Dynamics of Public Sector Reforms in Bhutan: Interaction of Values within a Hybrid Administration

Author name: 
Ugyel, L

In recent decades public sector reforms have spread globally with tenacity and increasing pace. In particular, elements of new public management-related reforms have been attempted by almost most countries through various policy transfer mechanisms. Amidst such a spread of public sector reforms, there has been a mix of success and failure in their implementation. Part of the reason for such a mixture of results is because of the variations in the context and the culture of the public administrative systems. I use Bhutan, a relatively understudied Himalayan Kingdom, as an example to examine the dynamics of the interaction between a set of reforms embedded with certain values and its implementation within a hybrid administrative setting. In 2006 the Bhutanese government implemented the Position Classification System in Bhutan, which represents a major tranche of public sector reforms that includes components of performance management, recruitment and promotion reforms. And the public administration system in Bhutan, because of its political and socio-economic development history, has characteristics of the various paradigms and models of public administration. This paper aims to provide a better understanding on how hybrid systems of administration and management develop in situ through explaining the values of a nation. In doing so, I provide support to the argument that when implementing public sector reforms, it is important to consider the administrative tradition and the context within which the reforms are applied in, and the values and culture that are often attached with the reforms.

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