From ‘either or’ to ‘both and’: Organisational management in the aftermath of NPM

Niklas Wällstedt, Roland Almqvist


This article explores the next phase of public management: the era of paradox. As new public management (NPM) policies and practices were shown to be inadequate to solve the problems of public management, they began to be complemented – rather than replaced – with new reforms and practices. These reforms and practices are often contradictory to existing ones, leaving managers in a difficult position. By extending the debate about contradictions and paradox from the policy level to the organisational level, we show how public sector managers work to resolve these contradictions in a situated manner, keeping the contradictions alive rather than resolving them permanently.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413