Pollitt (1995) Justification by Works or by Faith? : Evaluating the New Public Management

The article first defines a set of policy measures that constitute the 'New Public Management' (NPM). Evidence is cited to support the contention that the NPM has been widely adopted, with local variations, in many Western states. The impacts of such large-scale reform are considerable. The article therefore explores the extent to which the NPM has been subject to serious and systematic evaluation. It is argued that there have been relatively few broad-scope evaluations and that the methodologies adopted for these have tended to leave some fundamental questions about the effectiveness of the NPM unanswered. Despite this, political enthusiasm for reforms of this type apparently continues to run at a high level. The article concludes with some modest suggestions for ways in which the evaluation of NPM-style reforms could be improved.

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