Assessing Public Management Reform in an International Context

L. R. Jones, Donald F. Kettl

Abstract


Attempts to understand the global public management reform movement suggest two general implications for research. First, there is a glaring need to understand the shortand long-term outcomes of the reforms where they have been implemented. Second, despite the importance of conducting this research, doing so is almost impossible in the short term and exceedingly difficult in the long term. It is hard enough simply to keep pace with management changes in each nation. It is even harder to make sound multicountry comparisons. Efforts to solve this problem sometimes have led researchers to use a particular nation’s reforms -- often New Zealand’s --as a benchmark, but the particular problems facing each nation weaken the value of such comparisons. The paucity of “results about reforms” -- and the need to assess whether management reforms have helped each nation solve its particular problems -- should motivate researchers to press ahead.


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