Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Management
Edited by Paul Windrum and Per Koch
Chapter 2: New Public Management and Cultural Change: The Case of UK Public Sector Project Sponsors as Leaders
Mark Hall and Robin Holt
2. New Public Management and cultural change: the case of UK public sector project sponsors as leaders Mark Hall and Robin Holt 2.1 INTRODUCTION Of the many initiatives aimed at improving the innovate nature of public service provision, one of the most signiﬁcant in the UK has been the introduction of New Public Management. The spirit of this managerial reform is one of accountability in which public servants recognize and embrace responsibility for the direct delivery of service by being answerable to the clients and politicians, and open to competition from other potential providers. The idea is that this operational and limited strategic latitude and results-oriented assessment aﬀords the civil servants institutional space to innovate based on their own insight and experience, relatively free from the shackles of daily political interference. Hood and Scott (2000) describe this as a bargain, where civil servants give up their right to anonymity and permanent positions and in exchange politicians give up their right to interfere in the managerial space of service provision. The hope is that in being free to act and innovate and having responsibility for the outcomes, improved service provision will result. What we investigate in this chapter is an empirical case of New Public Management in operation; speciﬁcally the cultural conditions by which the innovative aspirations of New Public Management might take root. We identify those experiences in which innovation was inhibited in some way (notably in the persistence of political inﬂuence, albeit in more formal,...
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