Understanding Public Management as an International Academic Field
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Public management has evolved as a distinct sub-discipline within the larger discipline of management over the past several decades. Public management is different from what is often referred to as “traditional public administration” in that the former focuses more on what happens within governments and on the operation of the line functions of government while public management pays more attention to the operation of government organizations from the perspective of their interaction with the environments in which they operate. Public management tends to conceive of governments and governance systems similar to the ways that organizational theorists focus on strategic behavior in response to contingency in the environment. Public management views organizations that provide services to the public as adaptive systems influenced by critical variables in their surroundings. Additionally, public management incorporates an economics perspective on the value of competition between organizations in markets, and also business/marketing thinking about strategic positioning of products/services and product/service lines relative to the attributes of consumer preferences and market demand.
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