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New public management reforms in Europe and their effects: findings from a 20-country top executive survey

Hammerschmid, Gerhard, Van de Walle, Steven, Andrews, Rhys ORCID: and Mostafa, Ahmed Mohammed Syed 2019. New public management reforms in Europe and their effects: findings from a 20-country top executive survey. International Review of Administrative Sciences 85 (3) , pp. 399-418. 10.1177/0020852317751632

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This article assesses the impact of New Public Management (NPM)-style reforms in European countries as perceived by top public sector officials. Using data from an executive survey conducted in 20 European countries, we look at the relationship between five key NPM reforms (downsizing, agencification, contracting out, customer orientation and flexible employment practices) and four dimensions of public sector performance: cost efficiency, service quality, policy coherence and coordination, and equal access to services. Structural equation modelling reveals that treating service users as customers and flexible employment are positively related to improvements on all four dimensions of performance. Contracting out and downsizing are both positively related to improved efficiency, but downsizing is also associated with worse service quality. The creation of autonomous agencies is unrelated to performance. This suggests that policy-makers seeking to modernize the public sector should prioritize managerial reforms within public organizations over structural transformations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0020-8523
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 1 November 2017
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 22:32

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