IASIA Annual ConferenceRio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 3-8 2009Working Group III - "Public Sector Reform: people in the public service"
The Contribution of PerformanceEvaluation to the Professionalization of Public Administration
MIGUEL NUNO RODRIGUES
Contemporary societies have been increasingly pressing the public sector to modernize itsgovernance and management models and practices, thus displaying the “imperative ofchange” (Farazmand, 1999; Paton & McCalman, 2000; Veenswijk, 2005). The growingsophistication of citizen and business demands that public administration must addresshas led to recurring and continued efforts to improve effectiveness, quality and efficiencyof public service. In many sectors, the solution has been the straightforward privatization;in other sectors, hybrid configurations, like public-private partnerships, have gainedground. However, many areas remain, and will remain in the future, within the stricterpublic sphere. In these cases, public administration must find internal solutions, at theorganizational, management and human capital levels in order to ensure servicesustainability.These pressing tendencies almost always imply the issue of professionalization of publicadministration, a favored concept within new managerial trends like New PublicManagement or Governance (Hood, 1991; Osborne e Gaebler, 1992; Pagaza, 2000). Theneed to have qualified and professionally competent human resources is generallyacknowledged, in order to guarantee high levels of effectiveness and efficiency, whetherin the private or public sector. In the case of public administration, however, this processof professionalization has been pressed, in recent years, through changes in organization,in management models, and in public managers’ and workers’ labor regimes.If, in some cases, the process of change is de facto the reflex of effective and formalmodifications in the domains of institutional arrangements, public employment regimesor career statutes, in other cases, the process is induced by the introduction of new
Researcher at the National Institute of Public Administration, Portugal;PhD Student in Sociology at ISCTE/IUL – Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa – InstitutoUniversitário de Lisboa, Portugal