Nordic Bureaucracy beyond New Public Management

Carsten Greve, Per Lægreid, Lise H. Rykkja

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


The chapter summarises findings from a study on administrative reforms covering all central government ministries and agencies in 19 countries, examining reform trajectories seen from the top of the central administrative apparatus. Core structural features of the central bureaucracy are described, along with role perceptions, values and motivation of administrative executives. Reform processes, trends, content and management tools are addressed, leading up to similarities and differences between the Nordic countries and between them and other European families of countries. A main finding is that the Nordic bureaucracy represents a layered, complex and hybrid system combining different reform trends and that there is a clear North–South divide in Europe when it comes to administrative reforms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBureaucracy and Society in Transition
EditorsHaldor Byrkjeflot, Fredrik Engelstad
Number of pages20
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9781787432840
ISBN (Electronic)9781787432833
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesComparative Social Research


  • Administrative reforms
  • A Nordic model
  • Complexity
  • Central government
  • Management
  • New public management

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