Reinventing civil servants: Public management development and education to meet the managerialist challenge in Australia

John Dixon (Lingnan College, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Publication date: 1 October 1996

Abstract

Australia began a comprehensive process of federal civil service reform in the 1970s, culminating in the introduction of a set of ambitious administrative reforms in the 1980s. Faced with the challenges of reform implementation, the traditional approach to public management development in the Australian Public Service (APS) was found wanting. By the end of the 1980s it was broadly accepted within the APS that the correct management development path to follow involved the articulation of management competences. The next challenge was to determine how best to inculcate these desired competences. Public management education emerged as one strategy. By placing emphasis on civil servants’ management competences, however, public management education compounds the risk that civil servants may become less able, even less willing, to understand and address the complexities of the regulatory and accountability regimes, and the ethical challenges created by the juxtaposition of administrative power with ambiguity, complexity and indeterminacy. All of these affect, if not govern, the way they must manage.

Keywords

Citation

Dixon, J. (1996), "Reinventing civil servants: Public management development and education to meet the managerialist challenge in Australia", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 15 No. 7, pp. 62-82. https://doi.org/10.1108/02621719610122811

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Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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