New Public Management in the UK

Indeed these were central concerns οf philosophers such as Aristotle in ancient Greece, Confucius in ancient China, and Machiavelli in medieval Italy. But the conception οf the activist, bureaucratic state, despite its earlier parallels, is in practice an essentially twentieth-century phenomenon. The characteristics οf this bureaucratic state were set out most clearly by the German sociologist Max Weber in 1920, with strong echoes οf earlier writings by the American Woodrow Wilson (Hughes, 1998):Further refinement οf the traditional model οf public administration came through the application οf private sector based ideas οf scientific management, which introduced efficient operational methods based on standardization οf tasks, one best way οf fitting workers to tasks, and systematic control οf tasks, processes, and workers (Hughes, 1998,33-34). These principles were easily adapted to bureaucratic structures. A final addition to the traditional model was the application οf the insights οf social psychology, in a human relations approach which is often contrasted with the scientific management approach, but in practice sought to achieve greater efficiency οf performance too, though by paying attention to the need to motivate workers rather than merely control and direct them (Hughes, 1998, 35-6).Unfortunately, the ideal bureaucracy model had never happened in real life. The critique οf the traditional model is based on a comparison οf the ideal model οf bureaucracy with what happens in real systems οf public administration.Due to the limitations, the practice οf traditional model resulted in the overlarge government constitution and inefficient political operation in the late 1970s in most developed countries such as the UK and the USA. Associated with the new development οf economic and organizational theories, the idea οf New PublicManagement" (NPM) became more and more popular.