Cohen, Nissim. “Forgoing New Public Management and Adopting Post‐New Public Management Principles: The On‐Going Civil Service Reform in Israel.” Public Administration and Development 36.1 (2016): 20-34.
Since the 1980s, New Public Management (NPM) and post‐NPM reforms have dominated attempts to improve public administration. The literature suggests several reasons for the latter approach. However, these explanations seem to be less relevant to the ongoing civil service reforms in Israel. The Israeli experience is an example where NPM reforms did not occur, but post‐NPM reforms were adopted enthusiastically decades later. Our findings demonstrate how under the structural conditions of both non‐governability and bureaucratic centralization, post‐NPM reforms may provide an attractive layering strategy, offering the option of changing certain features of the system without requiring a drastic, comprehensive overhaul of it. Once Israeli decision makers decided that there was a real public demand for reform, and long‐term learning and diffusion processes convinced them that change was needed, the characteristics of the post‐NPM approach made it much easier politically for them to adopt.
When public agencies seek to privatize a service, a commissioning process begins wherein public sector budgeters must decide how generous the funding will be while taking occupational standards into account so that the quality of service is assured. One important area of occupational standards is the required personnel and job sizes of certified employees. Not enough attention has been directed to how occupational standards’ related knowledge is treated in the process. Purpose: Firstly, investigating how the commissioning process is experienced by Israeli, often female, occupational standards administrators. Secondly, proposing a gendered perspective on Sennett’s corrosion of character thesis. As part of an institutional ethnography project, 16 interviews were conducted with (14 female and 2 male) occupational standards administrators at the Israeli Welfare, Education and Health Ministries. The routine of commissioning involves a stage of using occupational standards’ knowledge and experience, and a stage of dismissing it. The ‘corrosion of character’ embedded in the dismissal stage undermines historical achievements in the area of recognizing caring work and skills. While Sennett’s thesis has already been found plausible for understanding public servants’ experiences of the “new public management”, until recently, not enough attention has been devoted to the commissioning processes’ gendered implications for contract-based delivery of services. This paper examines these implications for the power struggle between the feminist achievements protecting skill recognition in caring occupations, and policy makers.
Klein, Joseph, and Lizi Shimoni-Hershkoviz. “The Contribution of Privatization and Competition in the Education System to the Development of an Informal Management Culture in Schools. A Case Study in Israel.” International Journal of Educational Management 30.4 (2016).
Regulation and privatization of education systems has led to a “league standing” mentality regarding school achievements. The present study examines how school principals deal with the pressures of competition and achievements while aspiring to imbue pupils with values and a broad education. 12 high school principals were interviewed about external demands imposed on them, their educational policy and modes of operation. Publicly, school supervisors advocate a balance between core studies and education for values and enrichment. Informally they pressure principals to allocate maximal resources to preparing for high risk tests at the expense of other educational activities. School administrators and teachers, while dissatisfied with this approach, maintain a covert informal culture that concentrates mainly on external test achievements, which contrasts to their public value-rich educational vision, and undertake actions that raise educational, management and ethical questions. Placing the schools’ informal culture on the research agenda will increase institutional transparency and may contribute to a greater correspondence between school visions advocating knowledge and values, and the policy actually implemented. Raising this subject for discussion may contribute to a demand for more transparency in how schools allocate their resources. It may also help to increase the correspondence between the values and vision promulgated by schools and the educational policy they actually implement.