Complexity and the Public Sector

Chris Mowles (Editor), Karen Norman (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Since the early 1990s, public sector organisations have been overwhelmed with what has come to be termed New Public Management (NPM) methods. NPM idealises performance, metrics, transparency and marketisation. This book explores some of the tensions which arise in institutions where NPM methods prevail, introduces different ways of thinking about the task of managing for public good and offers a radical challenge to the dominant assumptions regarding why and how professional communities of practice may (or may not) come to change their working practices.

In this third book in the Complexity and Management series, the expert authors bring together their experiences to provide vibrant accounts of how to manage in everyday public sector organisational situations using practical judgement. The book includes a brief introduction to complexity and public sector management, real-world narratives illustrating concrete dilemmas in the workplace and a concluding chapter that draws together the practical and theoretical implications of a complexity perspective.

With both theoretical grounding and practical insights from senior managers and consultants, the book provides an ideal resource for students on management or executive leadership programmes for the public sector, as well as managers in and consultants to the sector.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages234
ISBN (Electronic)9781003099925
ISBN (Print)9780367569204
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2022

Publication series

NameComplexity and Management


  • Complexity
  • Public sector management
  • complex responsive processes


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