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Book part
Publication date: 6 August 2012

Karen Johnston Miller

Purpose – The chapter provides a review of the debates about the discipline of public administration and public management as art, craft, and science. Thus, the chapter…

Abstract

Purpose – The chapter provides a review of the debates about the discipline of public administration and public management as art, craft, and science. Thus, the chapter includes a conceptualization of public administration and a discussion of public administration and public management research, scholarship, and practice. The review of the discipline includes a historical perspective and contemporary debates of public administration, new public management (NPM), public sector management, and governance in order to discuss the future trajectories and trends of the discipline.

Design/Methodology/Approach – A range of historical, seminal, and recently published scholarly works are reviewed and discussed, including also an analysis based on primary and secondary research of journal databases, conference proceedings, academic schools, and websites relevant to the discipline.

Findings – The study of government in various guises – whether public administration, public management, governance, public policy – will continue to develop, evolve, and fascinate scholars and practitioners. There will be a continued interest and study of the business of government with three possible trends: (1) a narrow focus on technocratic, managerial approaches in an attempt to provide solutions for more effective and efficient government; (2) a multidisciplinary approach to addressing complex social problems or “wicked policy” problems across narrow specialized interests for “greater principles” of society; and (3) methodological pluralism in the study of government, which may add to the depth or fragmentation of the discipline.

Research limitations/Implications – The research is limited to a review with some primary and secondary research. It provides scholars and practitioners with the conceptualization of public administration, public management and governance. The chapter provides a critical perspective of the state of research and scholarship with an argument that academics need to move beyond parochial debates within the discipline and provide practitioners with empirically based solutions to increasingly complex social and “wicked policy” problems.

Practical implications – This chapter provides scholars, students, and practitioners with (1) a conceptual understanding of public administration, public management, NPM and governance; (2) a historical and contemporary perspective of the discipline; and (3) a critical perspective of research and scholarship that will provide a debate on the state of discipline.

Originality/Value – The chapter is a synthesis and review of the discipline in terms of research and scholarship drawing upon international perspectives to provide a critical debate for scholars and practitioners.

Details

Emerging and Potential Trends in Public Management: An Age of Austerity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-998-2

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 December 2018

Paul D. Ahn and Kerry Jacobs

The purpose of this paper is to explore how an accounting association and its key members define, control, and claim their knowledge; adopt a closure and/or openness…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how an accounting association and its key members define, control, and claim their knowledge; adopt a closure and/or openness policy to enhance their status/influence; and respond to structural/institutional forces from international organisations and/or the state in a particular historical context, such as a globalised/neo-liberalised setting.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on Pierre Bourdieu’s theoretical tools (field, capital, habitus, and doxa) to understand how public sector accrual accounting was defined, and how the Korean Association for Government Accounting was formed and represented as a group with public sector accounting expertise. The research context was the implementation of accrual accounting in South Korea between 1997/1998, when the Asian financial crisis broke out, and 2006/2007, when accrual accounting was enforced by legislation. The authors interviewed social actors recognised as public sector accounting experts, in addition to examining related documents such as articles in academic journals, newsletters, invitations, membership forms, newspaper articles, and curricula vitae.

Findings

The authors found that the key founders of KAGA included some public administration professors, who advocated public sector accrual accounting via civil society groups immediately after Korea applied to the International Monetary Fund for bailout loans and a new government was formed in 1997/1998. In conjunction with public servants, they defined and designed public sector accrual accounting as a measure of public sector reform and as a part of the broader government budget process, rather than as an accounting initiative. They also co-opted accounting professors and CPA-qualified accountants through their personal connections, based on shared educational backgrounds, to represent the association as a public sector accounting experts’ group.

Originality/value

These findings suggest that the study of the accounting profession cannot be restricted to a focus on professional accounting associations and that accounting knowledge can be acquired by non-accountants. Therefore, the authors argue that the relationship between accounting knowledge, institutional forms, and key actors’ strategies is rich and multifaceted.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 March 2022

Evangelos Psomas, Efthalia Keramida and Nancy Bouranta

The purpose of this study is to identify the practical implications of Lean, Six Sigma (SS) and Lean SS (LSS) in the public administration sector. Determining the key…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the practical implications of Lean, Six Sigma (SS) and Lean SS (LSS) in the public administration sector. Determining the key themes of these practical implications is also an aim of the present study.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review (SLR) was conducted based on the databases of six well-known academic publishers, namely, Emerald, Elsevier/Science Direct, Springer Link, Taylor and Francis, Sage and Willey online. The review revealed 56 peer-reviewed journal articles published between 2004 and 2020. The “affinity diagram” was applied to group the practical implications of Lean, SS and LSS into logical themes.

Findings

A plethora of practical implications of Lean, SS and LSS in the public administration sector are identified in the literature, examples of which are analytically presented. The analysis showed that the practical implications identified can be grouped into 14 meaningful themes, and these themes in turn into categories, formulating thus, a conceptual framework. The key themes that are supported in the literature by most references are the following: human factors involved in Lean/SS/LSS, Lean/SS/LSS benefits and Lean/SS/LSS implementation issues.

Research limitations/implications

Although several databases were used, some publishers might have been missed out in this SLR. The subjectivity in applying the “affinity diagram” is also a limitation of this study. Based on these limitations, further literature review studies can be designed.

Practical implications

Twofold implications arise from the present study, meaning from the practitioner and the academic perspective. The practical implications identified as well as their meaningful themes revealed constitute useful guidelines for managers and decision-makers wishing to implement Lean/SS/LSS in the public administration sector and bridge their knowledge gap between theory and practice. Moreover, all the practical dimensions of Lean/SS/LSS included in the comprehensive conceptual framework formulated could serve as research avenues for academics.

Originality/value

The application of Lean/SS/LSS in the public sector has not been widely reviewed, while the stream of literature focuses on limited issues (critical success factors, benefits, challenges, etc.). Moreover, SLRs in services and specifically in the public administration sector are fewer. Stimulated by this gap and the suggestions of other researchers for future studies, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study provides the first SLR which analyzes the practical implications of Lean/SS/LSS in the public administration sector and determines their key themes.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 May 2014

Sabina Klimentova

The aim of this chapter is to study innovation in the public sector, to get a better understanding of what is considered as an innovation, to show how that can be measured…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this chapter is to study innovation in the public sector, to get a better understanding of what is considered as an innovation, to show how that can be measured and to define different types of observed innovations. The chapter addresses to study all significant changes and improvements made within 12 Luxembourg public organizations.

Methodology/approach

The first part is a literature review with presentation of the key definitions and concepts; it illustrates the themes related to innovation and its measurement in the public sector. The second part presents the methodology applied to 12 Luxembourg public administrations. I based my study on a follow-up interviews conducted in 2008 within certain public organizations, followed by a second phase of satisfaction surveys completed from the rest of the administrations in 2012. I analyzed the results and measured public services’ degree of innovation. I adopted the Australian case of conceptual framework and presented its application into the Luxembourgish context taking into account national problematic in the discussion section. Comments and feedback are directly extracted from the interviews are added in the conclusion.

Findings

After analyzing the self-assessment’s final reports of 12 Luxembourg public organizations, my team and I, grouped the areas to innovate in different categories in order to identify the origins of the most recurrent causes. These self-assessment reports have also highlighted the lack of outcome evaluation in public organizations.

Practical implication

This study will help public sector organizations to develop strategies to improve innovation capability. First by implementing the continuous improvement program and second by measuring the public sector innovation, it will help organizations to identify their strengths and weaknesses on various aspects of innovation.

Details

Performance Measurement and Management Control: Behavioral Implications and Human Actions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-378-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 April 2018

Supachai Yavaprabhas

Thailand continuously has had administrative reforms in spite of periods of military regime and democratic government. This chapter describes the leadership of…

Abstract

Thailand continuously has had administrative reforms in spite of periods of military regime and democratic government. This chapter describes the leadership of administration reforms coming from issue experts and senior civil service officers described as a ‘jazz-banded’ leadership model of different actors. Political parties pick up reform packages consistent with their policy platforms, while the military looks for ready-to-deliver policy packages. The author discusses the example of education and health care reforms and the role of the Office of Public Sector Development Commission (OPDC). In Thailand, resistance usually occurred during the implantation stage rather than at the formulation stage. The chapter discusses that OPDC initiatives were implemented with bonuses of up to 12-month salary for some senior officers and department heads. In health care, success came from concerted efforts of health care experts who transcend their ideas from one generation to another and who kept convincing politicians running the Ministry of Public Health. However, in other instances, budget allocations may bump up against financial procedures that are detailed and tight due to anti-corruption practices. In education reforms, teachers were placed at different school districts that lacked commitment. In the decentralization of reforms, resistance comes from line ministries wanting to secure their authority, although local authorities are very active. Resistance often requires negotiation of many parties; rarely do politicians step in to overcome and assist.

Details

Leadership and Public Sector Reform in Asia
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-309-0

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 24 May 2022

Eva Bermúdez-Figueroa and Beltrán Roca

This paper aims to describe and explain women's labor participation in the public sector, particularly at the local level. The paper analyses the representation of women…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe and explain women's labor participation in the public sector, particularly at the local level. The paper analyses the representation of women employees in the public sector through a case study of a city council in a mid-sized Spanish city. The authors delve into the extent of gender labor discrimination in public administration, exploring a diversity of situations, experiences, and perceptions of women workers in female, neutral, and male-dominated areas in the local administration.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have applied a combined methodology of quantitative analysis based on an exhaustive analysis of the list of job posts, and qualitative analysis from the narratives of women workers in biographical interviews, in women-dominated, neutral and male-dominated areas.

Findings

The authors conclude by providing a clear description of women's representation in local administration. Despite the institutional efforts in applying gender equality norms and public policies in administration, employment and labor market, this article shows the persistent inequality in employment within the administration. The paper demonstrates that public administrations can be seen as gender regimes that tend to reproduce inequality by formal and informal dynamics. This inequality gender reproduction in a supposedly gender-neutral administration reflects discrimination in a labor market. The paper details phenomena relating to horizontal occupational segregation, glass ceilings, sticky floors, and the undervaluing of women's work, among other phenomena.

Practical implications

The administration should consider two essential factors that endanger gender equality: (1) the demonstrated regression of gender mainstreaming and the effects on women's employment as a consequence of the crisis, and (2) neoliberal governments and extreme right-wing parties (or neoliberal governments and extreme right-wing parties' support, as is the case with the current Andalusian regional government), whose agenda includes the fight against what neoliberal governments and extreme right-wing parties call “gender ideology”.

Social implications

The gap between the effectiveness of gender legislation and actual working practices within the administration has been highlighted. This fact should be a wake-up call for the administrations to strictly comply with gender legislation, given that local administrations are the closest to the citizens. Future research should focus on changes to detect any regression and to prevent losing the improvements already achieved, which can still be very much strengthened.

Originality/value

This article helps to fill the gap in the literature on gender discrimination in the labor market, which often omits the public sector, especially in local administration, which is the closest administrative structure to citizenship respecting public policies. The article contributes to highlighting the need for an egalitarian labor market in order to achieve optimal performance, commitment and efficiency in egalitarian labor relations in local administration.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 44 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

María del Carmen Pardo

The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the profile of public administration concerning its capacity to authoritatively assign values to a society, and in particular to…

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the profile of public administration concerning its capacity to authoritatively assign values to a society, and in particular to the political system in Mexico. Many of the recent transformations in the Mexican public administration have occurred in a context in which a democratic opening of the political system has been the main trait of public life. This is the main light under which these changes in Mexico's federal public administration in recent years should be read.

The article explores the structural features of both the government and the federal public administration in Mexico. In particular, the transformation of the administrative apparatus not only in quantitative but also in qualitative terms is explained as a result of a change in the balance between the public and private sectors in recent decades, as well as the experience of the Professional Career Service and its impact on public officials in Mexico. We examine the links of the bureaucracy with political parties and civil society, as well as the political relationships within the public administration itself. We also describe accountability within the federal public administration. We explore recent reform and change processes in Mexico's administrative apparatus. Finally, some considerations are given to the opportunities and challenges facing the contemporary Mexican public administration as a result of having huge problems and at the same time partial solutions.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 6 November 2015

Lode De Waele, Liselore Berghman and Paul Matthyssens

The discussion about public sector performance is still present today, despite the profound research that has already tried to address this subject. Furthermore, theory…

Abstract

Purpose

The discussion about public sector performance is still present today, despite the profound research that has already tried to address this subject. Furthermore, theory links negative effects on organizational performance with increased levels of organizational complexity. However, literature thus far did not succeed to put forward a successful theory that explains why and how public organizations became increasingly complex. To answer this question, we argue that increased organizational complexity can be explained by viewing public organizations as the hybrid result of different institutional logics, which are shaped by various management views. However, former research mainly concentrated on the separate study of management views such as traditional public management (TPM), NPM, and post-NPM. Although appealing, research that approaches hybridity from this perspective is fairly limited.

Methodology/approach

We conducted a literature review in which we studied 80 articles about traditional public management, NPM, and post-NPM.

Findings

We found that these management views essentially differ on the base of three fault lines, depending on the level of the organizational culture. These fault lines, according to the management view, together result in nine dimensions. By combing dimensions of the different management views, we argue that a public organization becomes hybrid. Furthermore, in line with findings of contingency theory, we explain the level of hybridity might depend on the level of tight coupling for a given organization. Finally, we developed propositions that explain hybridity as the result of isomorphic forces, organizational change, and organizational resistance to change and that link hybridization with processes of selective coupling.

Originality/value

The value of this chapter lies in its real-life applicability.

Details

Contingency, Behavioural and Evolutionary Perspectives on Public and Nonprofit Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-429-4

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 December 2018

Ileana Steccolini

The purpose of this paper is to reflect various pathways for public sector accounting and accountability research in a post-new public management (NPM) context.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect various pathways for public sector accounting and accountability research in a post-new public management (NPM) context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first discusses the relationship between NPM and public sector accounting research. It then explores the possible stimuli that inter-disciplinary accounting scholars may derive from recent public administration studies, public policy and societal trends, highlighting possible ways to extend public sector accounting research and strengthen dialogue with other disciplines.

Findings

NPM may have represented a golden age, but also a “golden cage,” for the development of public sector accounting research. The paper reflects possible ways out of this golden cage, discussing future avenues for public sector accounting research. In doing so, it highlights the opportunities offered by re-considering the “public” side of accounting research and shifting the attention from the public sector, seen as a context for public sector accounting research, to publicness, as a concept central to such research.

Originality/value

The paper calls for stronger engagement with contemporary developments in public administration and policy. This could be achieved by looking at how public sector accounting accounts for, but also impacts on, issues of wider societal relevance, such as co-production and hybridization of public services, austerity, crises and wicked problems, the creation and maintenance of public value and democratic participation.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 11 November 2020

Graham Hassall

Abstract

Details

Government and Public Policy in the Pacific Islands
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-616-8

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