Cultural Control Systems in the Context of New Public Management: An In-depth Case Study of an Australian Public Sector Organization
The main purpose of this study is to explore cultural control systems in the context of New Public Management (NPM) initiatives in Australia. A Government Department in the Australian Capital Territory was selected for the investigation. The selected department has adopted NPM initiatives in recent years and demonstrates considerable improvements in performance. This study used qualitative research methods. In this study, data collection involved a triangulation approach and the data sources were organizational documents, interviews and observations. As cultural control systems are socially constructed, Giddens’ structuration theory was adopted in this research to obtain a better understanding of human actions and to explore how these control devices are implicated in the wider social context. The research confirmed that implementation of cultural control systems in the selected organization is the functions of NPM in the key areas of human resources management like code of conduct, duty statement, communication and consultation, workplace diversity, group rewards and recognition etc. These findings are consistent with the view that changes to the Australian public sector promoted a culture of performance.
Keywords: Cultural Control Systems, Public Sector Reforms, New Public Management (NPM), Australian Public Sector, Structuration Theory.