Organization Theory and the Public Sector: Instrument, Culture and Myth, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Organization Theory and the Public Sector

Instrument, Culture and Myth, 2nd Edition

By Tom Christensen, Per Lægreid, Kjell Arne Rovik


232 pages

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Paperback: 9780367428914
pub: 2020-05-01
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 1st May 2020
Hardback: 9780367428907
pub: 2020-05-01
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 1st May 2020

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Public-sector organizations are fundamentally different from their private-sector counterparts. They are part of the society’s political organizations and are major political actors. They are multifunctional, follow a political leadership, and the majority do not operate in an external market. In an era of rapid reform, reorganization and modernization of the public sector, this book offers a timely and illuminating introduction to the public-sector organization that recognizes its unique values, interests, knowledge and power base.

Drawing on both instrumental and institutional perspectives within organization theory, as well as democratic theory and empirical studies of decision-making, the book addresses five central aspects of the public-sector organization:

■ goals, values and motivation

■ leadership and steering

■ reform and change

■ effects. learning and implications

■ understanding and design

The book challenges conventional economic analysis of the public sector, arguing instead for a political-democratic approach and a new prescriptive organization theory. A rich resource of both theory and practice, Organization Theory and the Public Sector: Instrument, culture and myth is essential reading for anybody studying the public sector.

This second edition of the book contains a range of new and updated themes, examples and references.

Table of Contents

1 Organization theory for the public sector

2 An instrumental perspective

3 A cultural perspective

4 A myth perspective

5 Goals, values and motivation

6 Leadership and steering

7 Reform and change

8 Effects, learning and implications

9 Understanding and design


About the Authors

Tom Christensen is Professor of Public Administration and Policy at Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, Norway. He is also Senior Researcher at the Rokkan Research Center, University of Bergen and Visiting Professor at School of Public Administration and Policy, Renmin University of China.

Per Lægreid is Professor at the Department of Administration and Organization Theory at the University of Bergen and affiliated to the Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE).

Kjell Arne Røvik is professor of Political Science & Organization Theory at The Arctic Norwegian University, Tromsø, Norway.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management