Although managers are, globally, a central part of the new public management reform agenda, in recent years, policy makers and the media have raised concerns about their effectiveness and contribution. In some countries, notably the United Kingdom and the United States, this debate has been heavily influenced by Public Choice Theory (PCT), which depicts "bureaucrats" as rent seeking, self-serving individuals. In this study, focusing on the case of acute care hospital trusts in the English National Health Service, we formally test whether public sector managers represent a "bureaucratic burden." Using a longitudinal database spanning six years (2007-2012) and employing a dynamic panel data model, the findings reveal that, contrary to PCT assumptions, managers do not engage, in the main, in rent seeking behavior and, crucially, appear to have a positive impact on organizational performance. Implications for theory, policy, and practice are discussed.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory|
|Early online date||9 Dec 2018|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2019|