Effective public managers profile from the perspective of the

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Effective public managers profile from the perspective of the ...

    Effective public managers 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 its 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,

    quasimarket mechanism

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.

3. Innovator:

    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.

    Delegate Tasks:

    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

    private wealth.

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

    management teams.

    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,

    one-niche mission.

    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:

    • Outcome-oriented

    Evaluation should be based on how much was achieved, not on how much money was


    • Customer-oriented

    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.

    • Competition

    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

    elective office.

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

    environments needs

    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

    public management

    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.


1. Jane Wei-Skillern, James E. Austin, Herman Leonard, and Howard Stevenson (2007),

    Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California;

    2. J. Gregory Dees, Jed Emerson, (2001) Economy, Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs, John Wiley and Sons Publishing, New York;

    3. Sharon Oster (1995), Strategic Management for Nonprofit Organizations: Theory and

    Cases, Oxford University Press ; New York;

    4. James A. Phills, jr.(2005) Integrating Mission and Strategy for Nonprofit

    Organizations Oxford University Press, Oxford, England;

    5. William Foster, Jeffrey Bradach, (2005), “Should NonProfits Seek Profits?” Harvard

    Business Review, February 1;

    6. Ayse Guclu, J. Gregory Dees, and Beth Battle Anderson,( 2002), “The Process of

    Social Entrepreneurship: Creating Opportunities Worthy of Serious Pursuit” (Duke

    University: Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship;

    7. Wei-Skillern (2007), Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector, Ch. 2 The Social

    Entrepreneurial Process, HBS Publishing, Cambridge;

    8. Mark H. Moore, (2003) “On Creating Public Value: What Business (and Nonprofit

    Organizations) Might Learn from Government about Strategic Management,” Hauser

    Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Cambridge;

    9. Mierlo, J.G.A. (1995), Public Entrepreneurship as an Escape from the Privatisation

    Dilemma in Economies in Transition, ResearchMemorandum RM/95-0xx, Meteor,

    Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Limburg, University, Maastricht

    December 1995.

    10. Special Issue 2007, Quarterly Journal of Public Policy & Management (Article No.

    01) Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co., Ltd.

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