Doing Public Management the Egalitarian Way

Christopher Hood

in The Art of the State

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780198297659
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599484 | DOI:
Doing Public Management the Egalitarian Way

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In the four chapters of Part II, public management ideas that loosely correspond to each of the four polar world views identified by cultural theory are discussed; here the cultural‐theory framework is mixed with a historical perspective to survey recurring approaches to public management that can be loosely characterized as hierarchist (Ch. 4), individualist (Ch. 5), egalitarian (this chapter), and fatalist (Ch. 7). Like individualism and hierarchism, egalitarianism embodies a particular vision of control of public management both within organizations and by the society at large, and that approach to organization can be linked to a broader vision of good government that takes groupism rather than bossism, choicism, or chancism as the point of departure or central organizing principle for co‐operative behaviour. The egalitarian approach to organization involves at least three closely interrelated elements: these are group self‐management, control by mutuality, and maximum face‐to‐face accountability. A fourth idea often associated with egalitarianism is the view that the process by which decisions are reached in an organization or group is just as important, if not more so, than the results or outcomes in a narrow sense—i.e. the achievement of the substantive policy goals of egalitarians is not held to be more important than reaching the process goal of decision‐making through high‐participation weak‐leadership structures. The main sections are: What Egalitarians Believe; The Managerial Critique of Egalitarianism; and Varieties of Egalitarianism.

Keywords: accountability; control by mutuality; cultural theory; decision‐making process; egalitarian public management; egalitarianism; face‐to‐face accountability; group self‐management; groupism; high‐participation weak‐leadership structures; public management

Chapter.  9205 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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