The View from the Top
Edited by Gerhard Hammerschmid, Steven Van de Walle, Rhys Andrews and Philippe Bezes
Chapter 6: German public administration: incremental reform and a difficult terrain for management ideas and instruments
In international comparative literature, Germany is frequently coined as a ‘laggard’ or a ‘latecomer’ with regard to (new) public management reforms. This chapter based on answers from top officials in German federal and state government reveals a more nuanced picture of public administration reforms in Germany. It shows that German public administration is more prone to reform and more aligned to European reform trends than would be expected. Executives’ values, self-perceptions and reform experiences indicate an increasing opening towards a management logic and administrative reforms. The practical impact of these reforms trends both at policy field and especially organizational level has remained rather limited up until now and do not indicate a substantial change in the dominantly Weberian and legalistic character of German public administration.
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