International Journal of Applied Public Sector Management
The contrast with a couple of decades ago is remarkable. An outsider who eavesdrops at a gathering of public sector managers today would find a different vocabulary in use to that which was current some years ago. Then the emphasis was on administration, service maintenance, efficiency, incrementalism, phased development, management by objectives, manpower planning, managerial training and corporate planning. Now the language comprises terms such as managerialism, cash limits, management development, human resource management, opting out, top down, bottom up, value for money, bottom line, ring fencing, economies, resource constraints, cash flow, income generation, customers, effectiveness and ever increasingly the quality of service provision. All of these may merely qualify as "buzz words". However, when such a transformation in language occurs, it is reasonably safe to assume that it reflects a marked change in emphasis and indicates that a profound and extensive redirection has taken place in the way in which in which public sector organisations are managed. It is the intention of this journal to afford an opportunity for all the issues, ideas, prejudices, beliefs and crystal-gazing to be aired and fruitful discussions and meaningful, suitably aligned debate to ensue.
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