New Public Management: Current Trends and Future Prospects

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

challenge the managerial form in which they are currently embedded. But the political tensions within the modernization agenda are partially masked by the legacy of NPM and the organizational and management theories on which it draws. The discourses and practices of NPM apparently neutralize and displace the conflicts between different agendas (social, political, economic) and between the requirements of different stakeholders (government, citizens, users, 'communities'). A modern public service, then, is likely to be one in which a series of conflicts must be managed, contradictory imperatives balanced, and new and old agendas reconciled. Whether the models offered by the tools and technologies of NPM can enable public service organizations to fulfil these roles is another question.


Notes
1
The model of change here is based on the presumed power of heroic leadership: the capacity of individuals to transform organisations by motivating staff and putting in place new management systems.
2
Such 'super-heads', however, resigned in the first months of 2000 (The Guardian, 15 March 2000 4). These resignations, and the publicity surrounding them, raised concerns about the capacity of individuals to treat the symptoms of more structural problems in the education system by business recipes of organisational turnaround.

Bibliography
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Clarke, J., Gewitz, S., Hughes, G. and Humphrey, J. (2000) 'Guarding the public interest? The rise of audit and inspection'. In Clarke, J., Gewitz, S. and McLaughlin, E., eds,New Managerialism, New Welfare? London, Sage.
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