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Public sector change management – looking back to look forward. Dr. Richard Boyle Head of Research Institute of Public Administration Dublin Presentation to ACESA Conference 1 st October 2009. Where did pressure for change come from – the influence of theory. Public choice theory

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public sector change management looking back to look forward

Public sector change management – looking back to look forward

Dr. Richard Boyle

Head of Research

Institute of Public Administration

Dublin

Presentation to ACESA Conference 1st October 2009

where did pressure for change come from the influence of theory
Where did pressure for change come from – the influence of theory
  • Public choice theory
  • Agency theory
  • Management theory
change context
Change context
  • Proportional representation
  • Pragmatism rather than ideology
  • Consensus and partnership building
  • Social partnership
public service reform some key developments
Public service reform: some key developments
  • Launch of Strategic Management Initiative (1994)
  • Delivering Better Government (1996)
  • Public Service Management Act (1997)
  • PMDS (2000)
  • Decentralisation (2003)
  • Regulating Better (2004)
  • Organisational review programme (2007)
  • Output statements (2007)
  • OECD review of the public service (2008)
top down drivers of change
Top down drivers of change
  • Political direction
  • Central agencies
    • Department of the Taoiseach
    • Department of Finance
    • Department of the Public Service – a cautionary tale
middle out drivers of change
Middle out drivers of change
  • The role of senior management – critical mass
  • The role of change teams
bottom up drivers of change
Bottom up drivers of change
  • The involvement of front line staff
  • The voice of the citizen
the current change climate lessons from canada
The current change climate – lessons from Canada
  • Fiscal reform on the scale required leaves little room for other substantial reforms
  • Across the board cuts that affect programmes in an undifferentiated way have significant perverse effects
  • ‘Doing more with less’ is not a viable solution to eliminating a sizeable deficit
be wary of
Be wary of
  • Changing structures as an ‘easy’ option
  • New initiatives added on to existing ones
  • Focusing on the process rather than the outcome

Reform of the public service is a means to an end, not an end of itself.