This article reviews the New Public Management (NPM) literature in Central and Eastern Europe, looking particularly at reforms in Estonia, Hungary and Romania. It finds that research that assessed changes in internal processes and activities within the public sector by far outnumber research that assessed changes in outputs and outcomes. Overall more studies have found positive than negative effects – especially in terms of processes and activities – but less so for outputs and outcomes. Significant challenges in assessing impacts make sweeping claims about whether NPM “works” difficult to support with solid evidence. The paper shows that NPM policy is still considered as an option for public sector modernization in Central and Eastern Europe and suggests that a number of NPM components, if not the model as a whole, are likely to continue to exert influence on the public sector in the future.

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Keywords New Public Management (NPM), Estonia, Hungary, Romania, Central and Eastern Europe, Future of NPM
Persistent URL
Series COCOPS - (COordinating for COhesion in the Public Sector of the Future)
Journal Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences
Grant This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/266887 - COordinating for COhesion in the Public Sector of the Future (COCOPS)
Dan, S. (2014). The New Public Management is not that bad after all. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, 2015(Forthcoming), 1–24. Retrieved from