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Cultural Re-Invention Within The New Zealand Treasury

By Joe Wallis, Brian Dollery and Senior Lecturer


A “bureau-shaping model is adapted to explain how the head of a control agency can shape its culture by agenda-setting, strategic recruitment and engaging staff in “expression games ” through which their reputation depends on the impression they develop of competence and commitment to the core beliefs of the agency. The postwar shaping of a “culture of balanced evaluation ” at the New Zealand Treasury (NZT) is related to the hegemony of a market failure paradigm. To pre-empt a shift in the locus of authority, the NZT reinvented itself in the 1980s so that it would be aligned with a reformist advocacy coalition committed to impose and institutionalize a government failure paradigm. The accumulation of a number of threats to the NZT’s authority appear to be prompting another reinvention as its current secretary seeks to bring it more into line with the appreciative leadership style of a “Third Way ” government

Year: 2011
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