...More Comments

Scholarships for MPM Program!

Dear colleagues,

we would like to inform you about a few scholarships that are still available for the year 2000 postgraduate "Master of Public Management" (MPM) program at the University of Potsdam, Germany.

Our 14 months, full-time program is run in cooperation with the Public Administration Centre (ZÖV) of the International Foundation for International Development (DSE). Its focus is on qualified graduates in economics, business administration and management as well as the social sciences with relevant professional background and leadership experience in public sector organizations.

Applicants should be based in DSE's partner countries or in other countries with institutions of German development cooperation. The scholarship covers courses, accommodation and living expenses, and is fully funded by the Federal Republic of Germany.

If you know of institutions and individuals of interest in your field, we would appreciate very much if you spread that message by forwarding this mail and/or referring to our homepage at: http://www.uni-potsdam.de/u/mpm/

All relevant information concerning application procedures, admission requirements, deadlines, program structure and contents can be obtained from that website.

Thank you very much for your attention!

Very best regards,

Prof. Dr. Harald Fuhr, MPM Program Director, International Politics
Chair, Dr. Thomas Gebhardt, MPM Program Manager, University of Potsdam

Prof. Dr. Harald Fuhr
International Politics Chair, Economics and Social Science Faculty
University of Potsdam, P.O. Box 900327; D-14439 Potsdam, Germany
Phone: +49 (331) 977-3417,-3418,-4634 (answ.); Fax: +49 (331) 977-3429

Dr. Thomas Gebhardt
Program Manager
Master of Public Management Program
University of Potsdam
Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences
P.O. Box 90 03 27
14439 Potsdam
Phone: +49 331 977 46 54
Fax: +49 331 977 46 17

How Can We Choke, Smother and Strangle Innovation?

"It is not enough to have the courage of your convictions,
you must also have the courage to have
your convictions challenged."
-- Christopher Phillips

Sometimes the best way to think about how to make something better is to think about how you could make it worse. If it's important for a meeting to be exceptionally effective, you might spend a few minutes talking about all the ways you could make sure that it's NOT effective. This generally stimulates a bit of humor and opens the door to creating a set of generally agreed upon ground rules.

What if we applied this same process to innovation and thought about ways to make sure we're NOT innovative? Rosabeth Kanter gives us a start in her book "Change Masters" when she lists the ten rules for stifling innovation, including:

  • Be suspicious of all new ideas from below - because it's new and because it's from below.
  • Pit departments against one another in brutal battles for territory.
  • Express criticism freely and withhold praise.
  • Publicly humiliate people with failed experiments.

We invite you to look around at your organization and think of all the ways innovation could be choked, smothered and strangled. (Humor and ridiculousness is just fine in this case.) Send us your ideas and we'll send a summary next week. Be sure to indicate if you'd prefer anonymity.

Dorothy Milburn
The Consultants who DARE!
(Diagnose, Analyze, Resolve, and Evaluate)
Foundation Consulting Inc.
phone: (613) 860-1387 (messages)
phone: (613) 722-0929 (direct line) fax: (613) 722-4136

Participate in a Vision 2010 Research Project


I would greatly appreciate your prognostication and contribution if you have the time participate in my Vision 2010 research project by visiting the URL below. I am primarily seeking responses from senior level executives, seasoned management consultants, university professors and others of similar stature.


Thank you in advance for your participation and feel free to forward this to your business or techno-savvy colleagues.

Edwin W. Smith

Strategy 2020

Actually it is called "Defence Strategy 2020" [at and it is a response to the increasing sense that DND/CF is in crisis as a result not only of budget cuts etc. but also of the post-cold war situation and increased operational tempo and the "revolution in military affairs" (RMA) - not only new toys but new doctrines, organization and principles of war. There is a real struggle between the reformers and the imperative of reform and the old school that want to be the military it never was.

"What is the Difference Between Change Management and Innovation?"

I've read with great pleasure the contributed collection of responses on "What is the Difference Between Change Management and Innovation?" at http://www.innovation.cc/discussion-papers/change-management.htm.

I've been working in this domain for about 30 years, from my early days as an automotive factory worker during my undergraduate studies, so I've seen quite a bit of everything mentioned in the previous responses.

For my two cents, I'd like to contribute what I have come to think of as "subject nuetral" generalized definitions in this domain, moving from complex down to simpler. These definitions were derived from the American Heritage Dictionary at www.gurunet.com except for the definition of management, which was derived from the 1963 Reingold Encyclopedia of Management (Note that Gale Group is now publishing a 1999 edition http://www.routledge.com/gale/pressroom/encymgt.html www.gurunet.com the first in 17 years).

• Change Management: The act of directing and measuring alteration, transformation, or transition of a thing.

• Management: The resolution of dynamic complexity and diversity in science (i.e., what we know) and society (i.e., who we are) into a system of controlled order.

• Innovation: The act of seeking improvement, through alteration, transformation, or transition of some existent thing, or the addition of a new thing.

• Creativity: The ability to invent.

• Invention: A new thing formed through study and experimentation.

• Change: To become different or undergo alteration, transformation or transition.

Note that, as stated in previous responses, it seems you can have innovation without managed change, in that innovation can be spontaneous. It also seems you can also have change management without innovation, in that you could feasible have a change management project to abandon current things to return to types of older, less improved, things (e.g., return to use of kerosene or gas lanterns when abandoning electricity).

Roy Roebuck
Enterprise Engineer
One World Information System


Principal Information Engineer
SAIC, Global Command and Control Support Division

Draw Your Attention

Enjoy your website immensely.

Would like to draw your attention to WEBSITE: www.cadvision.com/aloha

This group certainly appears to be innovative relative to understanding (obviously they are intimately connected to world of concepts, i.e., theoretical understandings and musings)how it is to marshall support in changing huge monolithic structures such as the entire vested world of public education. And unlike the Fraser Institute, they appear to be wholly independent with minimal "allegiances" to preordained arcane economic discussions.

Bye for now!

Dennis Lapierre

A Great Website

Dear Eleanor,

You will now find a link to INNOVATION JOURNAL if you scroll down to PUBLIC ADMINISRATION on: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~fredr/sites.htm

Among the other links you will find there is one to ASPA/SICA, a group you probably know about whose new chair, Jos Raadschelders, you should communicate with -- I'm coying this note to him, and also to Thomas Lynch, an ASPA leader interested in international activities who, I see, is on your Board.

I also have a link to Habib Zafarullah whose journal, published in Australia, may have many affinities with your project. He is also interested in the implications of globalization for public administration and public policy, and we have discussed the need for a good listing of international sites for public administration. My small page is just a beginning -- I'd appreciate any suggestions you could pass along for more good sites to add.

Incidentally, you will also find a pane for "globalization" and another for "ethnicity" on my SITES page. These are interrelated because one effect of globalization, in my opinion, is the rise of ethnonational movements in many weak authoritarian countries where national minorities feel oppressed and are able to mobilize, with support from their diasporas, to contest both oppression and inadequate public services.

Kosovo provides a current example in its most tragic form. At the level of international administration, this involves the proliferation of international humanitarian agencies -- at least 159 of them are listed through InterAction, which focuses on groups found in the U.S. You can see the list, with their sites, at: http://www.interaction.org/members/index.html

Every one of them must confront urgent problems involving innovation in solving urgent new problems, and collectively, they face problems of coordination to optimize the use of limited resources and avoid redundancy and inter-group conflict. You will find a roster of officers involved in this effort at: http://www.interaction.org/about/index.html

The sponsor is the American Council for Voluntary International Action, with an office at:

1717 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite 801
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 667-8227

Because ASPA is (or should be!) interested in expanding the scope of its international activities to include international voluntary agencies (third sector organizations), I think someone on their staff might be able to help by discussing in person the problems of administrative liaison and inter-group coordination with these agencies. Consequently, I am copying this note also to Mary Hamilton, its executive director, at: <mhamilton@aspanet.org>. Ferrel Heady, a long-term ASPA leader and former president, has been especially active in promoting international administration studies so I am also copying this note to him.

With all best wishes and much aloha, Fred

Fred W. Riggs, Professor Emeritus
Political Science Department, University of Hawaii

A few past predictions that were a little wide of the mark

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction"
Pierre Pacher, Professor of Physiology, Toulouse, 1872

"The telephone is of no inherent value to us"
Western Union Internal Memorandum, 1876

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanent high plateau"
Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929

"Aeroplanes are interesting toys but are of no military use"
Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1914

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons"
Popular Mechanics, 1949

Source: newsletter of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians

John Last MD
Emeritus professor of epidemiology
University of Ottawa
451 Smyth Road
Ottawa, ON K1H 8M5 CANADA
Tel: (613) 562 5410, local (613) 562 5800 Ext 8285
Fax: (613) 562 5465

Nice site!


Mark Riva
Director, The Flow Network

New Book on global warming contains interesting innovation case studies

MIT Press has just published a book, "Views from the Alps: Regional perspectives on climate change" which I co-edited. Despite appearances to the contrary, it has one chapter which should interest this audience. It is about 80 pages long (i.e. booklet length) and called: "Innovative responses in the face of global climate change." It considers the way climate policy might change if we were to actively try to foster innovation. Through two detailed case studies, it argues that, contrary to conventional analyses, we can imagine public policies aimed either at changing consumers' preferences or technologies' development trajectories. If we aim to do this, the chances of moving to more energy-efficient technologies at lower cost increases significantly. Conventional "global" analyses, in contrast, assume that technology changes independent of public policy (I kid you not).

If you are interested, the full citation is: Cebon, P., Dahinden, U., Davies, H., Imboden, D., & Jaeger, C., (eds.) 1998. Views from the alps: Regional perspectives on climate change. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

It has its own website:

And, if you want to really empower yourself, you can buy it at Amazon.com. If you are the first person to do so, I can guarantee that you'll move it 600,000 places on the Amazon.com bestseller list - Such power!!!!!:


Melbourne Business School University of Melbourne 200 Leicester Street Carlton Vic 3053 Australia.

Sun Tzu on Innovation

"In general, in battle one engages with the orthodox and gains victory through the unorthodox."

-_The Art of War_, Chapter 5, 4th paragraph (Ralph D. Sawyer translation)

The Giles version replaces "orthodox" and "unorthodox" by "direct" and "indirect"...

Christian Sauve
Rockland, Ontario

How to cultivate, manage, and derive maximum benefit from our Intellectual Capital: A major survey's findings by Ian Rose, IBR Consulting

Canadian Centre for Management Development (CCMD) Armchair Session
Notes by Michelle Boulet

I attended this morning’s CCMD armchair "How to cultivate, manage and derive maximum benefit from Intellectual Capital, survey findings" given by Ian Rose of IBR Consulting. Before the session began I had a chance to speak with Mr. Rose and learnt that he sits on the Knowledege Management Council of the American Conference Board. He and Mr. Hubert Saint-Onge are the only Canadians that sit on the board. They are meeting next week in San Diego to work on creating Knowledge Management guidelines for organizations across the world.

I was very impressed by his presentation in that his finding were supported by his survey of 500 companies and by his practical experiences. I am finding that more and more speakers are able to present KM and that sometimes all the’ve done is read as much about it as you and me. This was not the case here, Ian Rose works globally and is part of that KM-Intellectual Capital network along with Saint-Onge and Edvinsson.

This morning’s conference summarized 15 points about what it takes to make KM happen within an organization.

15 factors essential to building a knowledge-based organization:

1. Senior management as a lever for change

2. Culture that supports knowledge sharing (related to innovation)

3. Climate of trust (managers have to demonstrate truth and reduce the fear. Fear shows up as compliant behaviour)

4. Reward good ideas and even those that fail

5. There is danger in applying Information Technology to KM, technology is the least important part of KM. KM should not reside in the technology area (I can really relate to this). 10% of knowledge can be stored in databases but 90% resides in people. Explore ways of extracting this 90% rather than the other.

6. An organization needs a Chief Knowledge Officer, there needs to be someone dedicated to planning the sharing.

7. It is critical to identify the organization’s most valuable assets. Who are these people, the ones most respected in an organization for their knowledge, people who are committed and share. One way of identifying them is to survey employees, asking them which three individual do you most respect for their knowledge (there was a note here on the importance of the language used). What is significant in the findings would be to look at how far is the originator from the response, this would show the range of knowledge. Next, once these people are identified, train them to become change agents.

8. Identify key innovators (not the same people as above)

9. Identify critical knowledge (what does the organization need to know?)

10. Eliminate redundant information (use mini-CKOs type, in a rotating coordinator function to check whether the information is relevant, etc.)

11. KM should be an integrated part of the business and part of everybody’s job.

12. Communication. This is a cliché problem that no one ever does anything about. Look at how the organization filters information, use the rule of 6 when communicating: say it 6 times, from 6 different people, in 6 different ways in 6 different places on 6 different occasions. Another important communication tool is to identify how the "believable" information circulates in your organization. In a high tech company a town hall meeting would not work but email is successful.

13. Change. Organizations that survive are the ones that are most responsive to change. Change the language, avoid the use of the A to B logic, that is never refer to the last change as the final change. This will reduce the stress around change

14. Optimism (yes!). Pessimism sucks the life out of organizations.

15. Tenacity. You gotta be determined to see it through.

Senior management need to practice the discipline of open-mindness to allow for ideas/creativity/innovation to germinate. He said ideas are like children, they are ugly until they mature.

He doesn’t believe the KM can start at the bottom. You need senior management lead. Reward is key and the success is dependant on senior management. (Note: the Duxbury, Dyke and Lam study on Knowledge Workers that was just released also points to the need for rewards:"redesign recognition and rewards programs to align what is rewarded with what different groups of employees value (the data suggests that the public service is 'using the wrong carrots' or employees with non-traditional views of success").

Number one issue in the organization is how you recruit and select people and managers. Findings revealed that most managers don’t want to be managers, they just want the promotion. In some organizations they have addressed this issue by creating senior scientists that are not managers.

He said it all comes down to the role of senior management. He spoke of using positive machiavelianism to get their buy-in. One example he gave, admitting it wasn’t a good one, was, if you’re trying to promote women in senior positions find an ADM that has daughters and get him to champion the issue. Find out what the vested interest is and use it.

Michelle Boulet

There it is a lack of support for current public policies and public management systems there will be changes with or without research

I am particularly interested in research methodologies in public management. The view expressed in articles from time to time, notably in the Journal of Public Policy Analysis and Management, that serious scientific inquiry requires, and is limited to, deductive quantitative research is among the issues that need to be seriously discussed. One reason is practical: it limits what can be done in the field of public management. It also excludes the use of techniques that have proved a rich source of insight and knowledge in other disciplines -- notably organizational behavior.

There is also an evolving relationship in public management between inductive investigation, such as case studies and best practices, and deductive research. If well organized and managed, a series of case studies/best practices can eventually become a useful database to test hypotheses using deductive techniques. Furthermore, formal deductive techniques may not be applicable to the study of complex (or "chaotic") systems. Many of the situations in which public management principles are applied display the characteristics of complex systems. The systems are highly resistant to research techniques that are based on calculating equilibrium solutions. There is also the relatively new work in a scenario building, which does not provide the predictive "answers" of traditional social science research, but has proved useful in developing insights into environments characterized by a high degree of uncertainty. These insights can significantly improve the quality of decision-making.

Scientists very in the degree to which they have an ethical responsibility to be concerned about the relevance of their research to near-term practical concerns. Clearly astronomers and abstract mathematicians have a much lower standard of relevance than AIDS researchers. Practitioners such as myself are often dealing with complex systems and are interested in a high standard of relevance for research and in research that produces results relatively quickly. We know that if there it is a lack of support for current public policies and public management systems there will be changes with or without research. Because of this, we feel that methodologically elegant long-term research about narrow issues is poor value for money.

David Mathiasen

MADGIC, the Carleton map and data centre

Although I suppose I will be accused of being a "homer," I want to bring to your attention the Web site run by MADGIC at Carleton. MADGIC is the Carleton map and data centre. One of the MADGIC managers is Wendy Watkins, a long-time VPAC member and even longer time data person at Carleton, works. Wendy was also a key player in the Data Liberation Initiative, a successful attempt to "free" data from Statscan for non-commercial use.

The MADGIC home page is at http://www.library.carleton.ca/madgic

I use it to get access to the CANSIM website at the University of Toronto. (CANSIM is an enormous data base containng time series data on thousands of economic and social variables.) But at least two other features make it worth looking at the site. One is that it gives access to all kinds of other publicly available data sets. In truth, though, I decided to bring the page to your attention when I was hanging around the government documents section of the library and saw the collection of world maps made by kids (see http://www.carleton.ca/madgic/maps/children/index.html)


Two other sites from Peggy Sun:

For information on the Euro, the new European currency, which came into effect on January 1st, visit the European Commission's Euro site at: http://europa.eu.int/euro/html/entry.html


The non-profit research organization, Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN), has recently renovated its entire web site, providing better access to its publications. Of note, they have produced some work on the Social Union. In general, they have also made a commitment to improve communications via their electronic mailing list.

Their web site address: http://www.cprn.org

For instructions on how to subscribe to their electronic mailing list: http://www.cprn.org/discussn_e.htm

While I'm at it, the Data Liberation Initiative has a home page at http://www.statcan.ca/english/Dli/dli.htm

Un-Stifling Innovation

"John W. Hawks" clipped quote

<<I am working in the diffusion of innovation in medicine and have formed some opinions on barriers from experiences which may, or may not, be useful. From what I've been able to see in closed systems such as medicine, there appears to be two primary barriers. The first is a fear of looking foolish and the second is access to {or even a vocabulary for} a Rogersesque Opinion Leader. Since approx. 80% of the system is Early Majority and later, the innovator is likely to find hard resistance to any semi-formed innovation. This almost guarantees rejection...and stifles innovation.>>

Reply From Emil Zahner:

This is normal behaviour for people not trained in how to innovate. In our approach** we cover about 50% time removing these obstacles, in theory and practice. As people get to know the why and when, they learn how to cooperate and the invention process takes off. We take 2 ½ days to introduce them to systematic innovation. Some people feel, methods are everything. It depends how you look at it. Methodical behaviour and thinking is different from the usual approach, mentioned above. There is as much a system behind innovating as there is a system in problem solving.

I am afraid I cannot press what we do into one or two paragraphs. We show people the morphology of an innovation team, its characteristics, danger areas, creativity without weed generation. Main areas: The person, communication, organization, process, methods. Founded on social, professional and methodical competence. Innovation results tend to be excellent.

<<Perhaps it is more important to be able to RECEIVE an innovation than to create one. >>

The message sender is responsible for the state of mind of the recipient. The latter must be prepared. Open minded people will likely listen, but in most cases you face closed minds - even in so-called innovation departments. This is what we usually face in the marketing area of our seminars on Systematic Innovation. It is effortless not to believe. It takes guts, time and ability to assess what we offer. We find it easier with those who are already innovative, those who need it most won't grasp it. Vicious circle or erroneous thinking.

Benefits and applications are shown on the web page.

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/canmor/ and http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/canmor/pros01.htm

Reprinted from: Innov.Mgmt.Network - V.5, No.91

Emil Zahner, Morphological Institute Canada

If you're interested in bridging the focus on knowledge and innovation take a look at this

For those of us interested in bridging the focus on knowledge and innovation, take a peak at the new Global Knowledge Leadership Map <http://www.entovation.com> premiered at the recent McMaster Business Conference (1/20/99). It features over 50 people from 30 countries around the globe who are transforming their organizations at a local and societal level. Discover how many kindred spirits you may have!

The "Tour de Knowledge Monde" represents a diagonal slice of the ENTOVATION Network so that some of the veteran leaders are represented as well as some newcomers who have just completed their theses on the subject. Participants were queried on their roots in the movement, who influenced them and why, their accomplishments to date and what still needed to be done as well as their vision of the knowledge economy.

For a free copy of the preliminary analysis, please request a copy of the "Global Momentum of Knowledge Strategy" via e-mail <debra@entovation.com>. Always in your network,



Christopher K. Bart, Ph.D.
Professor of Business Policy &
Director, MINT~RC
Management of Innovation and New Technology Research Centre
Michael G. DeGroote School of Business
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S-4M4
Phone: 905/525-9140 ext. 2-3967
Fax: 905/521-8995
e-mail: bartck@mcmaster.ca

An update on Wendy Macdonald

Hi Eleanor,

Good to hear from you and learn that you are working on Book 2, as we very much enjoyed Book 1. Although it covered a number of Saskatchewan's innovations, I agree that there is still much to be learned from what was done there.

I have been feeling guilty at not being any help on the Innovation Journal... one of my faults is that if I can't do something the way I think it should be done, I don't do it at all, so I meant several times to update that newspaper article on the Knowledge Assessment Methodology and send it to you, but never quite did (the urgent crowding out the important). In the meantime events have overtaken me, the report ("Lighting the Way: Knowledge Assessment on Prince Edward Island") has been completed and released by the National Academy of Sciences, and is available in its entirety on their Website
http://www.nap.edu/bookstore/isbn/030906435X.html, or if you like I can have a copy sent to you (we got 1,000 for local distribution). As well, I did an Interim Report on the project last summer which provides a lot of description of the implementation process as we felt our way through it.

It is also on the web at http://www.upei.ca/~iis/kam/index.htm. I have also done a project overview which has only been distributed as hard copy and to listers so I belatedly attach it in case it is of interest to members of the Salon. Happy to say, the project has yielded some good strategic recommendations as well as some great spin-offs from the process, and has attracted a fair amount of interest. I have been appointed to the US National Research Council's Committee on Knowledge Assessment and was just down in Washington for my first meeting. They would like to use the committee more actively to test the methodology further in Panama and some other sites and refine it. I am looking forward to it as it is very interesting to move beyond the provincial sphere to some out-of-country work. It has been a marvellous learning experience for me.

Another project in which I have recently become involved may also be of interest to the Salon. I am co-chairing an international conference to be held in Summerside PEI in mid-October, "Local Knowledge, Global Challenge: Smart Community Development". The conference, which is a linked activity of the Francophone Summit, will examine the topic of "smart communities" from a community development perspective. Themes include telelearning, telehealth, e-commerce, teleculture, telework, teledemocracy, and the Knowledge Assessment Methodology project. It is intended to be a practical conference aimed at a core audience of community development professionals, looking at how to develop and integrate all these "tele's" in support of social and economic development, with an emphasis on best practices and mutual learning. We should have a website up soon, likely as a page of the "IIS" Institute of Island Studies site noted above re the Interim Report. In the meantime if you are interested I can e-mail you some background information. I am also chairing the program sub-committee and it is going to be a real challenge because of the breadth of the conference plus a new role for me. Again, a learning opportunity.

Wendy Macdonald
Member, Editorial Board, Innovation Journal

Some comments to Fred Thompson on the summary of the APPAM-roundtable

Dear Dr. Jones & Dr. Schedler,

Please find in the following paragraphs my comments to Fred Thompson on the summary of the APPAM-roundtable in your latest newsletter.

I think we both agree on the fact that the managerialist style and the economist framework of NPM offers useful elements for the challenges that trigger contemporary public sector reforms. As in Ali Farazmand's reaction, I would also agree that we shouldn't be (and I quote him) "REPLACING citizens with customers but rather we are ADDING the customer perspective to the citizen one". But saying that they should be added still doesn't solve the problem of understanding (as a theoretical challenge) and controlling(as a practical challenge) of when or how these different perspectives (and the different values, reform objectives, control mechanisms and institutional relationships that underpin them) can reinforce & enable eachother, rather than compete and disable each other. The essence of my argument in the following paragraphs is that NPM, as it is presented in many reform panels or by some academics with a consulting agenda, that NPM is incomplete as a refrom agenda, and biased. The conclusion then, is not that NPM would not be useful, to the contrary, I personally think there are many public organizations where the managerial perspective can be usefull.

The conclusion however would be that those who support NPM-based reform agendas should be more open in saying not only what it can do but also what it cannot do. Which would be more than merely changing the term 'management' by the term 'governance' in an effort to increase the legitimacy of the claims. In that, my argument to Thompson's argument, as it was presented in the synthesis in the newsletter, was that admitting NPM's shortcomings should be as important as arguing its strenghts. The following paragraphs show my argument to Thompson.

The reform practices in which public sectors' efforts to modernize their admistrative apparatus are inspired by methods of the private sector, and by the market mechanism in general, have not been unanimously welcomed in the public administration/managment literature. In fact, critiques of NPM apparantly gave the word 'management' such a bad name
that the term 'governance' was welcomed in the customary language, to increase the legitimacy of the reform debate. The challenges with regard to the pubic sector, and the reform objectives that can be derived from them with regard to modernization processes, were said to relate to

  1. realizing savings
  2. increasing efficiency
  3. increasing effectiveness
  4. increasing justice and equity (Lane 1995).

Applying managerial concepts in a public sector context in the way NPM does, can aid in the realization of objectives (1) and (2) and focuses mainly on the micro-, intra-organizational level. The problem of public sector's legitimacy however, also exist at a macro level, that is between and over public organizations. At the macro level the focus is on the question what the quantity of government (still) should be in our society. This question is increasingly answered with a shift of public tasks from the public sector towards the private sector. In Europe, Maastricht's debt and budgetary deficit criteria (respectively 60% and 3% of GDP) have been reinforcing and legitimizing this trend. It will be interesting to see whether the installment of more social-democratic governments the last few years and months will significantly alter this trend. In the U.S., the balanced budget discourse, and repeating attempts to give it a constitutional basis, can serve as an example as well. It is however not only a quantitative question of 'how much government', but also a qualitative one, of how the various actors in society should act and interact.

There is the public sector with a budgetmechanism, traditionally based on authority and hierarchy. There is the private sector with the market mechanism, based on competition and contractual relations. And there are citizens in networks, based on mutual dependence and consensus (Bouckaert 1997). Applying managerial models from the private sector in a governmental context entails an choice for the market mechanism and market values over alternative mechnanism and alternative values. To the extent that we have made this choice during recent administrative reforms in an implicit way, that is without recognizing it, the new public management is biased towards the objectives, mechanisms and values of private management. An example is the reduction of citizens to 'customers'. In managerial language, a least the role of shareholders and financers should be added. The fact that the market fails for some goods and services, and therefore the roles of customers and suppliers could not be quite clear, was why the public sector took care of them in the first place. Advancing a market discourse for those services or "products" therefore is like placing the wagon before the horse. Which helps if you want to travel backwards of course. A second example of bias in NPM is its urge to focus on what is measurable. The non-measurability again was a reason why the market had perverse effects as an allocative mechanism in the first place. Therefore, applying a market based discourse again entails a bias for economy and efficiency, and against effectiveness, equity and justice. A third bias is NPM's focus on an organizational level, thereby perhaps fostering organizational performance but also governmentwide suboptimalities, especially in policy programs that are cross-organizationally developed and implemented. A fourth example of bias is the urge to look for some 'production function', thus creating an artificial distinction between a so called 'political level' of policy making where things are a bit 'messy' and a 'managerial level' of policy implementation, that should be reformed and ordered according to a managerial framework. An artificial distinction indeed, I believe, because it rather exists in the minds of academics and their texbooks rather than that it describes what happens in reality.

To conclude, it appears to me that NPM tries to reduce issues of effectiveness, justice and equity to a matter of efficiency and savings. Which, by the very nature of these conflicting values, is impossible. Therefore, I would agree with Lane and Metcalfe that although the government can import and apply private sector's managerial principles and methods at a micro-level and with regard to objectives (1) and (2), it needs to be innovative on its own at a macro level and with regard to the objectives (3) and (4). Therefore, the discipline, whether called pubic managment, new public management or public governance, requires its own creativity at both a theoretical and a practical level, resulting in theories and methods appropriate to the distinctive needs of government which are not necessarily those of the private sector (Lane 1995) (Metcalfe 1993). I believe that the above could inspire the background in which we assess administrative modernization in general, and new public management in particular.

Reference List:
Bouckaert, Geert. 1997. "Sustainable Development of Networks in a Governance Context." paper presented at the conference on 'Spanning the global divide: networking for sustainable delivery' at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa on September 17-19, 1997.

Hood, Christopher. 1991. "A Public Management for Al Seasons ?" Public Administration 69(1):3-19.

Lane, Jan-Erik. 1995. The Public Sector: Concepts, Models and Approaches. 2nd ed. London: Sage.

Metcalfe, Les. 1993. "Public Management: From Imitation to Innovation." Pp. 173-89 in Modern Governance. New Government-Society Interactions, Ed
Jan Kooiman. London: Sage.

Kindest regards,

Wouter Van Reeth
Northern Illinois University
Division of Public Administration
DeKalb, IL 60115
phone: (815) 753 6146
fax: (815) 753 2539

The Innovation Salon is fascinating

The Salon subject (Febuary 29) is fascinating. I believe we have a lot to learn from proven thinkers from Sun Tzu to Machiavelli.

Jeremy Thorn

We are sending you information in French about the "Effective State" conference from 1998

Dear Ms. Glor:

We are sending for your journal information in French about the conference "Effective State" which took place at St. Petersburg State University on December 1998. We are ready to collaborate with you and "Innovation Journal" in future.

The best wishes, Leonid Smorgunov, Prof., Head of the Department of Political Governance at St. Petersburg State University.

L.Smorgunov (leonid@dean.philos.lgu.spb.su)
Philosophy Department

I wonder if behaviour's apparently universal resistance to idea-based change mustn't serve a purpose

I've spent a lot of time in the last few months trying to get involved with Dee Hock (you know, Mr. Visa) who's talking some pretty brave talk about new forms of organization and the need for uh... what you might call unconventional leadership. What puzzles me in all this is the chasm which yawns (chasms always yawn, don't they?) between word and deed. You may have seen or heard Mr. Hock's stuff as he's been pretty busy on the lecture circuit these last few years. That the rhetoric is so wonderful merely increases the tragedy of his failure to practise what he preaches.

Why am I telling you this? Well, it seems to me that there's something pretty strange going on here, and Eleanor is going to run into it too. Yes, there's no shortage of good ideas for improving organizations, but the behaviour of even those with the greatest vision and most awesome track record seems strangely disconnected from their own deliberative control. That is, if what they say is any indication of what they think.

I wonder sometimes if behaviour's apparently universal resistance to idea-based change mustn't serve a purpose. I have no background in biology, but I would expect that the existence of the immune system raises similar questions (though I think in fact the history went the other way) -- resistance to what, and why?

The work, and the wondering, continues.

Jim Almstrom
1413 Fairway Drive, #302
Naperville, IL 60563


Thanks for your thoughts. I was reading a definition of motivation recently in Kaplan, Harold I., BJ Sadock. 1991. Synopsis of Psychiatry. Sixth Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Williams and Wilkins. They said that the body always tries to bring itself to a state of stasis. This being true, we might be biologically programmed to resist change, n’est-ce pas?

A further thought - The Gestalt Institute of Cleveland has done some work on resistance to change. They have identified three levels of resistance:

  • Level 1 - resistance based on information
  • Level 2- an emotional and physiological reaction to this change e.g. fear for self
  • Level 3 - reaction is bigger than this particular change e.g. resistance to the person proposing the idea, possibly based on who they represent - resistance based on cultural, religious and racial differences.

This analysis would explain resistance to idea-based by saying that ideas and concrete solutions only address level 1 concerns. Levels 2 and 3 are emotion-based and need to be addressed at that level.

What do you think?

I heard about this at a workshop given to the Department of National Defense, Canada by Rick Maurer of Arlington, Virginia on February 2, 1999.

Editor in Chief

A valuable data access site

Although I suppose I will be accused of being a "homer," I want to bring to your attention the Web site run by MADGIC at Carleton. MADGIC is the Carleton map and data centre. One of the MADGIC managers is Wendy Watkins, a long-time VPAC member and even longer time data person at Carleton, works. Wendy was also a key player in the Data Liberation Initiative, a successful attempt to "free" data from Statscan for non-commercial use.

The MADGIC home page is at http://www.carleton.ca/madgic

I use it to get access to the CANSIM website at the University of
Toronto. (CANSIM is an enormous data base containng time series data on thousands of economic and social variables.) But at least two other features make it worth looking at the site. One is that it gives access to all kinds of other publicly available data sets.

In truth, though, I decided to bring the page to your attention when I was hanging around the government documents section of the library and saw the collection of world maps made by kids
(see http://www.carleton.ca/madgic/maps/children/index.html)
Two other sites from Peggy Sun:
For information on the Euro, the new European currency, which came into effect on January 1st, visit the European Commission's Euro site at: http://europa.eu.int/euro/html/entry.html
The non-profit research organization, Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN), has recently renovated its entire web site, providing better access to its publications. Of note, they have produced some work on the Social Union. In general, they have also made a commitment to improve communications via their electronic mailing list. Their web site address: http://www.cprn.org
For instructions on how to subscribe to their electronic mailing list: http://www.cprn.org/discussn_e.htm

Frank Ogden, a classic futurist

I just came across Frank Ogden's web site in Vancouver - a futurist in the classic sense. His web site is full of interesting quotes and up to date trends- see more below Bill Pugsley (613) 731-0145
President, Canadian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society
Président, Société canadienne de météorologie et d'océanographie http://www.meds.dfo.ca/cmos/
(back-up) BPUGSLEY@COMPUSERVE.COM (checked weekly)
From Frank Ogden's web site at http://www.drtomorrow.com

1. Here are the latest figures available indicating relative percentage of gross national product spent on education by: Canada 7.8% United Kingdom 6.2% United States 6.0% Japan 5.3% Moral: maybe spending up to 50 percent more to get half the results isn't the way to go?

2. Within three years, 50 percent of the world population will be Asian and of the 20 largest cities on Earth at that time, not one will be in Canada, the United States or Europe.

3. Ninety percent of all the goods and services you are going to be interacting with in the year 2006 haven't even been developed yet."

4."It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change."
-Charles Darwin

5. Oscar Wilde once said, "Nothing worth learning can be taught."

Bill Pugsley

Editorial Comment on the AOL's acquisition of Netscape

Greetings: You may find the editorial comment on the AOL's acquisition of Netscape of interest.

Peter Gunther

A new take on the discussion of citizens vs customers in the public sector

A new take on the discussion of citizens vs customers in the public sector: Citizens, Customers and Clients: Is it more than semantics?

Kuno Schedler's responce to four items in the Newsletter of The International Public Management

Larry Jones writes in the latest Newsletter of The International Public Management Journal. Kuno Schedler responds to item four.

Let us know what you think about the Newsletter! Every reaction will be welcome. All you need to do is send your message to: inpuman-l@sigma.unisg.ch The IPMN Journal is found at: http://www.willamette.org/ipmn/
Best wishes from St. Gallen (Switzerland)

Kuno Schedler
Professor of Public Management
Institute for Public Services and Tourism

Science and Technology Innovation

A monograph entitled "SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION" was added to the web site in June 1998. This thirty page document describes two novel complementary approaches for systematically enhancing the process of innovation and discovery. One approach is workshop-based and the other is literature-based. Both approaches have the common feature of exploring knowledge from very disparate technical disciplines and technologies, and transferring insights and understanding from one or more disparate technical areas to other technical areas. While either approach can be performed independently to enable innovation and discovery, it is highly recommended that the approaches be combined into a single process.

This integrated approach utilizes the strengths of each component technique to provide a synergy which can lead more efficiently to innovation than the sum of the two approaches performed separately. It has the potential to be a major breakthrough for the systematic promotion of innovation and discovery.
Source: Innov.Mgmt.Network - V.5, No.55; June 11, 1998

Ronald N. Kostoff/ ONR

Fred Belaire

- further info on Fred Belaire.
- Fred publishes a column in Silicon Valley North which has a web site at http://www.silvan.com/editorial-ott.htm
-"Knowledge and Economy", by Fred Blaire
- note that all of the issues are searchable so that you can pick up anything Fred has written there

The most recent issue has Fred's email as fred.belaire@sympatico.ca

Bill Pugsley


Thanks for heads up re Innovation Journal.

Wow...and wow again. Almost all those articles are up my alley. I am a Finnophile (and still speak 'Suomi' awfully despite the interval since I lived there for 10 months in 1961-62) so I'm looking forward to the 'Innovation In Finland' article.

Here's a nugget from my ongoing contacts there. About 10 years ago they made music (singing, an instrument and musicology) mandatory from pre-school to the end of secondary school. 'You can only avoid it with a doctor's certificate.' They did so because of research showing significant increase in intelligence, creativity, and disciplined work from that program. It is one of the cornerstones of their strategy for continued success in IT industries.

I laugh when I think of Canadians trying to undertake that sort of developmental policy (other than Saskatchewan of course)...as opposed to our obsessions with equity and fairness among interests.

Glen Milne, Canada

Updated April 18, 2004

Last updated: May 28 2015