Obedient Servants?: Management Freedoms and Accountabilities in the New Zealand Public Sector

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Victoria University Press, 2003 - Political Science - 256 pages
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The experiences of a representative sample of public servants, members of Parliament, and informed observers of the control systems of New Zealand’s public management model adopted in the early 1990s are examined in this book. Revealed is a trend that is moving away from the tradition of delivering public services through a centralized bureaucracy. Richard Norman uses his experience critiquing public service bureaucracies as a journalist, working for a government-owned corporation that crashed after becoming too entrepreneurial, and delivering training in finance and management to public servants adjusting to the systems of the “New Public Management” model to examine the creation of a new model of control that achieves a balance between control and empowerment.
 

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Contents

Figures and Tables
6
Preface
7
Acknowledgements
8
Foreword
9
Introduction
17
Part One Public Sector Performance Challenging the conventions
25
Public sector reform choices for change
27
Managing for performance an overview
33
Clarity of objectives an elusive ideal
96
Creating quality information
122
The politics of accountability
143
At the centre or in control?
164
Efficiency and effectiveness the Holy Grail of public management
194
Part Three Conclusions
217
Moving beyond onedimensional thinking
219
Aspects of control systems
234

Research methodology
45
Introducing businesslike controls a public sector revolution in New Zealand
55
Part Two Realities of Reforms Perspectives from public servants and politicians
77
Limits to freedom
79
Timeline of events
237
References
240
Index
253
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Richard Norman is a senior lecturer with the management school at Victoria University of Wellington.

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