Table of Contents

Public Administration Reforms in Europe

Public Administration Reforms in Europe

The View from the Top

Edited by Gerhard Hammerschmid, Steven Van de Walle, Rhys Andrews and Philippe Bezes

Based on a survey of more than 6700 top civil servants in 17 European countries, this book explores the impacts of New Public Management (NPM)-style reforms in Europe from a uniquely comparative perspective. It examines and analyses empirical findings regarding the dynamics, major trends and tools of administrative reforms, with special focus on the diversity of top executives’ perceptions about the effects of those reforms.

Chapter 15: Reinventing the old reform agenda: public administrative reform and performance in Sweden

Helena Wockelberg and Shirin Ahlbäck Öberg

Subjects: business and management, public management, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, public administration and management, public policy


In Sweden the institutional setup of semi-autonomous state agencies and local self-government predates some of the objectives of New Public Management reforms. Nevertheless, from the 1990s Sweden has been a zealous follower of NPM reforms. At present, Swedish top managers identify two main reform trends that correspond with the government’s goals for the public sector. One trend relates to already established management ideas, focusing on transparency, efficiency and performance. Another trend reflects an increased focus on citizenship as a question of consumer satisfaction. Soft steering tools appear to be effective in creating an elite consensus on public management policies.

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