The Impact of the New Public Management: Challenges for Coordination and Cohesion in European Public Sectors

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Steven Van de Walle Gerhard Hammerschmid


New Public Management has been around for a quarter of a century in European public sectors, yet despite the movement’s emphasis on indicators and evidence, there have been surprisingly few encompassing evaluations. In this paper, we provide an overview of academic evaluation and impact studies of entire NPM-style reform programmes. We distinguish between two sets of NPM-style changes and reforms. One is that of specific managerial innovations within public organisations. The other consists of changes to the role of government and citizens as a result of NPM ideas. We conclude that a majority of academic research has focused on the first set of changes, while approaches to the second set has been mainly of a critical nature with relatively limited attention for empirical studies.

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