International Handbook of Public Management Reform
Show Less

International Handbook of Public Management Reform

Edited by Shaun Goldfinch and Joe L. Wallis

This major Handbook provides a state-of-the-art study of the recent history and future development of international public management reform.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 16: Danish Public Management Reform Before and After NPM

Jørgen Christensen


Jørgen Christensen In 1983 the Danish government launched an ambitious program for modernization of the public sector. The program was comprehensive. It covered the entire public sector, including the strong local governments. It also covered all aspects of public sector management with one important exception: in 1983 there was no demand for a major structural reform relocating tasks within the public sector. Nor was there any mention of large-scale reorganization and structural reform. The pervasive tone was one of managerialism, combined with a quest for stronger responsiveness to users. There are several reasons to begin this account of Danish public management reform here. First, the program reads as vintage new public management (NPM) but note the date of launch: 30 November 1983. At that time nobody talked about new public management. The later canons of NPM and reinventing government were still to come (Barzelay 1992; Osborne and Gaebler 1992; cf. also Wilson 1994). New Zealand had not conceived, much less initiated its radical transformation of the state. Second, the 1983 program rapidly acquired almost mythological status in the local discourse over public sector and public management reform. A quarter of a century later it is still referred to as the turning point in the thinking about public sector management. Here it is useful to consider a third point. The program for modernizing the public sector was hardly razor sharp in its approach. Analysis and presentation was longwinded, the rationale vague and the prescriptions far from operational. No wonder that...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.