Public Sector Leadership
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Public Sector Leadership

International Challenges and Perspectives

Edited by Jeffrey A. Raffel, Peter Leisink and Anthony E. Middlebrooks

The authors of this book define the issues facing public authorities and organizations in a range of developed nations as they address the challenges of the 21st century. They examine an array of ways leaders across these nations are addressing these challenges. The result is a comprehensive analysis of ways to improve leadership in the public sector and of the role of political and administrative leaders in shaping the future of the public sector. The overriding question addressed by this volume is how public leadership across the globe addresses new challenges (e.g., security, financial, demographic), new expectations of leaders (e.g., New Public Management, multi-sector service provision), and what leadership means in the new public sector.
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Chapter 2: Government Reform and Public Service Values in Democratic Societies

Frances Stokes Berry


Frances Stokes Berry The contemporary problem is how to organize the public sector so that it can adapt to the changing needs of society, without losing coherence of strategy or continuity of governance values. (OECD 2005, p. 13) INTRODUCTION There has been an international revolution in government management over the past thirty years. It is unprecedented in the breadth and scope of countries impacted, and it has occurred in both developed and developing countries alike. We are moving past incremental changes in government reform and considering ways to transform government into fundamentally different organizations from those in the industrial era. What does it mean to create a ‘transformed’ government? It involves change, of course. Webster’s dictionary defines transformation as: ‘An act, process or instance of change in structure, appearance or character; a conversion, revolution, makeover or renovation.’ Transformation is more than incremental changes; it involves a fundamental redoing of program design, application of technology and business processes. While every country has a unique footprint of how its administrative reforms have unfolded and which have been undertaken, there are many commonalities across countries, and there is evidence that much diffusion and cross-country learning has been taking place (for example, OECD 1997, 2005; Pollitt and Bouckaert 2000). The administrative reform movements in Great Britain and the United States were linked with Thatcher and Reagan, respectively, and had a distinctly ideological fervor about them, to downsize and decentralize government. Many developing countries adopted administrative reforms during times of economic crises or to meet...

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