Title

Market responsiveness versus political responsiveness: change and conflict in an Australian government agency

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Waterhouse, J, Ryan, N & Charles, MB 2008, 'Market responsiveness versus political responsiveness: change and conflict in an Australian government agency', Public Policy and Administration, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 351-372.

Published version available from:

http://doi.org/10.1177/0952076708093249

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Considerable attention has recently been given to possible contradictions between public sector reform initiatives aimed at making agencies more responsive to political institutions and publics, and initiatives designed to make them more responsive to markets. This article reports on a study that demonstrates ways in which tensions and conflict can arise within a government agency when the aims of political responsiveness and market responsiveness are pursued simultaneously. The study also shows that conflict arises not only from contradictions between political and market responsiveness, but also from failures in organizational structure and change implementation strategies. Despite this, it is possible that the contradictions between the reforms need not be fatal if integrative structures are adopted and if conditions are created for effective participation and collaboration