Effective public manager’s profile from the perspective of the citizens
and business environment
Armenia Androniceanu, Professor PhD, Academy of Economic Studies
As we already know, since 1980s a new paradigm for public management, called New
Public Management has emerged . The term of NPM came into use at the beginning of
1990s to describe public sector reforms in UK and New Zealand as a conceptual device
invented for the purposes of structuring discussions of changes in the organization and
management of government.
The content of this paper move beyond the NPM approach, trying to set up a new public
manager profile who is much more oriented to the market based on public needs and the
expectations of the citizens and business environment. We consider that it’s need to
invest in developing of a new public manager profile, based on the entrepreneurial skills.
Key works: entrepreneurial profile, public manager, New Public Management,
The principles of NPM are in general characterise by emphasis on output controls, the
disaggregating of traditional bureaucratic organizations and the decentralization of
management authority, the introduction of market and quasimarket mechanisms and
customer-oriented services. (Hood).
It becomes relevant to change the profile of the public manager, by underlining the
entrepreneurial skills in their managerial style.
If we study the international literature about the profile of an entrepreneur, we will find
several approaches, but few of them are relevant and could be analysed for our
consideration in the work of discovering the new profile for an effective public manager
much more oriented on the citizens and the business environment.
For example Tom Kulzer identify the following traits of an entrepreneur:
1. Problem Solver:
Entrepreneurs have an extraordinary ability to find solutions for difficult problems. The
business environment of a start up company involves many unique problems that must be
quickly solved by them.
2. Calculated Risk Taker:
A successful entrepreneur is a good judge of acceptable risk levels. They always research
a topic before trying to make decisions and leave no stone unturned. They tend to be an
adventurous group but always minimize their risk with alternate plans should something
unexpected arise. Starting a business is inherently risky so the entrepreneur must research
and plan before jumping in with both feet.
During their lifetime most entrepreneurs will start several businesses. This is due to the
fact that they always have great new business ideas flowing through their head. An
entrepreneur will start a business and then move on to the next big project. It is rare for
an entrepreneur to stick around and actually "run" a organization past the start up phase.
The idea of running an established organization does not appeal to them so they are likely
to sell the business or hire someone to run the daily operations for them.
One of the keys to becoming an excellent entrepreneur is their ability to delegate tasks to
others. When you are starting a business it's impossible to know how to do everything
yourself. Even if you do know how to do something you probably will not have time to
do it yourself. Delegate those tasks and run the parts of the business that you excel in.
Handle Rejection Well:
Dealing with rejection is part of being an entrepreneur. Just trying to get a business
started you are liable to run into opposition from friends, family, creditors, business
associates, and soon to be ex co-workers. When you become an entrepreneur you step out
of the comfort zone for many people. Whether it is out of jealousy or other factors there
are many people that will not want you to succeed. You must overcome this by believing
in your business and sticking to it until you obtain the level of success you desire.
Krutz offers an online instrument for testing the entrepreneurial capacity of the leaders.
If we look on the above profile, there are many traits which could be necessary for an
effective public managers, but also some of them which are not compatible with the
principles and rules already define for the public management. For these reasons we
make several theoretical and practical research trying to identify the content for an
entrepreneurial public manager profile.
First of all I tried to look on in the literature at the status of the research on this issue. A
short selection is presented below.
Professor John Altman highlighted the characteristics and personality of an entrepreneur.
He said that the entrepreneur is traditionally viewed as someone who is risk-taking, an expert with a high-tech invention and strategic vision backed by venture capital. In today’s context, this is a myth.
Today’s entrepreneur is risk-seeking but takes calculated risks. He is persistent,
determined, perseverant and takes initiative and personal responsibility. He wants the
freedom to pursue his personal goals which may lead to conflicts with authority. He is
creative and has a drive to grow.
Professor Altman offered the Babson College’s “re-definition” of the entrepreneur as someone with “a way of thinking and acting that is opportunity obsessed, holistic in
approach and leadership balanced for the purpose of wealth and job creation”.
The professor also expanded on what makes a country entrepreneurial. The key
ingredients are a culture that embraces entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, an available
networked infrastructure, easy access to risk capital and suitable government policies.
Professor Kayne went on to discuss about public and social entrepreneurship. A public
or social entrepreneur is one who creates value in terms of attaining a social goal. He is
one who embarks on missions to create and sustain social value.
The professor’s presentation was especially suited for public officers who were
wondering how to be entrepreneurial within their organizations. He emphasized the
importance of enabling value creation for society at large, rather than individuals creating
He provided examples of success stories such as the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild,
whose aim is to use visual and performing arts to impart life skills to youths at risk and to
break the cycle of poverty. In pursuing his vision of creating healthy communities
through culture, the founder undertook commercial ventures, including launching a
record label. In fact, the first record won a Grammy for best performance.
To paint a more realistic picture, Professor Kayne highlighted the potential down side of
public entrepreneurship — short-term financial loss and negative social returns, loss of political leverage and mission drift.
To succeed, the public entrepreneur will need to do more than just change the way he
does things, said the professor. He will need to become a change agent within his
Professor Van Mierlo from Maastrict University completed the explanation of the public
entrepreneur from the NPM basic values. ''Public Entrepreneurship'' is an important
element of the necessary innovation of strategic management of government
bureaucracies. The concept of public entrepreneurship is elaborated. Public
entrepreneurship originally is constructed by Osborne and Gaebler as a device to
''reinvent government''. The consequences of public entrepreneurship for their relations
with political superiors and sponsors on the one hand, and their contacts with consumer-
clients and interest groups on the other hand, are explored from the institutional
perspective of public management reform in Western Europe.
Public entrepreneurship combines elements of classical market entrepreneurship and
elements of modern social entrepreneurship of institutions of private initiative. Public
entrepreneurship imposes new challenges for bureaucrats operating between the political
leadership of their bureau and the clients of the services provided by their bureau. Public
entrepreneurship also causes new problems of political-democratic control. These
challenges and problems could be explored and some solutions could be formulated.
If we start our aproach from the ethimology, we must say that there are several
perspectives for the content, but all the specialist recognise that the word „ entrepreneur” is comming from French language.
As we can see below it have been selected some meanings for an entrepreneur:
1. A person who takes the risk of turning an opportunity into profit.
2. A person who takes the risk of managing and operating a business or businesses;
term often used: a. for one who does this for one or more businesses that he or she
entirely or largely helps to create; b. for one who takes on ownership, or
significant ownership, of one or more business franchises.
3. A person who creates one or more new nonprofit organizations, or one or more
units of such organizations, and often has a key part in managing and operating
the new entity or entities. Such a person is sometimes referred to as a nonprofit
entrepreneur or not-for-profit entrepreneur, and occasionally as a public
4. A person who is talented or prolific at developing new programs inside existing
Osborne and Gaebler formulated the following list of ten principles for
entrepreneurial government, to achieve this fundamental transformation of the
organisation of government:
1. Government should skillfully select alternatives to in-house delivery, such as
contracting out, entering into public-private partnerships, and utilizing such devices as
vouchers, volunteers, seed money, and quid pro quos.
2. Professional administrators should not run all aspects of programs but instead
empower clients to participate in management by means of governing councils and
3. Competition should be injected into the governing process by such methods as bidding
for tasks, internal rivalry among subunits, and competition among services for clients.
4. Agencies should minimize the number of rules by which they operate. To be
eliminated are line-item budgeting, year-end fund expiration, and detailed job
classifications. Once freed up, the organizations should dedicate themselves to a clear,
5. Review of agency-performance and fund allocation should be based not on program
inputs but on policy outcomes.
6. Clients must be regarded as customers. This calls for giving them choices, surveying
their attitudes, making services convenient, training employees in customer contact, test
marketing, and providing 800 numbers and suggestion forms.
7. Governments should not just spend money, but earn it as well, for example from use
fees, shared savings, enterprise funds, entrepreneurial loan pools, and internally
competitive profit centres.
8. Governments should not just deliver services to meet ends, but prevent needs from
arising in the first place. Examples are fire prevention, preventative maintenance,
recycling, antismoking campaigns, accrual accounting, and regional government.
9. Centralized institutions should become decentralized, with hierarchical control giving
way to devolved authority, teamwork, participatory management, labour-management
cooperation, quality circles, and employee development programs.
10. Governments should not attempt to achieve ends only by command and control, but
also by restructuring markets. Illustrations are subsidized health insurance, incentives for
downtown investment, and emissions trading.
If we look on the Romanian public administration from the perspective of public
management, and the new trends related with the public entrepreneur profile, we can
observe many problems in the current public administration system. Some of them are the
• Lack of plan-do-check-action cycle. • No criteria to assess achievements. • No tool to properly allocate resources.
• Difficult to understand planning and resource processes.
• No incentive to promote efficiency, no to provoke originality or ingenuity.
The solutions for these problems could be major changes in the management process
inside the public organizations. One of these is the profile and role of the key player,
public manager. There is a strong need to encourage the entrance in executive public
position of the persons with special skills for the public management functions. They
need to act freely and to respond proportionally from the perspective of the public interest.
Even we are considering just New Public Management approach, we have to take into
account the following elements for defining the entrepreneurial public manager profile:
Evaluation should be based on how much was achieved, not on how much money was
Flexible thinking simulating the eyes of the residents is necessary instead of being
excessively bound by rules and regulations.
Adopt management based on customer (resident) survey.
Promote privatization and sourcing-out. Separate planning and execution sections.
Introduce the notion of competition (incentive) in the public sector.
• Decentralization Delegate authorities to operation and job-site levels.
Restructure organizations according to operational segments.
• Performance evaluation
Improve operation through performance evaluation and its feedback, i.e. implement plan-
do-check-act cycle.Secure accountability of administrative activities.
But public entrepreneurs means more then that, public entrepreneurship contains a
combination of public service delivery (with the public interest as policy objective and
compass) with quasi-market conditions (resulting in effectiveness and efficiency in the
implementation and production).
Taking into account the progresses made by the specialist in this area, it could be
considered that the public entrepreneur profile could become for the Romanian public
sector one of the major changes in the public management reform process. We have to
take into account that creating and developing the public entrepreneurship is a long and
complex process which must be understudied and then learned by the people involved in
public management positions.
Public entrepreneurship is the process of introducing innovation, the generation and
implementation of new ideas, in the public sector.
Building on this definition and drawing from a logical tree, four types of public sector
entrepreneurs could be identified:
1. policy entrepreneurs, who are posted outside the formal positions of government,
introduce and facilitate the implementation of new ideas into the public sector
2. bureaucratic entrepreneurs, who are occupy non-leadership positions in
government and introduce and implement new ideas from their particular vantage
point in public organizations;
3. executive entrepreneurs from their leadership positions in governmental agencies
and departments, generate and implement new ideas;
4. political entrepreneurs who introduce and implement new ideas as holders of
Changing the management style is essential in reforming public management in
administration. New methods recently being introduced and adopted for public sector
evaluation and PFI (Private Finance Initiative) should be considered as tools for
management systems focusing on outputs. The key to realize a high-performance
government based on the notion of new public management is the establishment of a
strategy-based management system managed by a new public manager who has an
appropriate entrepreneurial profile.
If we try to think from the perspective of our Romanian public management reform
process, we can say that there are many changes necessary for transforming the public
sector. Some of the priorities are presented below:
1. Clarification of the mission, the vision and the main strategic objectives for the
public organizations from the perspective of the citizens and the business
2. Change the recruitment system for the people who will be hired in the public
management positions and not only having a strong accent of their skills
3. Develop a large training programs for developing skills and learning new tools for
4. Introduce performance/result oriented management system
5. Encouraging the innovation in public management
6. Increasing the participative dimension of the public management process
7. Change the orientation of the public organizations and the public managers from
inside to outside
As we know, it means a lot of investments in human resources, but we strongly believe
that the promotion of the public entrepreneurs in public functions is one of the most
important changes that must happened in the Romanian public management. We
know that there are enough money to do this and also there is a huge human resources
potential in our public management sector, especially young people who can contribute
substantially to the successfully implementation of the new reforms in the Romanian
public management system.
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