Austria: Nothing Is Different, but Everything's Changed

Stephan Leixnering, Andrea Schikowitz, Renate E. Meyer

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The Austrian COCOPS findings confirm the ongoing relevance of the traditional legalistic public sector norms and values. However, this traditional administrative culture is today supplemented with managerialistic and network-oriented ideas and orientations. Combining a focus on results with process orientation and increased networking and mediating activities between diverse actors and interests, we find hybrid forms of governance and executives’ role identities. For instance, shifting value priorities, such as emphasis of the relevance of results in general, go along with reluctant behaviour, such as a lack of actual performance management, underscored by the perception of low management autonomy. Thus, while managerial values and principles appear as incorporated in Austrian public executives’ role identities, in order to deal with shortcomings and contradictions with the existing system, they fall back to familiar practices: Basically, nothing is different, but everything’s changed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublic Administration Reforms in Europe : The View from the Top
EditorsGerhard Hammerschmid, Steven Van de Walle, Rhys Andrews, Philippe Bezes
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication date2016
ISBN (Print)9781783475391
ISBN (Electronic)9781783475407
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Business and management
  • Public management
  • Politics and public policy
  • European politics and policy
  • Public administration and management
  • Public policy

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