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Modernizing Public Employment in the Public Sector

Margarita Shivergueva

No 371, Apas Papers from Academic Public Administration Studies Archive - APAS

Abstract: Most EU and the Balkans countries have been actively reforming their public sectors for two decades. Initially the problem seemed to be a relatively straightforward one of improving efficiency, reforming management practices, and divesting public involvement in commercial enterprises. These reforms have indeed had a major impact but they have also given rise to some unexpected problems of their own. To complicate matters, governments are now under pressure for more profound changes to meet the requirements of contemporary society. A concern for efficiency is being supplanted by problems of governance, strategy, risk management, ability to adapt to change, collaborative action and the need to understand the impact of policies on society. Focusing on reality ,rather than aspirations, presents a considerable professional challenge for the EU and its Member countries. Public management is complex and difficult to measure, but without some valid form of evaluation, we are slaves to theory, management fads and rhetoric. Upgrading professionalism requires collaborative work on how to identify, track and compare key behavioural changes. We also need to acquire a better understanding of the time required for serious public management interventions: culture change is not achieved overnight, and may take several years. There is also a need to strengthen mutual assistance by putting relatively more effort into peer review and independent observation than in countries' own self - assessment, and by encouraging evaluation of major initiatives once they have been implemented.

Keywords: Public Employment; Public management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe
Date: 2011
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