A critical analysis of the new public management

  • Lynn L
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Abstract

This essay critically examines the New Public Management (NPM) as a comprehensive administrative reform. For public sector reform to be successful it must reconcile several fundamental tensions that strongly influence public management practice. The first tension is that between legal and political traditions and the universalistic principles of management. The second is between models of governance resting upon the premise that self-interest motivates citizens and their representatives and models based upon the assumption that people manifest their preferences through trust and cooperation. NPM does not and perhaps cannot reconcile these tensions; indeed its proponents more often than not tend to sweep them under the table.

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  • L Lynn

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