The world of the 21st century is not the world of the 20th century. A silent, yet all-embracing social revolution has swept the globe: a shift from the Industrial to the Information Age. With it, the underlying paradigms on which society, organisations and theories of management were built have largely lost their relevance.
Although much has been said and written about the need for governments to adapt to the new realities that have resulted from the transformed paradigms, the world lacks practical, tangible solutions for responding to these changes. This book concentrates on doing exactly that. It analyses the trends that may be regarded as manifestations of transition, as the world struggles to get to grips with deeply entrenched paradigms and traditional truths in order to deliver services effectively and restore the declining relationship between government and its clients – the Information Age citizenry.
The book is based on the notion that in order to meet the demands of the Information Age, service delivery organisations will have to respond to the demands of the environment. Based on this theory, the book analyses the applicability of traditional government bureaucracy and identifies current trends in the transformation of systems of governance, management and organisations. This book concludes by sketching a scenario based on the analysis of the systems and structures required for delivering services in the Information Age.
Frans Minnaar is an independent consultant. His PhD thesis dealt with public management in the 21st century. He has been extensively involved in developing course material for training courses aimed at managers in the government sector, with his main specialities being strategic management, project management, financial management and performance management. Dr Minnaar has contributed to a number of academic publications.
Koos Bekker has a PhD from the University of the Free State (UFS). The winds of change in the South African public sector environment and the subsequent need for innovative policy implementation mechanisms were instrumental in his change of focus from the making of policies to the management of public service delivery. As a result, he became increasingly involved in action research, and soon discovered the growing gap between good policies and poor implementation. Apart from the other causes of this phenomenon, he was struck by the desperate need for a more relevant approach to thinking and practice in the management of public institutions – something far more different and challenging than the typical ivory tower paradigm development approach.