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Improving Public Management

Improving Public Management

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

December 1990 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Now in paperback in an Enlarged Edition, this volume explores the lessons of one of the most comprehensive attempts to improve public management.

Metcalfe and Richards describe and assess Thatcher's Efficiency Strategy as an exercise in improving public management. They explain how the strategy has gone about improving administrative performance by increasing cost-consciousness in the use of resources and creating flexibility for managing change. They analyze major themes such as: decentralization, information systems and budgets as management tools, organization design, and the management of interdepartmental relations.

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

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ISBN: 9780803984004