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Goats or wolves? Private sector managers in the public sector

Kohei Suzuki, Assistant Professor at Institute of Public Administration, researched, together with two other authors, whether public managers with private sector experience have more core managerial values.

Victor Lapuente, Kohei Suzuki & Steven Van de Walle
08 May 2020

Public administration reforms have propagated the use of private sector management skills in the public sector, and an increased openness to managers with a private sector background. This has created a debate between those who think private sector experience improves public institutions by bringing core managerial values such as results orientation, efficiency, or openness to innovation, and those who argue that private sector experience can damage core public sector values, such as impartiality and equity. Despite the abundant anecdotal evidence, broad empirical evidence on the effects of private sector experience on public managers' values remains limited. Using data from a survey among central government top managers in 18 European countries, the research shows that public managers with private sector experience have, as expected, more core managerial values. Yet, unlike the conventional view, core public values do not suffer.

To read the full research, click here

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