chapter  7
25 Pages

The agency concept in North America: failure, adaptation and incremental change

Failure, adaptation, and incremental change
ByAndrew Graham, Alasdair Roberts

The “new paradigm” that was said to characterize reform in many of the advanced democracies over the last two decades (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development 1995) contained three major themes. The first was a desire to release public servants from a welter of rules that were thought to make public organizations inflexible and inefficient. The second was a renewed emphasis on the reporting of results achieved by public organizations, and the use of this data to levy rewards or penalties. A final theme was said to be a new pragmatism about the choice of institutional structures used to deliver public services.