Marketization Revisited

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

11 Citationer (Scopus)
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Purpose: The purpose of this introduction article to the IJPSM special issue on marketization is to clarify the conceptual foundations of marketization as a phenomenon within the public sector and to gauge current marketization trends on the basis of the seven articles in the special issue.
Design/methodology/approach: Conceptual clarification and cross-cutting review of seven articles analysing marketization in six countries in three policy areas at the level of local government.
Findings: Four ideal-type models are deduced: Quasi-markets, involving both provider competition and free choice for users; Classic contracting out; Benchmarking and yardstick competition; and Public-Private collaboration. On the basis of the review of the seven articles, it is found that all elements in all marketization models are firmly embedded but also under dynamic change within public service delivery systems. The review also identifies limitations and modifications of the four
ideal-type models. A key trend is a move toward public-private collaboration and cross-sectorial and inter-organizational governance arrangements.
Research limitations/implications: Continued research on marketization would benefit from the development of more fine-tuned theoretical models, which are sensitive to the realm of the dynamics within particular policy and institutional contexts.
Practical implications: Policy-makers should balance normative objectives against the experiences gained at the level of implementation.
Originality/value: The special issue shows that marketization is still a concurrent phenomenon, which is driving substantial change in public service delivery systems while at the same time being under dynamic change itself.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Public Sector Management
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)398-408
StatusUdgivet - 2016


  • Marketization
  • Public sector reforms
  • Local governments


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