Introduces the special issue, which looks at the changes experienced by public sector organisations during the last 20 years of the twentieth century, when they were being transformed from a bureaucratic system to a market‐oriented results‐driven system. States that during the 1990s the need for participation, involvement and empowerment of staff began to pervade the thinking of public managers and there was a move away from the old hierarchical command structures in the public sector in order to create more fluid responsive organisations. The issue looks at some of the negative and unanticipated effects of these changes.
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