Student no: 210516235
The rise and fall of public administration theory has shaped public management in South Africa. Critically explore the role of New Public Management in the functioning of the South African public service.
Ever since 1980’s The Bureaucratic Public Administration model of Max Weber and Woodrow Wilson the organisational theorist had used rules to accomplish the organisational goals. Kelman (1990:260) in his contrast statement he argued that the problems with general rule is that they may be inappropriate in some situation. The existing rules may be inappropriate if the environment had change. Therefore in such cases mangers shall be given the right for decision making otherwise the organisation will pay the price. These administration theories were challenged by Anglophonic countries by the establishment of the new model of public sector management The New Public Management (NPM) which had emerged even in South Africa but not the way as it is in Anglophonic countries.
Definition by Public Sector Management Reforms in Africa, (2004:6).New Public Management (NPM) emphasizes the shift of the state from Traditional Public Administration towards ‘managerialism’.The traditional model of organization is based on the principles of bureaucratic hierarchy to deliver the service which includes planning and centralization, direct control and autonomy, had been replaced by the enterprise culture. NPM has provided faster-moving service delivery organizations that would be kept lean by the pressures of competition, and need to be user-responsive in order to survive. It supposes to devolve the organizational structure from manager’s perspective. With a downsized number of staff, many services would be ‘contracted out’ instead of assuming that in-house provision is best.
New Public Management
New Public Management is not a coherent theory but rather a discrete set of ideas that can be broadly divided in to two categories (Cameron, 2009; Hood (1991) in Cameron, 2009:2) defined it as the marriage of two different streams of ideas .The one was business-type managerially stream borrowed from the private sector and the other stream borrowed from the private sector and the other was the new institutional economics which draws on public choice, transaction cost theory and principal-agent theory (Kelman, 1990: 26-27). During the early 1999’s South African public service had been reformed from bureaucratic administration to New Public Management .Little work was done by African National Congress on the nature of the post-apartheid public service (Cameron, 2009:4). It had been argued that New Public Management had been highly influential on shaping post-apartheid public service reform in South Africa, of which this bureaucratic administration had an era on bureaucratic strategy of using rule as vigilant character such that any strategy and design must be based on rules (Kelman, 1990: 26-27). They did not realise that rules guards against disasters but excellence requires the ability to demonstrate uniqueness, but rules implies uniformity (Kelman, 1990: 26-27). Rules management wasn’t good for South Africa because of its ever changing environment. New Public Management had created many debates even in schools that it had supplemented the Traditional Public Administration practices by moving to take issues with the use of market paradigms in public administration, it had introduced private individual values in public common community ideals (Cameron, 2009:4-5).While Mafunisa opinion was that the government receive what so called ‘public profit’ in-place of privet profit. South African New Public Management shape seems to have two broadly categories. Firstly the clear implementation of the professional management role, such as provision of the efficient required service and its responsiveness, the use of...