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Can corporate management tools be successfully applied in public administration – A German-based case study


  • Markus Bodemann

    (Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania)


A permanent challenge for public sector organizations is to become more economically, effective and efficient to cope with the increasing complexity of tasks and disproportional resources. But the environment is permanently changing; instruments and tools, which were once successful, are increasingly ineffective. The public sector has distinctive origins and objectives, for example to provide public goods or to fulfil mandatory tasks. The current financial situation forces scholars and public managers to develop or adapt instruments to cope with increasing responsibilities coupled with scarce resources. Inspired by the incentives of New Public Management, public managers have been trying for the past three decades to convert private sector tools for application in the public sector. But the necessary adaption and application proceed slowly. In pursuit of reasons and arguments for the delay, this conceptual paper considers the necessary conversion of private sector management tools for appropriate fitting in public administration. The focus is directed to the possible boundaries and limits for application of private sector management tools. By comparing both public and private sectors using current analyses of public sector specialists and results of a field research, a separating line between the two will be drawn, but we will also detect convergences in using management tools. As a result, the combination of differentiation by Wilson, the separation by Taylor, and the bureaucratic style by Weber have to be modernized for the use of new tools. This distinction is based on representative cases and specific borrowings in Germany, describing fundamental tasks, but the results can be transferred to most local public administrations in the industrial nations.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Bodemann, 2014. "Can corporate management tools be successfully applied in public administration – A German-based case study," Management & Marketing, Economic Publishing House, vol. 9(2), Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:eph:journl:v:9:y:2014:i:2:n:9

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