This chapter provides conceptual explanations about goal and ambiguity separately. Then goal ambiguity in public management is explained in terms of definition, importance, and paradox. Goal ambiguity is defined as the extent to which a set of goals in a public program or an organization allows different interpretations in deciding work related to target, time limit, and external evaluation. Ambiguous goals can have negative effects throughout a program, an organization, and further on citizens and society and on public service performance. However, public managers must face dilemmatic situations between clear goals for (rational) managerial strategy and ambiguous goals for political need (e.g. interventions on the society versus broader political support), which is called the paradox of goal ambiguity. Then this chapter describes the plan of this book.
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Chan S. Jung
Chan S. Jung
This chapter points to the gap in the current literatures in public governance, public administration and public management as regards the philosophical issues – ontological, political philosophical and epistemological – that underlie and ground any inquiry into public administration topics. The chapter examines this gap and addresses defining issues about how to characterise the field of public administration, on one hand, and about what philosophy is, what questions it addresses that are not tackled by the social sciences and what constitutes progress in philosophical thought, on the other hand. On these bases, it provides an outline of the book.
A Fitness Landscape Model Approach
Lasse Gerrits and Peter Marks
Steven Van de Walle, Gerhard Hammerschmid, Rhys Andrews and Philippe Bezes
Despite the salience of public administration reforms in Europe, there is surprisingly little systematic research identifying how and whether public sector reforms have been implemented, and with what outcomes. This introductory chapter introduces the topic of public administration reform, as well as the general approach and purpose of the book. With an aim of evaluating public administration reforms in different European countries, three reform paradigms are distinguished. The first has the implementation of Weberian-style structures and processes at its core; the second is the introduction of the New Public Management, and the third brings together elements of Weberianism with aspects of NPM. A secondary objective is to study convergence and divergence in European public administration reform through a comparison across a large set of European countries.