Edited by Stephen P. Osborne and Louise Brown
The diffusion of substantively similar reforms in significantly diverse settings is a subject of considerable interest in the field of public policy and public administration. This is reflected in the volume of literature that has developed over the last 25 years on the diffusion of New Public Management (NPM) prescriptions. Different scholars have suggested different criteria for determining their substantive similarity. For example, Hood (1991) finds a commonality in their tendency to privilege ‘efficiency’ over both ‘fairness’ and ‘safety’ values while Dunleavy et al. (2006) find integrating NPM themes in processes of ‘disaggregation’, ‘competition’ and ‘individualisation’. In this chapter we propose that the overarching common theme of NPM is the adoption of putative market and private sector business practices into the management of the public sector.
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