New public management

New public management

New Public Management is the development of the eighties in last century. It primarily emerged as a critic of traditional approach of Public Administration which was ‘Weberian’ ‘Bureaucratic’. The guiding philosophy of traditional approach is the management of public interest and the separation of politics from administration.
Some of the important principles of the traditional model of administration are:
• Institutional structure of work
• Rule orientation
• Impersonality
• Neutrality
• Anonymity
• Specialization
• hierarchy of offices
• centralization of command structure
• Public/private distinction


The critics of this approach point out that:
• Its organizational design led to rigid hierarchical centralized structures dysfunctional to organizational goals.
• Public agencies became machine-like, rigid and impersonal.
• Effective management of the public sector and efficient production of organizational targets could not be correlated with the so-called universal principals of traditional public administration.
• In real life the bureaucratic mode of organization was not necessarily the most national, efficient or effective model of organizational design.
Thus the major concepts of traditional public administration are now challenged on the fronts of efficiency, effectiveness, accountability, transparency and responsiveness. The modern age with the rapid change in technology and societal demands ask for different paradigm of administration. At this juncture an idea of deploying private sector managerial tactics for the public service gained ground in the 1980s. Citizens are now increasingly viewed as
consumers of public goods. Many of the flexible organizational designs and practices pioneered by the corporate sector and business administration are found introduced in the public agencies. Both sectors are now viewed as complementary to each other rather than separate and antagonistic. This new paradigm of public sector management is called as New Public Management with efficiency, economy and effectiveness as its watch words. New Public Management is theoretically rooted in Public Choice Theory and Neo -Taylorism

Public Choice Theory

• Principal exponents of Public Choice Theory are Buchanan and Tullock, Vincent Ostrom, Niskanen.
• Underlying assumptions of PCT are
1. Individuals act rationally with adequate information and ordered preference.
2. Individuals are utility maximizers.


• It believes that major reasons for the dysfunctionality of the public sector are the high cost of subsidizing the public services and lack of accountability of individual administrators.
• Public organizations are geared to routine and maintenance administration rather than adapt to the dynamics of rapid social change.

Features of New Public Management:

Some of the salient features of New Public Management are as follows:

• Public agencies should employ the private sector techniques to provide quality services to citizens with managerial autonomy to the public management.
• Emphasis should be on performance evaluation indicators to measure actual achievements and the quality of services.
• Central departments should be relieved from the operational activities which should be shifted to the field agencies.
• In order to make use of more expertise and employee creativity working conditions must be made flexible and contractual appointments must be promoted.
• Public agencies should publicize their results and performance on regular basis.
• Steps should be taken to create conducive environment for more effective and productive managerial leadership. To
achieve this, hierarchical structure of organization should be abandoned. Recruitment and training of personnel should be based on merit and performance. Attractive salary structures and diverse roles should be offered to maintain the moral of the managerial force.
• Personal accountability and responsibility should be ensured by linking up rewards like pay structures with fulfillment of performance targets.
• Managerial decisions should reflect cost consciousness


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