The provenance of public management and its future: is public management here to stay?

Mirit Kisner, Eran Vigoda-Gadot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present the views of authors in regard to the provenance and future of PM and the advantages of using management science in administrative science. The authors point to the meaning of both sciences for government studies and to the use that both theoreticians and practitioners may gain from adequately balancing the disciplines for the public interest. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on a wide literature review of empirical and epistemological studies on new public management (NPM) and its evolvement across continents and cultures, and on a critical analysis of lessons learned from implementations of ideas and practices. Findings: The authors identify the managerial reform in public administration as one of the more influential reforms of modern nations that cut across multiple policy areas, public agencies and cultures. The authors expect that public managers in the years to come are about to play a decisive role and be required to build collaborative capacity while governing creatively but without bending the rules. Ingenious civil servants are going to carry weight and devise new mechanisms for coping with prospective challenges; no doubt they will have to be savvier, more adept and open-minded than ever to be able to step up to the plate and assist governments to deal with impending crises. Originality/value: The originality of this essay is reflected in the wide coverage of transitions in the managerial language of the discipline. Using manifold examples from different perspectives on NPM provides a unique and balanced look into what became the most influential reforms in public administration since the second half of the twentieth century, and is still alive and kicking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-546
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Public Sector Management
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Digital era
  • Governance
  • New public governance
  • New public management
  • Public administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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