political Development, 12 (Spring):57-130. Available online: hacker_1998.pdf

Carleton PADM 5117 Public Sector Management and the Canadian Political System

Pollitt, Christopher, and Geert Bouckaert. Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis: New Public Management, Governance, and the Neo-Weberian State, 3rd Edition (New York: Oxford, 2011). Chapters 3 and 4.

Kettl, Donald F. The Transformation of Governance: Public Administration for Twenty-First Century America (Baltimore and London: Johns-Hopkins University Press, 2002). Chapters 5 and 6.

Charih, Mohamed, and Lucie Rouillard. “The New Public Management,” in Mohamed Charih and Arthur Daniels (eds.), New Public Management and Public Administration in Canada. Toronto: IPAC, 1997, 27-46.

Leone, Roberto, and Frank Ohemeng. Approaching Public Administration: Core Debates and Emerging Issues (Toronto: Edmond-Montgomery, 2011). Chapters 4 and 13.

Zussman, David. “Alternative Service Delivery,” in Christopher Dunn (ed.), The Handbook of Canadian Public Administration. Don Mills, Oxford University Press, 2002, 53-76.

Johnson, David. Chapter 8: “Issues in Management Reform,” in Thinking Government: Public Administration and Politics in Canada, 3rd Ed. Toronto: UofT Press, 2011, 321-78.

Katz, Daniel, and Robert L. Kahn. “Organizations and System Concept,” (1966), in Shafritz, Jay and Albert C. Hyde, Classics of Public Administration. Boston: Wadsworth, 2012. 186-96.

Moe, Ronald C. “Exploring the Limits of Privatization” (1987), in Shafritz, Jay and Albert C. Hyde, Classics of Public Administration. Boston: Wadsworth, 2012. 469-78.

Moran, M. “Not Steering but Drowning: Policy Catastrophes and the  Regulatory State,” The Political Quarterly 72 (2001): 414 - 27.

Pierre, Jon. “Reinventing governance, reinventing democracy?” Policy  & Politics 37 (4, 2009): 591 - 609.

Bell, Stephen and Andrew Hindmoor. 2009. “The Governance of Public  Affairs.” Journal of Public Affairs 9(2009), 149 – 159.

Bovaird, Tony. “Public Governance: Balancing Stakeholder Power in a  Network Society,” International Review of Administrative Sciences, 71,  2 (2005), 217 - 228 .

Osborne, Stephen P. “The New Public Governance?,” Public  Management Review, 8 (September 2006), 3, 377 - 387.

Leo, Christopher. “Multi - Level Governance and Ideological Rigidity:  The Failure of Deep Federalism,” Canadian Journal of Political  Science, 42:1 (2009), 93 - 116.

Saskatchewan-Regina JSGS 801 Governance and Administration

Bakvis, Herman and Mark D. Jarvis. 2012. From New Public Management to New Political Governance. Montreal and Kingston, Queens - McGill University Press.

Rhodes, R.A.W. 1996. “The New Governance: Governing Without Government.”  Political Studies 44(4), 652 - 667.

Peters, B. G., and J. Pierre. 1998. “Governance without Government? Rethinking Public Administration.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 8(2), 223 - 44.

American PUAD 612 Public Administration in the Policy Process

Osborne, David, and Ted Gaebler. (1992). Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector. Contents, xix - xxi, 12 - 16, 34 - 37.

Osborne, David, and Peter Plastrick. (2005). Banishing Bureaucracy.

Moore, Mark H. (1995). Creating Public Value. 13 - 21, 65 - 76.

Terry, Larry D. (2007). “The Thinning of Administrative Institutions”

Case: High Stakes and Frightening Lapses: DSS, La Alianza Hispana and the Public - Private Question in Child Protection Work (A).

Case: “Prisons,” from Wilson. Bureaucracy. Chapters 1 and 2.

Syllabi Cited

Toronto PPG 1000 Governance and Institutions

Toronto PPG 2013 Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations in the Policy-Making Process

Carleton PADM 5117 Public Sector Management and the Canadian Political System

Saskatchewan-Regina JSGS 801 Governance and Administration

American PUAD 612 Public Administration in the Policy Process

Possible Assessment Questions:

  1. Define “New Public Management”
  2. Describe some of the major critiques of New Public Management
  3. What problems was the new public management approach meant to solve?

Page updated by: Sean Goertzen and Ben Eisen, 20 October 2014.


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