Public Governance and Administrative Reforms: Reform Paradigms and Dynamics

Project Details


The public sector has experienced fundamental changes during the last two decades as a result of New Public Management-oriented reforms and the shift from a "producing" towards an "enabling" state. Public authorities no longer necessarily deliver the services themselves but increasingly act as coordinators of multi-actor networks. Consequently, a landscape of (semi-)autonomous public organizations has emerged. These units differ in their degree of autonomy and are highly fragmented with regard to organizational forms, performance targets and the ways they are governed. In addition, governments are faced with budgetary constraints, demographic and technological changes and the complex economic, legal, political, and cultural contexts.

NPM-related reform strategies designed to meet these challenges focus on the areas of organization, HRM, and accounting and aim at implementing management concepts like performance management, strategic planning, or new incentive and motivation systems. More governance-oriented initiatives draw on the notion of multi-actor networks and address transparency, accountability, and participation issues, e.g. by introducing models of open government or "citizen-sourcing". The aim of this research project – conducted by the Institute for Public Management and the Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance – is to analyze current reform trends on the various levels of government (federal, state, and municipal) in the specific context of the Austrian public sector, to relate them to the different global reform models and to compare them to developments in other countries and administrative traditions.
Effective start/end date1/12/121/01/16