New Public Management



The 1980s and 1990s saw the emergence of a new managerial approach in the public sector, in response to the inadequacies of the traditional model of administration. This approach may alleviate some of the problems of the earlier model, but does mean quite dramatic changes in how the public sector operates. As noted earlier, the managerial approach has many names: ‘managerialism’ (Pollitt, 1990); ‘new public management’ (Hood, 1991); ‘market-based public administration’ (Lan and Rosenbloom, 1992); the ‘post-bureaucratic paradigm’ (Barzelay, 1992); or ‘entrepreneurial government’ (Osborne and Gaebler, 1992). In most of what follows, the terms ‘new public management’ (NPM) and ‘managerialism’ will be used interchangeably, although managerialism does tend to be used as a pejorative by other writers. ‘New public management’ also contrasts with the earlier American usage of ‘public management’, which sometimes sees it as a technical sub-field of public administration (see Chapter 1).


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© Owen E. Hughes 1998

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