New Public Management - An Introduction from the UK Perspective

Promberger Kurt/Rauskala Iris
Working Paper No. 6, Zentrum für Verwaltungsmanagement, Innsbruck 2003


The term "new public management" has developed as "summary description of a way of reorganising public sector bodies to bring their management, reporting, and accounting approaches closer to (a particualar perception of) business methods". As a doctrine, the new public management refers to the failures and inadequacies of public sector performance over time, and locates the problem as lying in the nature and processes of public sector activity and public administration. Centralised bureaucracies, waste and inefficiency in resource use and inadequate mechanisms of accountability are all problems which the new public management sought to tackle.

This paper outlines the shift from traditionell public administration to the new public management and considers the theoretical background, as well as the prinicipal reform agenda under the new public management in the UK. Finally, the paper reflects on the UK experience and on the possible adaptation of the UK reforms on an international basis.

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