The New Public Management: Improving Research and Policy Dialogue

The New Public Management: Improving Research and Policy Dialogue

The New Public Management: Improving Research and Policy Dialogue

The New Public Management: Improving Research and Policy Dialogue


"Barzelay provides a convincing and coherent interdisciplinary framework for public sector management policy, which helps bridge the practitioner-academic divide. Public officials involved in reform policy will benefit from this book."--Alex Matheson, Public Management Service, OECD, Paris

"Much of what passes for analysis of New Public Management, both among advocates and detractors, is biased and superficial. Michael Barzelay has made a serious attempt to move the debate forward by identifying standards for reasoning about public managment, and this book deserves to be read carefully by students and teachers of the subject."--Christopher Hood, Gladstone Professor of Government, Oxford University

"This is a smart, challenging, and important book. It provides us with a framework for studying public management, demonstrating that it is indeed a field of policy analysis like environmental policy or foreign policy. . . . Barzelay outlines the rules that should govern serious multidisciplinary discourse in the field, thereby laying the foundation for a truly international research community."--Fred Thompson, Editor, "International Public Management Journal"

"Barzelay is a pioneer in the kind of administrative reform that empowers civil servants while making them more accountable to the societies they serve. His new book . . . is a much needed intellectual contribution to a field where interdisciplinary thinking is essential."--Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira, Fundacao Getuilio Vargas, Sao Paulo, and former Minister of Federal Administration and Reform, Brazil


The New Public Management (NPM) is a shorthand expression regularly used by scholars and professionals to refer to distinctive themes, styles, and patterns of public service management that have come to the fore within the past two decades, notably in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. the term first appeared in the academic literature in the early 1990s and quickly caught on. Scholars widely agree that npm exists; what the phrase “really means” is, however, a matter of controversy.

The original view held npm to be a body of doctrinal beliefs that had discredited Progressive Public Administration's answers to administrative what-to-do questions in government and that had established itself as an accepted administrative philosophy (Hood). NPM's acceptance, by this argument, was due to the rhetoric of “econocrats” and “consultocrats” (Hood and Jackson). a variant of this view is that npm is a set of highly mobile ideas about public management that have spread . . .

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