Market Orientation and Public Service Performance: New Public Management Gone Mad?

Richard M. Walker*, Gene A. Brewer, George A. Boyne, Claudia N. Avellaneda

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    98 Citations (Scopus)


    The backbone of theory of the market-based approach New Public Management is that market orientation improves public service performance. In this article, market orientation is operationalized through the dominant theoretical framework in the business literature: competitor orientation, customer orientation, and interfunctional coordination. Market orientation is examined from the vantage point of three stakeholder groups in English local government: citizens, public servants, and the central government's agent, the Audit Commission. Findings show that market orientation works best for enhancing citizen satisfaction with local services, but its impacts on the performance judgments of local managers or the Audit Commission are negligible. The conclusion discusses important implications of these findings for research, policy, and practice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)707-717
    Number of pages11
    JournalPublic Administration Review
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


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