Title: Tracing the quest for performance in Germany's public sector: institutional entrepreneurship with rhetorical strategies of persuasion

Authors: Rick Vogel

Addresses: Chair of Public Management & Public Policy, Zeppelin University, Am Seemooser Horn 20, 88045 Friedrichshafen, Germany

Abstract: In Germany, as elsewhere in the Western world and beyond, the ideology of managerialism has had a tremendous impact on the public sector. The focus of the present study is on how a think tank discursively triggers and shapes the German debate on public sector modernisation. I extract the rhetorical strategies which undergird the narrative on performance management as disseminated by the think tank. The theory of institutional entrepreneurship forms the basis for a content-analysis of publications which were officially released by the think tank. As a result, I extract a heterogeneous mixture of rhetorical strategies of persuasion which, when puzzled together, compose a consistent narrative for public sector transformation in Germany. By these means, the quest for performance is discursively constructed both with regard to the management devices themselves and to the problems which they are intended to solve.

Keywords: Germany; institutional entrepreneurship; new steering model; NSM; new public management; NPM; public sector performance management; rhetoric; think tanks; persuasion; public sector modernisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPSPM.2013.056071

International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management, 2013 Vol.2 No.2, pp.123 - 140

Available online: 27 Aug 2013 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article