FRAMING AND COUNTER-FRAMING NEW PUBLIC MANAGEMENT: THE CASE OF GERMANY
Article first published online: 17 OCT 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 90, Issue 2, pages 370–392, June 2012
How to Cite
VOGEL, R. (2012), FRAMING AND COUNTER-FRAMING NEW PUBLIC MANAGEMENT: THE CASE OF GERMANY. Public Administration, 90: 370–392. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9299.2011.01981.x
- Issue published online: 20 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 17 OCT 2011
- Date received 12 August 2009. Date accepted 27 January 2011.
In this paper I explore the conflict between managerial and bureaucratic models of public sector management from the discursive perspective in institutional theory. Taking the under-researched case of Germany, I conduct a textual analysis of seminal publications in the discourse on public sector reform and reveal the subversive framing conflict which accompanies the proliferation of private managerial models in the public sector. As the most general result, a frame which advocates the transfer of business-like managerial practices clashes with a counter-frame which opposes this managerialization. I elucidate how these competing frames are composed, which of their components are core and which are peripheral, how the frames relate to each other, and which broader discourses they exploit for legitimization purposes. The results imply that the often assumed superiority of managerial over bureaucratic control is constructed through discourse rather than being a law-like regularity.