Unit 8 - Issues in Management Reform Flashcards Preview

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What is New Public Management?


An approach to public sector management that emerged in the 80s to foster greater economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in government. It emphasized that the public sector should adopt some of the techniques and behaviour of the private sector and grant public servants much greater operational freedom, subject to the overall control of the elected politicians

  • is both a political theory of the state in addition to being set of public sector management reforms through the Anglo-Saxon countries
  • ideas were premised on the idea that the civil service was lazy, slow, bloated and ineffective

What were three dimensions that Margaret Thatcher wanted to reform and how did she achieve this means?


• The power of the public service had to be diminished to make government more subject and responsive to the will of elected ministers, not career bureaucrats
• Public sector management had to incorporate private sector practices to enhance the economy and efficiency of government programs
• Public services were to be redesigned to make them more responsive to the needs of individual citizens, ensuring that public officials had as their primary concern service delivery and quality
- She did so by implementing these policies through such measures as privatization, deregulation, public sector downsizing, the contracting out of public service, expenditure restraint initiatives, and the introduction of user fees and the commercialization of public services


What is participatory management?


A form of management, seen as desirable in organizational theory, in which managers interact with employees, seeking in their input and knowledge in the development and implementation of well-designed policy and programs, and also encourage employees to take a deep interest in the life of the organization

  • viewed as essential to liberating the productive potential of government organization, making them progressive and innovative bodies with a much better record of achievement and customer service
  • is a signal component of NPM but it clashed with the principle of accountability base on ministerial responsibility and with the practical realities of power politics
  • involves providing civil servants with greater autonomy to make decision in relation to the services provided to citizens
  • involves creating different organization that are differentiated from the classic government department so they may be more responsive
  • rooted in the red tape discussion

What is the red-tape discussion?


Used pejoratively to describe governments and the civil service that have so many rules and procedure that there are often long delays in decision making


What is inputs, outputs and outcomes?


Inputs: such things as staff time, funding, and so forth to set-up a program or good

Outputs: the number who completed the program or consumed the good

Outcomes: Assessed changed that have resulted


What are the four key elements of NPM?

  • Keeping the roles of politicians and public sector managers separate
  • Adopting private sector management techniques
  • Focusing on objective results
  • Emphasizing participatory management

What are the ten principles of reinventing governments to turn public sector entrepreneurs?


1) Catalytic Government
2) Community-Owed Government
3) Competitive Government
4) Mission-Driven Government
5) Results-Oriented Government
6) Customer Driven Government
7) Enterprising Government
8) Anticipatory Government
9) Decentralized Government
10) Market Oriented Government


What does Donald Savoie think or reinvention?


Contends that NPM is flawed in that it fails to recognize fundamental and important differences between the public and private sectors

  • warns that the ideologically conservative orientation of the reinvention thesis can lead to a paradigm shift in the way we perceive the nature and operation of government
  • while improvements can be made, reforms should not come to the expense of core traditions and duties to the public service

What are the main provisions of the Federal Accountability Act?

  • reform political party financing
  • strengthen the role of the ethics commissioner
  • toughen the Lobbyist Registration Act

enacted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper


What is the Public Service Renewal

  • A federal policy dating from 2006 representing a commitment by the Privy Council Office to reform the federal public service through renewed emphasis on recruitment, improved planning and priority setting, staff training and development, and better use of communication technologies to facilitate productivity
  • another reform initiative by Stephen Harper
  • meant to reshape the federal public service through a policy known as Public Service Renewal

What were the 7 conclusions of the Public Service Renewal committee?

  • Requirement for a strong and sustainable Public Service
  • Today’s public service has obvious capacity, commitment and ability, it cannot afford to take these strengths for granted
  • Renewing the Public Service must produce an institution that is truly representative of Canadians of all backgrounds and from all parts of Canada
  • There is a need for a strong and positive Public service brand that will support the marketing of the public service as an attractive employment option for talented Canadians
  • To inspire the best performance from employees, it is essential for leaders to model public service values, and to publicly recognize accomplishments that reflect those values
  • The business of the Public Service requires strategic planning and integrates human resources management with business goals, and aligns talent with priorities and higher risk endeavours
  • The Public Service needs more systematic and rigorous programs of leadership that involve people with a diversity of skills from across the country, and that equip leaders for success in the future

What were the 4 priorities of the Public Service Renewal Initiative?


1) Integrated planning
- allows for clear identification of gaps in resources
- can improve ability to provide advice to the ministers and service to Canadians while simultaneously reducing the costs
2) Recruitment
- Recruitment must be grounded in integrated planning. The goal is to match recruits strategically to identified business needs. Future recruitment efforts will be aimed at both post-secondary and mid-career candidates
3) Development
- employee development is the responsibility of both the individual and the institution, but it serves as a single purpose: to improve effectiveness and productivity in current and future jobs
- task is to continuously create learning environment where knowledge management is done well and where employees have ready to access to the information, they need to do their jobs
4) Putting in place the systems and processes to support efficient, user-friendly planning, recruitment and development


What is the Office of the Chief Human Resources Office (CHRO)


• Established in 2009, this office replaced the Canada Public Service Agency as the lead institution within the federal public service, and its functions within the parameters of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Its mandate is to make and promote policies and programs centered on human resources management in the Canadian government, focusing on staff training and development, employment, equity, official languages, labour relations, values and ethics, public service renewal, and leadership development


What were the results of the CHRO and the major initiatives undertaken by the Harper government?

  • Caused delays and convoluted, ever-changing initiatives and dynamics
  • An intensified centralization of decision making at its highest levels in 20 years
  • Too many rules and procedures have had negative implications on timely decision making, productivity, and innovation, ultimately hindering effective service delivery to the public

What was the Economic Action Plan?

  • Designed to spur the economy, generate jobs, promote national infrastructure development, and hopefully drag the country out of recession
  • Once he decided to eliminate the deficit no longer took a strategic NPM approach more of a top-down approach

What is strategic ministership?


• The policy dynamic of a prime minister who sets the strategic direction of government by selecting four to six key policy and program aims to define his or her four to five-year term in office. The implementation of these aims will be brought to the centre for prime ministerial leadership and direction, while all other, more routine matters of policy and administration will be left to ordinary ministers and departments to manage


What is administrative and management reform?

  • Can be defined as the rearrangement of the state’s institutions, structure, and processes of governance to attain greater capacity and legitimacy in the implementation of policies and delivery of services
    • Capacity is the dimension of administrative and management reforms which focuses on issues of efficiency and effectiveness of outcome
    • Legitimacy element focuses on the administrative machinery’s embodiment and reflection of democratic values of transparency, accountability, and responsiveness to the needs of citizens

When did the modern structures and processes of the Canadian administrative machinery take shape?


In the post-war years

  • Eventually created citizen disenchantment and growing provincial resistance to the federal governments increasing jurisdictional encroachment
  • Therefore, institutional reforms were undertaken

What emerged in government due to the centralization of power?

the emergence of 
Attorney General's Office
The Privacy Act 
Information Commissioner
Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms

What were the major reform paradigms for Canadian government?

  • Institutionalism of traditional bureaucracy in the 1960s and 1970s
  • The new public management of the 1980 and 1990s
  • The public governance and digital era governance

What are two key elements of the public administration environment in Canada?


Constant Factors

Variable Factors


What are constant factors?



Geography, the constitution, federalism, legal foundations and the political system


What are variable factors?


Economic conditions, technology and political culture


administrative and management reforms for public administration can be portrayed as what?

  • These reforms can be defined as roller-coasters, through successive ways of ideas, fads, and panaceas
  • Could be portrayed as waves of pendulum swings between bureaucratization and centralization, decentralization and agencification

What is Regional Development Policy

  • Regional development policy in Canada can be defined as the federal governments systematic attempt to address the economic and social disparities among Canada’s various regions using economic policy instruments to help stimulate the economy and create jobs in struggling regions
    • Subsidies, grants

What are reasons for economic disadvantages to peripheral regions in Canada

  • Remoteness from central markets, underdeveloped transportation, sparsely distributed population
  • Lagging in technological advancement

What is the overall goal of regional economic development policy


to improve the living standards of lagging and peripheral natural resources


Which regions have been given increased attention in the design and implementation of regional development programs?

  • Dependent regions in Western Canada, Northern Ontario, and Northern Quebec have been given increasing attention in the design and implementation of regional development programs

What is Canada’ most ambitious reform initiative?


Public Service 2000 (1989)
- Aimed to transfer the whole culture of the public sector with a vision of making public service less bureaucratic and more responsive and flexible


When was the present institutional configuration of regional economic development policy been implemented?


Dates back to the 1987 restructuring
Created three regional development agencies for Western Canada, Atlantic Canada and Northern Ontario
Mission is to promote economic growth, diversification, job creation
- redirection of administrative and policy function away from Ottawa and towards the regions
- programs and measures were to be developed according to the needs of the region they were intended to assist


What were one of the tensions and debates surrounding regional development policy?


is the legitimacy of agencies because of their unconventional structure in relation to Canada’s cabinet system of government
- Regional development policy’s challenge of maintaining accountability


What is Peter Aucoin’s view on NPM?


Despite the broad appeal of NPM, implementation of this public sector reform varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction
- Canada was more moderate in adopting NPM so it only implemented certain aspects, but not all


What is Philips and Smiths view on NPM?


Suggests that NPM was much more than just markets

  • public administration displays a degree of hybridity
  • it is unwise to assume that jurisdiction have readily changed their administrative and institutional arrangements in order to fully accommodate NPM