Public Administration Reforms in Europe
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Public Administration Reforms in Europe

The View from the Top

Edited by Gerhard Hammerschmid, Steven Van de Walle, Rhys Andrews and Philippe Bezes

Based on a survey of more than 6700 top civil servants in 17 European countries, this book explores the impacts of New Public Management (NPM)-style reforms in Europe from a uniquely comparative perspective. It examines and analyses empirical findings regarding the dynamics, major trends and tools of administrative reforms, with special focus on the diversity of top executives’ perceptions about the effects of those reforms.
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Chapter 12: Finland: active reformer looking for more centralisation and horizontal coordination

Turo Virtanen


The structures and steering systems of Finnish public administration have been reformed significantly since the early 1990s. Most reform trends are considered more important by top Finnish civil servants than by the COCOPS respondents on average. The strongest reform trends include transparency and open government, collaboration and cooperation within the public sector, e-governance, and focusing on outcomes and results. Implementation is based on a more top-down approach than is the case in other countries. Staff appraisal talks, management by objectives and results, and internal steering by contracts are used more commonly than in other countries. Key problems relate to policy coordination across governmental sectors and levels.

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