Thinking about prescriptive strategies for improving public sector performance often gets side- tracked into a hunt for simple remedies, which turn out subsequently not to work as intended. We have charted here, for instance, the overall failure of new public management approaches to boost organizational productivity in UK government, despite being intensively applied for nearly two decades. In a closely congruent analysis, Hood and Dixon (2012) conclude that administrative spending and running costs increased sharply in Whitehall across the new public management (NPM) period (1980 to 2010) – making its reputation as a costcutting approach an ill- deserved one.
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