Public management dynamics in a federal legalistic Rechtsstaat system

Gerhard Hammerschmid (Department of Public Management, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna, Austria)
Renate E. Meyer (Department of Public Management, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna, Austria)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Purpose

Sets out to present current dynamics of public management reform in Austria, a country that is characterized by institutional governance features (federal structure, legalistic Rechtsstaat tradition) often described as an obstacle to management‐oriented reforms. The paper's focus lies in the reception of management ideas and concepts by public sector executives within this special national context and in differences between federal and state administration.

Design/methodology/approach

Presents results of a recent questionnaire‐based executive survey (sample size: 385). Apart from non‐parametric correlation analyses, investigates level differences (federal vs state) by using an independent samples Mann‐Whitney U rank sum test.

Findings

Highlights the importance of the national institutional background for understanding public management changes. Finds considerable support for reform initiatives despite some scepticism and resistance towards management knowledge and instruments. Results confirm that executives in a legalistic Rechtsstaat system are not per se opposed to management‐driven reforms. Regarding the reception of public management reforms, at various government levels, differences between federal and state level are less pronounced than expected.

Originality/value

Addresses the lack of empirical research regarding the reception of management ideas in legalistic Rechtsstaat systems by presenting data from a country which has hardly been covered by international public management literature so far. This study also compares the reception at federal and state administration to look for level variations of management reform dynamics.

Keywords

Citation

Hammerschmid, G. and Meyer, R. (2005), "Public management dynamics in a federal legalistic Rechtsstaat system", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 18 No. 7, pp. 629-640. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513550510624086

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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