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Organization Theory and the Public Sector

Instrument, Culture and Myth

Organization Theory and the Public Sector by Tom Christensen
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Public sector organizations are fundamentally different to their private sector counterparts. They are multi-functional, follow a political leadership, and the majority do not operate in an external market. In an era of rapid reform, reorganization and modernization of the public sector, this book offers a timely and illuminating introduction to the public sector organization that recognizes its unique values, interests, knowledge and power-base.

Drawing on both instrumental and institutional perspectives within organization theory, as well as democratic theory and empirical studies of decision-making, this text addresses five central aspects of the public sector organization:

  • goals and values
  • leadership and steering
  • reform and change
  • effects and implications
  • understanding and design.

This volume challenges conventional economic analysis of the public sector, arguing instead for a democratic-political approach and a new, prescriptive organization theory. A rich resource of both theory and practice, Organization Theory for the Public Sector: Instrument, Culture and Myth is essential reading for anybody studying the public sector.

Taylor and Francis; October 2007
208 pages; ISBN 9781134080250
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Title: Organization Theory and the Public Sector
Author: Tom Christensen; Per Lægreid; Paul G. Roness; Kjell Arne Røvik