Consultancy in Government: Conditions for Success of a ‘Change Agent’
The use of management consultants in the public sector is a phenomenon which has grown in scope and influence over the past few years. An increasing number of governments have created in-government consultancy (see also Grant, this volume) units to support their public management reform policies. This chapter discusses the role of internal consultancy in the implementation of public sector reforms, pointing out the advantages and potential problems in trusting this kind of support for change. Mainly on the basis of Finnish experience, we will assess what kind of support for change is most effectively provided by in-government consultancy units, and discuss the strategies that can be used in the financing, organizing and ways of working of these units. A problem we want to address is that, while a client-based way of working is important if the consultancy units are to be accepted and trusted by managers in the organizations using their services, consultancy focusing on the needs of single agencies may also become a disintegrating force as it tends to emphasize the autonomy and distinct needs of individual organizations. A challenge to be met when developing strategies for internal consultancy is how it also could be a support for integration and coordination of government-wide renewal.
KeywordsPublic Sector Reform Policy Public Management Public Organization Public Enterprise
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