Public Management and the Metagovernance of Hierarchies, Networks and Markets: The Feasibility of Designing and Managing Governance Style Combinations

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Public managers can, to a certain extent, choose between various mana- ment paradigms which are provided by public and business administration scholars and by politicians as well. How do they find their way in this c- fusing supermarket of competing ideas? This book explores how public managers in Western bureaucracies deal with the mutually undermining ideas of hierarchical, network and market governance. Do they possess a specific logic of action, a rationale, when they combine and switch - tween these governance styles? This chapter sets the scene for the book as a whole and presents the - search topic and the research question. 1.1 Problem setting Since the Second World War, Western public administration systems have changed drastically. The hierarchical style of governing of the 1950s to the 1970s was partly replaced by market mechanisms, from the 1980s - wards. In the 1990s, a third style of governing, based on networks, further enriched the range of possible steering, coordination and organisation - terventions. In the new millennium, public sector organisations seem to apply complex and varying mixtures of all three styles of what we will - fine as governance in a broad sense. This development has brought about two problems.