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The Art of the StateCulture, Rhetoric, and Public Management$
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Christopher Hood

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297659

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198297653.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

Public Management: Seven Propositions

Public Management: Seven Propositions

(p.3) 1 Public Management: Seven Propositions
The Art of the State

Christopher Hood (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Discusses three conventional assumptions that are made about public management: that it is in the throes of a millennial transformation to a new style; that today's ‘new’ public management ideas differ sharply from those of earlier eras; and that the favoured doctrines of contemporary public management tend to be dubbed as economic rationalism. Goes on to point out that the book looks at public management from a different perspective, and reduces its arguments to seven related propositions, discussed in the remainder of the chapter that: grid/cultural theory captures most of the variety in both current and historical debates about how to organize public services; application of a cultural‐theory framework can illuminate many of the central analytic questions of public management; if we look across time and space, we can identify ideas about how to organize government and public services that correspond to each of the four polar categories contained in cultural theory; no one of those recipes for good organization has a clear claim to be considered more modern than any of the others and each has in‐built weaknesses; variation in ideas about how to organize in government is not likely to disappear; the dimensions identified by cultural theory enable analysis of organizational variety to be pursued at a range of levels; and the understanding of cultural and organizational variety, within a historical perspective, merits a central place in the study of public management. These seven propositions overlap, and some of them are given more space than others in the book; this chapter concentrates mainly on the first proposition, and aims to introduce grid/group cultural theory in the context of public management, but the other six propositions are also discussed more briefly, as a way of setting the scene for the remainder of the book.

Keywords:   cultural theory, cultural variety, grid/cultural theory, organization of government, organization of public services, organizational variety, public management, public services

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