Obstacles to the administrative modernization process in Germany

Helmut Klages, Elke Löffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


According to two surveys of the German Association of Cities among its members in 1994/95 and 1996, the number of medium-sized and big cities pursuing administrative modernization is impressive and still rising. Yet, the data also point out implementation problems of the new steering model, which is the German variation of new public management. First, financial crisis is the most common reform motive. This implies that most reformers rather focus on 'hard' management areas like financial management and neglect human resource management. Secondly, the data give evidence that the new steering model still has a critical mass of scepticism in local government councils. As a consequence, the re-engineering of the relationship between the administrative staff and local council members is very much deficitary. Also decentralized resource management usually boils down to the reduction of household titles and lump-sum budget cuts. This raises many questions on the democratic accountability of local government reforms in Germany.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-176
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Public Management Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


  • administrative modernization
  • Germany


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