Across Europe there has been an increasing trend towards addressing coordination problems within the public sector. New administrative instruments and reforms have been introduced to deal with the alleged disintegration or fragmentation brought about by NPM, to increase steering capacity and to deal with ‘wicked problems’. This chapter examines top executives’ assessments of horizontal and vertical coordination problems both internally, within the central government, and externally, in partnerships with stakeholders in the private and civil sectors. We present survey data from 17 European countries and explore variations in role identification relating to coordination culture, coordination mechanisms, the assessment of coordination quality and public management performance with respect to coordination. The study shows that although hierarchy is still a dominant coordination mechanism, the perceived quality of coordination is more linked to the use of network-type arrangements and the presence of a coordination culture.
Per Lægreid, Tiina Randma-Liiv, Lise H. Rykkja and Külli Sarapuu
The Missing Link?
Tom Christensen and Per Lægreid
Per Lægreid and Lise H. Rykkja
The chapter describes dominant public management reform trends and top-level civil servants’ assessments of the use of managerial tools within the public sector of Norway with a focus on the last five years. A main finding is that Norway largely follows the same reform trends as in Europe, with the important exception of public sector downsizing. The managerial tools that are used are judged as rather successful, in contrast to many other European countries. The reform features are in line with the traditional Norwegian collaborative reform strategy and policy style, and confirm a reluctant and incremental approach emphasizing managerial aspects rather than privatization and marketization.