Weberian public administration New Public Management (NPM) Neo-Weberian State Good Governance Digital-Era Governance Alternatives/hybrid
Core claim
A stable system strives toward ordered systems of authority and hierarchical control, a fixed hierarchy of tasks, skills and responsibilities, and clear rules.
The government should operate like a business organization and utilize entrepreneurial-based techniques.
Modernizes the traditional state apparatus so that it becomes more professional, more efficient, and more responsive to citizens.
Draws strength from 'governance' - a wider, and more inclusive concept than ‘government’ alone. Represents governance that is “good” for a specific outcome or set of outcomes (e.g. economic growth, democracy, reducing corruption).
Emphasizes technology enabled joined-up governance and extensive digitalization of operations.
A holistic perspective is a key requirement for overcoming limitations of the main governance models, leading to limitations and incorrect decisions.
Main period
from the late nineteenth century to the late 1970s/ early 1980s
1980s and 1990s
Late 1990s to present
From the 2000s and on
From 2005 on
Since the recent financial crisis
Main principles
Main principles accountability through hierarchy, rule of law, equality before the law, objectivity, impartiality, functional specialization, transparency, bureaucracy, standardization, efficiency, ‘politics – administration’ split, incremental budgeting, professionalism
efficiency, effectiveness, economy, deregulation, competitiveness, responsiveness, entrepreneurship, innovation, accountability, performance measurement, flexibility, transparency, outcome-orientation, productivity, commercialization, corporatization, privatization,marketization, competition, downsizing, managerialism, decentralization, debureaucratization, cost reduction, users’ orientation
rule of law, reliability, openness and transparency; accountability and responsibility; inter-institutional networks and partnerships, participation, professional culture, a focus on results
participation, rule of law, transparency, responsiveness, consensus of orientation, equity, efficiency and effectiveness, accountability, strategic vision, networks, credibility, respect for human rights, gender and racial equality, a good investment climate, sustainable energy use, citizen security, job creation
integration, responsiveness, efficiency, marketization, accountability, transparency, legitimacy, citizen participation, e-enforcement, digitalization
holism, digitalization, transformation, integration, effectiveness, efficiency, participation, rule of law, transparency, responsiveness, consensus of orientation, equity, efficiency and effectiveness, accountability, strategic vision
  1. “A rational-functional organization” in accordance with a rational principle of clear definition role in resolving the problems and achieving the objectives;
  2. “A rule-based organization” where, the authority is rule-driven and distributed in a stable way and is strictly delimited by rules;
  3. “A hierarchical organization” with several levels of execution and management (Weber, 1922, pp. 956-963).
  1. An internal reorganization of administrative structures (internal decentralization, profit-centres/executive agencies, etc.),
  2. A modernization of resource management (output- instead of input- orientation in budgeting), controlling systems (performance measurement, new accounting systems) and human resource management
  3. A clear separation between politics and administration (the ‘internal dimension’).
  4. A redistribution of tasks between the state and the market, largely favouring market-type mechanisms, outsourcing, and an institutional ‘autonomization’ of public services (the ‘external dimension’).
1. ‘Weberian’ Elements:
  • Reaffirmation of the role of the state as the main facilitator of solutions to the new problems
  • Reaffirmation of the role of representative democracy (central, regional, and local) as the legitimating element within the state apparatus
  • Reaffirmation of administrative law – suitably modernized – in preserving the basic principles pertaining to the citizen-state relationship,
  • Preservation of the idea of a public service with a distinct status, culture, and terms and conditions
2. ‘Neo’ Elements:
  • Shift from an internal orientation towards bureaucratic rules towards an external orientation towards meeting citizens’ needs and wishes through a professional culture
  • Supplementation of the role of representative democracy by a range of devices for consultation with, and direct representation of, citizens’ views
  • A modernization of the relevant laws to encourage a greater orientation on the achievements of results
  • Professionalization of the public service

The institutional design process contains strong tendencies that are concerned with major elements of governance such as organization of collaboration, management, deliberation arrangements, delivery and engagement with users. Attributes , with the necessary resources and culture:
  • universal protection of human rights ;
  • non-discrimatory laws ;
  • efficient, impartial and rapid judicial processes ;
  • transparent public agencies ;
  • accountability for decisions by public officials;
  • devolution of resources and decision making to local levels ;
  • and meaningful participation by citizens in debating public policies and choices.
  1. Reintegration—The key opportunities for exploiting digital-era technology opportunities lie in putting back together many of the elements that NPM separated out into discrete corporate hierarchies (Rollback of agencification, Joined-up governance (JUG), Regovernmentalization, Reinstating central processes, Radically squeezing production costs, Reengineering back-office functions, Procurement concentration and specialization, Network simplification).
  2. Needs-based holism - creating larger and more encompassing administrative blocs is linked with ‘‘end to end’’ reengineering of processes, stripping out unnecessary steps, compliance costs, checks, and forms. (Client-based or needs-based, reorganization, One-stop provision , Interactive and ‘‘ask once’’ information-seeking , Data warehousing, End-to-end service reengineering, Agile government processes)
  3. Digitization changes - realize contemporary productivity gains from IT and related organizational changes. Electronic channels become genuinely transformative and central - the agency ‘‘becomes its Web site". (Electronic service delivery, New forms of automated processes—zero touch technologies).
Holistic governance which contains holistic idea, holistic organization structure, holistic operating mechanism, and holistic service mode is formed on the reflection and criticism of the practice of traditional bureaucracy and NPM. A new government reform mode called as “Holistic Government” with profound connotation, distinct characteristics, and unique governance structure, such as the new working way, new responsibility, new incentive mechanism, new way of making policies, designing programs and delivering services.

The realization of holistic governance, to a large extent, depends on a (1) suitable organizational form, especially on the development of (2) information technology and (3) intelligent systems/data mining . Actually, it is faced with the coordinated difficulty of conflicts in the organizations, the technical difficulty of organizational integration, and the difficulty to responsible governance.
Role of the state
  • Strong steering and regulating presence
  • The state plays a central role in decision-making and policy implementation
  • Shrinking the state
  • A shift towards privatization and quasi-privatization and away from core government institutions
  • Public distrust of big government,
  • Reaffirmation of the role of the state
  • Collaborative: the state through government strategically develops partnerships for co-decision-making
  • Inclusive digital state: inclusion within the governing process of other social actors by means of electronic channels. The agency becomes its website
  • e-government cannot entirely replace person-to-person, front-office services, since the problems of the digital divide have not been solved as in the private sector"
  • Collaborative, oriented to key societal challenges and engaging all levels of governanceXX
  • Inclusion within the governing process of other social actors by means of electronic channels.
Role of an official
  • Ensures that rules and appropriate procedures are followed
  • Limited discretion
  • Empowering public servants and increasing managerial quality
  • Service provider
  • To act as entrepreneurs and to take action to ensure market-like efficiency.
  • Professional culture of quality and service, supplemented in appropriate cases by market mechanisms
  • The ‘bureaucrat’ becomes not simply an expert in the law relevant to his or her sphere of activity, but also a professional manager, oriented to meeting the needs of citizens.
  • Protection of public interest & advocacy of privatization too.
  • ‘Electronic service delivery’ & ‘electronic consultation’, leading to efficient and fast delivery of government services and information to citizens
  • More than a service delivery role - they will play a conciliating, a mediating, or even an adjudicating role.
Role of PA service recipient
  • Legislation addressee
  • Customer, consumer, client
  • Consumer: meeting citizens’ needs and wishes. Not through employment of market mecha- nisms but the creation of a professional culture of quality and service
  • Active citizen, co-decisionmaker, citizen's participation
  • Citizen participation ensures that public goods are consistent with voter preferences and public sector accountability.
  • Active citizen, co-decisionmaker,
  • Citizen's participation, based on IT platforms
  • Active citizens Co-production: the management and delivery of services is no longer the preserve of professional and managerial staff in public agencies
  • Citizens seen as problem-solvers and co-creators actively engaged in creating what is valued by the public and is good for the public
Role of politics in relation to public administration
  • The ‘politics – administration’ split within public organizations
  • Emphasis upon the distinctness of public management
  • Separation between politics and administration
  • Strengthening institutional autonomy through the decentralisation of decision-making processes
  • Improving capacity through public administration, with legally limiting polity
  • Hand in hand for common public good.
  • Responsible use of political power and public resources by the state.
  • Hand in hand for common public good.
  • Responsible use of political power and public resources, monitored by IT-platforms/citizens.
  • Delivers dialogue and catalyzes and responds to active citizenship in pursuit of what the public values and what is good for the public.
  • The adoption of rigid rules and the lack of managerial discretion;
  • The impossibility of firing incompetent workers;
  • The problematic incentive system with reward being given for the expansion of budgets and staff regardless of benefit to the public;
  • “Irrational” decision processes not linked to any “cost/benefit” type of analysis
  • Does not function if lack of authorised and highly ethical public officials.
  • Fear that financial interests would prevail over the public interest
  • Reliance on performance indicators, overlooks the important role of social recognition and professional ethos (e,g. within teaching, medical professions…)
  • Accountability systems are likely to slide towards outputs (easier to measure than outcomes)
  • Lack of integration of citizens , which are seen as ‘final customers’
  • Many structural, procedural, and cultural changes leading to increased levels of employee stress and declining levels of organizational commitment
  • Rediscovering prior existing modes of governance as new ones (rule of law, legitimacy etc.)
  • A tendency to go back to a dirigistic, top-down, rigid form of governance in which citizens and government are each other’s “Other”.
  • The state needs qualified and trustworthy people to implement policies, to enforce laws, and to spend public money efficiently.
  • Challenging participation/coordination mechanisms.
  • Does not function if societal subsystems are immature in terms of solidarity and search for the common good,
  • Favours more active stakeholders,
  • Lack of democratic control due to the delegation of power (Kovač, 2015).
  • Defining the principles of good governance is difficult and controversial
  • Digitalization, leading to Citizens’ strongest fears: the loss of confidentiality and increased control by government, people’s concerns about the security of the internet.
  • Unconsciously implementing conflicting NPM and DEG directions simultaneously will cross-cut each other.
  • Implementation challenges, based on the above.
  • Lacking empirical evidence.
  • Lacking theoretical and practical grounds
  • Technologies, enabling adequate holism of governance not yet provided/tested sufficiently
  • The loss of confidentiality and increased control by government, people’s concerns about the security of the internet."
Vir: Aristovnik in Ropret (v pripravi)