Reforming the nations: a global study of the Need for Future Managerial Reforms in public administration

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This study deals with the Need for Future Managerial Reforms (NFMR) in public administration as perceived by university professors from around the globe. We explore and validate a new NFMR scale based on traditional principles of the New Public Management (NPM) doctrine (e.g. downsizing government, debureaucratization, decentralization, managerialism, and privatization). We also propose a global professional selection (GPS) approach to the study of need for future managerial reforms, validating it with a theoretical model, eight propositions, and four hypotheses. According to the model, managerial quality, satisfaction with public services, trust in public services and NFMR are mutually related but should be considered within the cultural dimensions of each nation. Using data from a sample of 2995 faculty members in 191 major universities from 45 nations, we demonstrate the validity of the NFMR scale and of several direct and indirect hypotheses based on the theoretical model, as well as the advantage of the GPS-controlled mediating model over a simple mediating model. The findings are discussed theoretically and practically, with their implications for the study of future NPM-style reforms and the recent trends in modern governance. Points for practitioners: This study suggests that greater calls for managerial reforms, especially from the knowledgeable community, are valuable inputs that should be heard and echoed in government halls. Improving managerial quality may reduce calls for managerial reforms. Public managers should invest in increasing citizens’ satisfaction and trust as they reduce pressures on policy makers to initiate expensive reforms. Cross-country transitions of lessons and knowledge about managerial reforms should be carried out with caution as values and traditions affect the type of required reforms and their meaning for the public.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-784
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Review of Administrative Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.


  • NPM
  • global study
  • managerial quality
  • managerial reforms
  • satisfaction
  • trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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