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.