From the Bundesanstalt to the Bundesagentur für Arbeit

A reform following the Neues Steuerungsmodell approach as a story of success?

Term Paper, 2011

17 Pages, Grade: 1,3



1. Introduction

2. The Neues Steuerungsmodell
2.1 Origin and relation/differences to the New Public Management approach
2.2 Concept of the NSM approach
2.2.1 Decentralizing and changes in the organizational culture
2.2.2 Output oriented governance and budget transparency
2.2.3 Human resources management and development
2.2.4 Changes in the relation between politics and administration
2.2.5 Changes in the relations to the outside world

3. The NSM in the Bundesagentur für Arbeit
3.1 Implementation of the NSM approach
3.2 Recommended course of action according to the evaluation report

4. Conclusion and discussion

1. Introduction

Bureaucracy […] is slow, inept, and wasteful. Striking the prescriptive literature is the degree that this stereotype is simply accepted without any empirical evidence […] (Meier/Hill 2005: 52).

This citation represents – although heavily questioned in the Oxford Handbook of Public Management – a widespread opinion that the classical bureaucracy model is not able to meet modern administration challenges effectively. This is the reason, why the New Public Management (NPM) was welcomed as a new concept for modern administration.

But at the beginning, the New Public Management (NPM) approach was looked at very skeptically and critically in Germany. The introduction of management and business administration elements, developed in the Anglo-Saxon countries, as new concept to improve efficiency in the public administration was considered unnecessary at best due to the fact that the German public administration was certified to have a relatively high performance in comparison to other western countries. Maybe because of this the German interpretation of the NPM approach was introduced very late, later than in most other western European countries. The result of this German NPM version is the Neues Steuerungsmodell (NSM) (Jann 2005: 76).

The NSM is the German interpretation of the NPM approach with significant similarities but some differences. Whereas the NPM is often connected with liberalization tendencies in the Anglo-American region with the aim of smaller administrations (Meier/Hill 2005: 55), the NSM was introduced in communal, regional and federal administrations to improve effectiveness and efficiency but not necessarily with reducing the size of an administration department.

One perfect example for the implementation of the NSM in an authority is the reform of the Bundesanstalt für Arbeit (BA) as part of the Hartz legislation in the second Schröder election period from 2002 till 2005. The BA is as one of the biggest social policy institutions responsible for all employment market issues such as job service and placement, transfer payments and vocational training and its reforms were clearly related to the NSM approach as this paper will show.

Several strategies for modernization in the public sector are subsumed under the NSM concept without distinguishing between completely new strategies and approaches and old reform ideas that are just brought up again. Among these the central fields of each modernization strategy in the public administration sector are: organization, human resources management and development, procedures and processes and, often very important, finances (Jann 2005: 74).

To create a modern production of services oriented on the market mechanisms and on the demands and needs of the customers is the central aim of the reforms to implement the NSM (Bogumil et al 2007: 23). Efficiency and effectiveness improvements should be achieved mainly by decentralization and an output oriented management of the public administration department (Jann 2005: 77).

Besides the implementation in the communal and local administrations, the characteristically changes of the NSM in the fields of the organizational structure and the responsibility for the financial resources were implemented very directly in the BA. Not only the name of the Bundesanstalt changed to Bundesagentur, the basic organizational structures were reformed.

Did the BA succeed in reforming itself following the NSM approach? Did effectiveness and efficiency (among other criteria) improve? Is the NSM approach a model for further reforms of administration institutions? These questions are dealt with in this study, although it is clear that a broad research to this topic and these questions would need a much longer paper.

After this brief introduction the theoretical chapter two is dealing with the origins and main aspects of the NPM and the NSM approach. After that, the empirical chapter three describes the implementation of the NSM in the BA, trying to explain how exactly the reform steps were executed and which recommendations are made in the evaluation report. The last chapter four will consist out of a short summary and conclusion about the results and a brief discussion about how the success of this reform can be evaluated.

With the help of the evaluation report „Organisatorischer Umbau der Bundesagentur für Arbeit. Evaluation der Maßnahmen zur Umsetzung der Vorschläge der Hartz-Kommission zur Organisationsreform der Bundesagentur“ from 2005 and standard texts dealing with the NSM from Werner Jann and Jörg Bogumil et al., the question whether the implementation of the NSM approach in the Bundesagentur für Arbeit has been a success or not should be answered. Bogumil and Jann are referring mainly to the basic explanation regarding the NSM approach from the “Kommunale Gemeinschaftsstelle für Verwaltungsvereinfachung” (KGSt): “Das Neue Steuerungsmodell. Begründung. Konturen. Umsetzung“.

2. The Neues Steuerungsmodell

The basic principles of the NSM will be presented and elucidated in the following chapter. Due to the fact that not all aspects of the NSM approach were important in the process of reforming the former Bundesanstalt für Arbeit, a selection is made, focusing on those aspects and principles that played a major role and were most important in the reform agenda of the BA.

2.1 Origin and relation/differences to the New Public Management approach

A common collective term for many international and heterogeneous reform approaches in the field of administration is the term New Public Management (Bach/Della Rocca 2000: 86). New Public Management also represents at the same time a new paradigm in the administration science (Plamper 1997: 614).

Nearly all reform approaches can be traced back to the bureaucracy model of Max Weber. This model from Weber, developed at the beginning of the 20th century, was the answer of the challenges of a fast changing society and political circumstances in Europe, like patronage and patriarchy authority. This model of Weber was successful for many decades but is not able to solve the issues of the modern societies in the late 20th century and the upcoming years.

For answering to these sociopolitical challenges of today, a modern model, that is adapted and adaptable to new circumstances, is required. The change from the bureaucracy of Max Weber to the NPM is achieved on two reform levels: a structural reform and an internal reform (Budäus 1998: 6).


Excerpt out of 17 pages


From the Bundesanstalt to the Bundesagentur für Arbeit
A reform following the Neues Steuerungsmodell approach as a story of success?
University of Bremen  (Zentrum für Sozialpolitik)
Public Administration and Social Management
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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467 KB
Neues Steuerungsmodell, verwaltung, Verwaltungsiwssenschaft, Bundesagentur für Arbeit, Betriebswirtschaft in der öffentlichen Verwaltung, Reform, öffentliche Verwaltung, Arbeitsverwaltung
Quote paper
Nils Binder (Author), 2011, From the Bundesanstalt to the Bundesagentur für Arbeit, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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