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OECD Journal on Budgeting Volume 3 Issue 3: Public Management Reform: Reliable Knowledge and International Experience

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In this paper I want to address some fundamental questions concerning the nature of knowledge about public management reform, and particularly its transferability between countries and contexts. My main point will be that knowledge of what works and what does not tends to be heavily contextdependent. That is to say, a technique or organisational structure which succeeds in one place may fail in another. So ‐ to put it bluntly ‐ there is no set of general tools that can be transferred from one jurisdiction to another, all around the world, with confidence that they will work well every time. This means we have to look carefully at contexts, and at the "terms of trade" each time we are thinking of borrowing a good management idea from somewhere else. This is not a "how‐to‐do‐it" paper. Rather it is a series of reflections on the nature of the "trade" in public management reforms, drawing on the existing academic literature and seeking to identify issues where further work seems to be desirable...
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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