New public management and welfare-to-work in Australia: Comparing the reform agendas of the ALP and the Coalition
AuthorConsidine, M; O'Sullivan, S; Phuc, N
Source TitleAustralian Journal of Political Science
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
AffiliationSchool of Culture and Communication
School of Social and Political Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsConsidine, M., O'Sullivan, S. & Phuc, N. (2014). New public management and welfare-to-work in Australia: Comparing the reform agendas of the ALP and the Coalition. Australian Journal of Political Science, 49 (3), pp.469-485. https://doi.org/10.1080/10361146.2014.931343.
Access StatusOpen Access
Since the 1990s, the adoption of new public management (NPM) as a management philosophy has translated into multiple waves of reform in the employment services sector in Australia, namely Working Nation (1994–96), Job Network (JN: 1996–2009) and Job Services Australia (JSA: 2009–present). Each wave has sought to improve the preceding policy. In this article, we examine changes implemented during the Rudd/Gillard Labor governments. Using government policy documents and survey data from frontline employment services staff, we compare JSA to JN against five benchmarks. Our data indicate that JSA has generated modest improvement. JSA is also a system with less emphasis on strong forms of sanctioning. Our combined data suggest that policy actors operating under NPM conditions are indeed able to influence specific aspects of frontline practice, but they must spend great effort to do so and must accept new imperfections as a consequence.
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