Performance pledges–power to the consumer or a quagmire in public service legitimation?

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Abstract

One of the latest initiatives in Hong Kong's public sector reform is the launch of “performance pledges” in 1992, which have essentially been modelled on citizen's charters in the United Kingdom. While the stated aims of performance pledges, citizen's charters, or similar initiatives, are to raise the standard of public services and to make such services answer better to the needs of ordinary people, hence “empowering” the public service consumers, this latest consumerist trend in public management has more far-reaching implications, both in terms of the organization as well as the legitimation of public service provision. This article examines such implications, with specific reference to the Hong Kong situation, and argues that the outcome of the development seems to point to the empowerment of public managers rather than the consumers as the official rhetoric would imply. Copyright © 1996 Marcel Dekker.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-259
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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legitimation
public service
charter
Hong Kong
citizen
performance
public management
empowerment
public sector
rhetoric
manager
organization
reform
trend
Public services
Legitimation
Charter

Citation

Cheung, A. B. L. (1996). Performance pledges–power to the consumer or a quagmire in public service legitimation? International Journal of Public Administration, 19(2), 233-259. doi: 10.1080/01900699608525093