New Public Management: Current Trends and Future Prospects

By Kate McLaughlin; Stephen P. Osborne et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 8

Best Value

New Public Management or new direction?

Steve Martin

Introduction

This chapter examines the extent to which the concept of 'Best Value' as it is being developed within the UK public sector can be seen as the NPM 'in action'. It suggests that in some senses the new regime appears to be the high-water mark of the NPM. However, it is likely to test to destruction a number of the underlying assumptions of the NPM framework and in the process to demonstrate the need for a more sophisticated analysis of the role of local public services and approaches to their regulation. In particular the apparent paradoxes of the Best Value regime need to be understood in the context of conflicting interests and agendas of central and local government, business, organized labour and service users and the internal tensions within the British Labour Party between the 'modernizers' and other factions.


The New Public Management

Both the NPM and Best Value are slippery concepts susceptible to a multitude of overlapping and, in the case of Best Value, apparently contradictory interpretations. According to some accounts (notably successive OECD studies - 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997) the NPM constitutes a unified, consistent and coherent set of 'business like' or neo-managerial practices. Promoted by fiscal crises and the resulting search for 'cost-effectiveness' or 'value for money', the NPM is seen as having increasingly dominated public governance and public service delivery in most Western democracies. There has, we are told, been a shift from tight ex ante control of inputs by the senior management. The centre has apparently become increasingly concerned with 'steering and strategic control', and responsibility for service delivery has been devolved to front-line staff operating within a system of 'continuously monitored management by objectives with accountability for results' (OECD 1994:54).

This account has of course been contested by a number of commentators. Polidano et al. (1998:21) have concluded that there really is 'no such thing as a single model of New Public Management reform'. Kickert (1997, 1999) has argued that there is an Anglo-American bias in many descriptions of the NPM which glosses over the very different types, different rates and different

-129-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
New Public Management: Current Trends and Future Prospects
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 355

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.