You are here

Improving Public Management
Share

Improving Public Management

Revised Edition
  • Les Metcalfe - European Institute of Public Administration, Netherlands
  • Sue Richards - Office for Public Management, London

March 1991 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"Better management" is a seductive call for contemporary governments facing the problems of coping with increasing demands and rapid change while living with tight resource constraints. This book examines the lessons of one of the most comprehensive attempts at improving public management in the United Kingdom from 1979 to the present. The authors, both of whom have worked in the British Civil Service, are uniquely placed to assess the government's efforts to improve administrative performance by increasing cost-consciousness in the use of resources and creating flexibility for management change. They provide a broad overview of the changes, and analyze major themes such as decentralization, information systems, and organization design. Rich with ideas and theory, and well grounded in empirical facts, this is a major contribution to the growing field of public management. "...valuable not only for its detailed examples but also for its theoretical perspectives." --Directions in Government "This is the first full-length study of the Rayner reforms available. Well referenced. For all college students and general readers." --Choice "Rich in ideas and breadth of theory, and well grounded in empirical fact, this book is a major contribution to the growing field of public management improvement." --Canadian Public Administration "A well written and carefully crafted discussion...rich with ideas and concepts that policy makers, researchers, scholars, practitioners, and students could use in understanding, appreciating and improving public management in the United States....highly readable and rich with useful and practical ideas....Those looking for insights and ideas which address the myths and realities of public management will cherish this work." --American Review of Public Administration "A valuable account....The depth of the authors' analysis is enhanced by a tight discussion of conceptual problems and an excellent knowledge of the inner workings of departments thanks to their previous involvement in teaching at the Civil Service College." --West European Politics "An excellent introduction to the subject matter." --Organizational Studies

 
Preface
 
Thatcherism and Raynerism
 
Management and Efficiency in Government
 
Management Information and the Minister as Manager
 
Centralize In Order To Decentralize
 
Spend to Save
 
Statisticians as Professionals in Government
 
The Efficiency of the Efficiency Strategy
 
Market Approaches to Public Management
 
The Financial Management Initiative
 
The Politics of Efficiency and Management of Change

Reviews of the original edition:

`The most authoritative (study) to date' - New Statesman

`a useful and important contribution to the analysis of Thatcherism and the development of recent administrative methods' - International Review of Social Sciences

`provide(s) a useful introduction to, and critique of, developments in civil service management between 1979 and 1985' - Parliamentary Affairs

`The depth of the authors' analysis is enhanced by a tight discussion of conceptual problems and an excellent knowledge of the inner workings of departments thanks to their previous involvement in teaching at the Civil Service College' - West European Politics

Review of the enlarged edition:

`a sure-footed account of issues in public management....It thus represents a great advance over the generation of books in the 1970s that were largely prescriptive, normative and definitional. - Teaching Public Administration

`Thatcher government's crusade for efficiency in government (had) a global effect, so much so that what has been attempted in Britain deserves a serious study. Metcalfe and Richards merit high commendations for their relentless efforts, penetrating analysis and worthwhile results in explaining what is steadily becoming a worldwide movement.' - Indian Journal of Public Administration

`...the authors have given the readers not only very useful case studies of the substance and process of administrative reform but also have raised provocative questions regarding the nature of accountability in British politics and administration' - Governance

Preview this book

For instructors

To inquire about the availability of this title for review (print and/or digital), please contact your local sales representative or call (800) 818-7243.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9780803984004
$62.00