New Steering Concepts in Public Management

Chapter 1 Introduction
Sandra Groeneveld, Steven Van de Walle

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the strengths and weaknesses of this philosophy have become widely apparent. and there is an New Steering Concepts in Public Management Research in Public Policy Analysis and Management. and citizens and requires tools that integrate the lessons of NPM with the new necessities of coordinated public governance.CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Downloaded by University of Lethbridge At 17:28 12 August 2016 (PT) Sandra Groeneveld and Steven Van de Walle STEERING FOR OUTCOMES: THE ROLE OF PUBLIC MANAGEMENT Multifaceted issues such as safety. rural development. Fragmentation is a prominent observation in many evaluations of the NPM approach. and the inadequacy of both market working and government-led central agency.1108/S0732-1317(2011)0000021005 1 . city regeneration or labour market integration require integrated approaches in their steering. social inclusion. and many alternatives to NPM have been proposed. Volume 21. 2006). 2007. they struggle with their new role. and research is hindered by a wide variety of terminology. poverty. non-profit organisations. In their quest to achieve valued social outcomes. Governments are looking for instruments that can address the boundary-spanning nature of many social problems. mobility. much of the literature is descriptive (O’Flynn. Many of the next generation of reforms remain to be explored. The fragmentation of both policy and implementation lead to unsatisfactory public outcomes and a heightened experience of a loss of control on the part of policymakers. Furthermore. Stoker. 1–8 Copyright r 2011 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved ISSN: 0732-1317/doi:10. private actors. The public administration literature has in recent years been concerned with the ‘what’s next?’ question. Achieving valued and sustainable outcomes requires collaboration between government departments. After three decades of New Public Management (NPM)-style reforms.

The reforms were seen as . Disaggregation. Pollitt. AN EMERGING NEED FOR NEW STEERING MECHANISMS One of the key recommendations of the NPM movement was to disaggregate large. 2008). rather than on the development of long-term strategic planning (Schick. 1991). has for public services and public managers ‘narrowed the nature of the work. and the challenges they may pose to democratic accountability. The philosophy was that the deliberate fragmentation and distribution of functions would result in clear lines of control and boundaries and possibly to competition between new entities. and a related increase in accountability and control systems that focused on relatively narrow objectives. 8). It identified a tendency to focus on the short-term production of outputs and on annual actions. 2002). 2003. 200). p. creating focus at the expense of coordination’ (Norman. Just as NPM has at times been hyped as the new solution.2 SANDRA GROENEVELD AND STEVEN VAN DE WALLE Downloaded by University of Lethbridge At 17:28 12 August 2016 (PT) urgent need to integrate terminology and move on to more explanatory approaches. and to institutional memory (Norman. evaluation and incentives tended to incentivise against collaboration with other departments or services. 2000.or departmentbased silos being replaced by new types of silos. 1996. The new systems of control. This disaggregation extended to hiving off public tasks to the private and not-for-profit sectors. Coordination rapidly came to be seen as the key issue in making NPM work (Webb. performance would be monitored using specific and detailed sets of performance indicators and targets (Van Thiel & Leeuw. 2003. fragmentation of the public sector came to be seen as a major unintended effect of NPM reforms. and the structural disaggregation of the public sector was seen to lead to deficient coordination. p. multifunctional public bodies and replace them with a series of singlepurpose bodies. nowadays collaborative models and models of integrated governance are advanced as magical solutions. With Schick’s 1996 report ‘The spirit of reform’ on the public sector reforms in New Zealand. In-depth analysis is therefore needed to assess the value of these new approaches. 2003). Disaggregation may have led to the traditional ministry. 1994). the development of strategic capability and expertise. Furthermore. duplication and even waste (Rhodes. Disaggregation became fragmentation to the detriment of institutional development. despite the big idea being greater collaboration in public services (Norman.

2010). Peters. improve elderly care. Faced with the successes and failures of the first NPM-style reforms. The call for integrated services and cross-boundary working reflects a problem with coordination in the public sector. Examples include a reduction in the number of targets set in the United Kingdom and their replacement by broad Public Service Agreements (PSAs) (James. for example. NPM-style reforms are seen to have led to fragmentation of the public sector. Furthermore. and consequently. the reforms were seen as undermining political control through the strict separation of political and administrative functions. and the European Union’s (EU’s) strategy to operate through broad social and economic objectives (e. As a result of this fragmentation. Wegrich. These emerging practices are. 2009. referred to as either second generation post-NPM reforms . public sectors under the influence of NPM risked becoming hollow states (Greve. 2010. and relying on market forces or the third sector is often insufficient. & Pierre. the Lisbon indicators). many different policy actors are needed. or reduce child poverty. the strategic alignment of government has become one of the key challenges for the future of the public sector. Rather than becoming efficient. In designing and implementing policy to. plans to satisfy the public sector’s policy ambitions to improve social cohesion are difficult to design and implement. 2003). support the sustainability of rural areas. 2008) or fragmented states (Christensen & Lægreid. and the wide-ranging contractualisation and devolution (Christensen & Lægreid. 2004). effective and entrepreneurial. public sector organisations have started to look further and have developed new approaches to reform that are intended to counter this fragmentation and to re-coordinate the public sector (Dahlstro¨m. overall political control became difficult.Downloaded by University of Lethbridge At 17:28 12 August 2016 (PT) Introduction 3 having led to the fragmentation of a previously monolithic public sector and a related loss of strategic capacity at the centre of government (Painter. rather than through detailed policy plans. As emphasised in the previous sections. targets and guidelines. BEYOND NPM – COUNTERING FRAGMENTATION Addressing social problems requires a multifaceted approach. By letting the managers manage.g. depending on the author and their regional provenance. This problem was further complicated by the limited steering capacity in departments (principals) that could be used to control the agencies (agents) because of the hollowing out of policy functions through extensive differentiation and short-term employment contracts. 2004). Osborne. 2003).

including a greater need for a focus on outcomes rather than measuring production outputs. Halligan talks about the third generation when looking at the Australian and New Zealand situations. 2007a). 2002). Margetts. adds to the costs of doing business. holistic governance (Leat. with some models reconfirming the role of . Bouckaert. Related philosophies include neo-Weberianism (Pollitt. but adds new accents. 2003. 2009). outcome steering. such as integrated governance. and the second generation as strengthening of strategic management and also as a series of reforms that attempted to make NPM reforms sustainable and remove major dysfunctions (Halligan. This report states clearly that ‘Fragmentation makes coordinated service delivery more complicated. Osborne does not talk about a new generation of reforms but instead argues that NPM has only been a brief and transitory phase in governance arrangements (Osborne. 2009). p. or as third-generation reforms (Halligan. 1995). Concepts such as the Open Method of Coordination in the EU and Modernisation in the United Kingdom can also be considered as belonging to this new generation of governance instruments (Newman. 2006). The philosophy and nature of these initiatives varies widely. 2006). 2007). 2001). spreading leadership talent and other skills more thinly and increasing the risk of weak capability. Bestow. it concluded that there was an urgent need to put the public sector back together again (Gregory. Randma-Liiv. 2002). In other words. 2001). and whole of government (OECD. Fragmentation means Ministers need to build relationships with multiple agencies. joined up governance (Bogdanor. 1996) and the later Review of the Centre (Ministerial Advisory Group. 2005). and at times reconcile conflicting agency positions at an excessively detailed level’ (Ministerial Advisory Group. & Drechsler. As such. 2007). 2003). This new generation of reforms retains some of the concerns that lead to the NPM-style reforms. with the first generation consisting of NPM-style reforms. Hood. 2005. An assessment of the New Zealand reforms led to the identification of a number of key concerns for the future.Downloaded by University of Lethbridge At 17:28 12 August 2016 (PT) 4 SANDRA GROENEVELD AND STEVEN VAN DE WALLE (Christensen & Lægreid. 210). Structural fragmentation means many small agencies. Some have even declared NPM dead (Dunleavy. 2001). and blurs accountability for some issues. These ‘third generation’ reforms in New Zealand followed the initial Schick report (Schick. & Stoker. 2007a). Christensen & Lægreid. new public governance (Osborne. These new coordination practices come in various shapes and names. and the need for greater coordination beyond the boundaries of single public organisations (Norman. integrated service delivery and tackling fragmentation were identified in the review of the New Zealand reforms as key challenges (Ministerial Advisory Group. & Tinkler. 2005. and public value (Moore. Setzler.

2003). re-aggregation of public bodies. Another key characteristic of the emerging ways of thinking about the future of governance is the reaffirmation of the government’s. as crucial to avoid fragmentation. 2009). This is most visible in . public sector actors and their private and non-profit counterparts would be motivated to collaborate. Although NPM had always emphasised outcomes and results. Performance under the new outcome regimes reflects a more integrated approach to social issues. This new focus on outcomes is also visible in shifts in terminology. COORDINATING FOR OUTCOMES A focus on broad social outcomes is increasingly being seen. public services now have to ‘deliver public value’. coordination reaffirm the role of government. Making neighbourhoods safer. The idea is that by putting forward ambitious outcome targets. and new types of performance management with a central role for outcomes. rather than the overall results of such outputs. thereby making short-term gaming strategies ineffective (Denhardt & Aristigueta.5 Downloaded by University of Lethbridge At 17:28 12 August 2016 (PT) Introduction politicians and politically appointed officials. a wide range of policy domains and public and private institutions need to collaborate. at least in the rhetoric if not in practice. 2008). sustainable growth or the creation of an innovative knowledge society. but also on following through to implementation and delivery. role in society. the reality was that it generally led to a strong focus on the outputs of specific public sector bodies. a strengthening of the centre. improving public health or building affordable housing are examples of such outcomes. or at least coordinating. Unlike NPM. Some of the new and emerging models for collaboration. or the public sector’s. central. the more recent ideas are generally unwilling to view public organisations as very similar to private ones (Alford & Hughes. 2008). and they would jointly be held responsible for achieving those targets. Rather than ‘producing outputs’. eventually. cooperation and. Societal outcomes thus replace outputs as steering tools (Norman. Others emphasise collaborative networkbased models characterised by pluralism and relational collaboration replacing contract-based models (Osborne. and these values are defined collectively (Moore. and others relying on broad network style governance arrangements (Agranoff & McGuire. 2007). More opaque versions of the same trend are referring to outcomes such as social cohesion. Whole of government approaches involve horizontal collaboration. 1995). To achieve such outcomes. The most crucial difference compared to NPM is that they do not just focus on steering.

2000). plus a number of specially commissioned pieces. Some of the research leading to this book received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme for Socio-economic Sciences & Humanities under Grant Agreement . budgeting and so on (Meyer-Sahling. but also increasingly questions as to whether NPM is really the way to go in. for example. 2007. and the associated strong growth of regulatory bodies and models of enforced self-regulation (Hood. Dunn & Miller. Drechsler. political appointments and the re-emergence of political appointees. conference participants undertook a field visit to study innovate steering mechanisms in the host city. especially with regard to personnel policies. This is also visible in a strengthening of political agency. The need for coordination is now often tackled by creating new high-level coordination units that are often quite close to government ministers. & Scott. 2009. OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK This book grew out of the 2010 conference of the International Public Management Network held at Erasmus University Rotterdam.. The current volume contains chapters based on these papers and comments. This does not only follow discussions on neo-Weberianism (Pollitt & Bouckaert. James. Similar concerns have been raised with regard to the export of public sector reform models to developing countries. such as prime minister’s units. Central and Eastern European countries where serious efforts are still required if one is to move from a pre-Weberian model to a Weberian one. A second place where this reconfirmation of a public role in governing society is visible has been in the emergence of a new set of literature reevaluating Rechtsstaat principles. with stronger political management. 2009. 2007). Similar trends of stronger political intervention are also visible elsewhere (Halligan. Around 40 scholars met for three days (28–30 June 2010) to present and discuss papers on ‘New Steering Concepts in Public Management: Working towards Social Integration’.Downloaded by University of Lethbridge At 17:28 12 August 2016 (PT) 6 SANDRA GROENEVELD AND STEVEN VAN DE WALLE the regulation agenda. the Netherlands School of Public Administration. Financial support for the conference came from the Netherlands Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. concentrated power at the political centre. 2004. strategy units and various task forces. In line with the general conference theme. 2009). 2009). a strong role for ministerial staff. Aucoin (2006) showed this for the new public governance in Canada. Pollitt et al. and the Department of Public Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam. RandmaLiiv.

arrangements and ideas that have been advanced to deal with this fragmentation. and how such collaboration provides direction and steering. thanks go to Giles Stacey for language editing and Roxanne van Delft for the final editing of the manuscript. city regeneration and labour market reintegration. Tom Christensen and Per Lægreid kick off by outlining the main trend towards whole of government. network portfolios. A key concept in the new steering philosophy is outcomes. we explore new organisational mechanisms. Tamyko Ysa and Marc Esteve focus on one particular organisational steering arrangement. Sandra van Thiel looks at the consequences of hiving off on steering from the centre. networks and outcome steering. applied to change management processes. collaborative governance. making it difficult to deal with multifaceted problems. These new coordination practices come in various shapes and with a range of names. used by actors to strategically organise their participation in various networks. Josie Kelly uses the obesity problem as a case to show how public interventions are used to steer citizens’ behaviour. NPM-style reforms have been blamed for the widespread fragmentation of the public sector and policies. using the empty nest metaphor.Downloaded by University of Lethbridge At 17:28 12 August 2016 (PT) Introduction 7 No. Separate agencies. where users themselves determine desirable outcomes. Tony Bovaird and Rhodri Davies look at the experiences of using outcome-based service commissioning and delivery in the United Kingdom. Martijn van der Steen and Mark van Twist look at ways of involving citizens and civil society into policy making and delivering services. specific targets et cetera have led to a lack of coordination in the public sector. The final chapter in Part 1 by Walter Kickert looks at steering relations within an organisation. these new steering concepts focus on broad social outcomes. In Part 1. Jiannan Wu. such as crime. Rather than defining narrow output targets. health. its characteristics and the implications for steering relations and especially political agency. The Netherlands Institute of Government provided an editing grant. Part 1 of this book looks at various new organisational arrangements and mechanisms. and this third wave of public sector reform suffers from considerable terminological confusion. and Alex Murdock focuses on the related topic of personal budgets and personalisation in welfare services. Finally. 266887 (Project COCOPS). . including whole of government. and how can we steer towards these outcomes? What do we actually know about the effectiveness of these new steering instruments in achieving the desired outcomes? These questions are answered in Part 2. But how does one know what outcomes to focus on. Philip Karre´. only to realise that these are ineffective. Part 1 of the book explores new steering concepts and instruments that have emerged post-NPM. In their contribution.

. and the role of government. Jurian Edelenbos and Brenda Vermeeren study determinants of perceived outcomes in governance networks in the Netherlands. In the final chapter of the book. focusing on four main lines of inquiry: determinants. democracy and power. Steven Van de Walle and Sandra Groeneveld reflect on the challenges and implications of the new steering concepts and draft a research agenda for the future.Downloaded by University of Lethbridge At 17:28 12 August 2016 (PT) 8 SANDRA GROENEVELD AND STEVEN VAN DE WALLE Yuqian Yang and Liang Ma analyse citizens’ attitudes towards urban regeneration projects and Erik-Hans Klijn. Bram Steijn. determining outcomes and values. characteristics and effects of integration. Joris Voets and Wouter Van Dooren build on these chapters to develop a framework to assess the performance of networks.

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