Breaking Down Silos and Fostering Inter-Agency Collaboration: Malaysia’s National Blue Ocean Strategy in Perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Malaysia has introduced the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) as a new approach to public service reform that highlights the importance of collaboration, relationship building, and value innovation as critical imperatives for governance and services delivery. Under the NBOS, only programs that are of low cost, high impact and can be rapidly executed are to be chosen and implemented. This chapter explores Malaysia’s experience with the NBOS approach to reform seeking to draw lessons. It examines the implementation of the new reform program focusing on selected projects. Drawing on qualitative data obtained through a review of policy documents and web-based information and semi-structured expert interviews it shows that NBOS has made a promising start. Various NBOS projects have created much value by offering high impact and novel solutions to service delivery problems. They have helped tackle a range of economic and social problems; also, they have helped reduce cost of service provision by breaking down silos across ministries and agencies and by fostering collaboration among them. The NBOS experience in Malaysia offers significant lessons for the theory and practice of public management reform. Among others, it shows that reforms to be successful there must be leadership and commitment at the highest political and bureaucratic levels, an effective governance structure, a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches to execution, besides a collaborative culture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInstitutional Reforms, Governance and Service Delivery in the Global South
EditorsHamid E. Ali, Shahjahan Bhuiyan
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-82257-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-82256-9
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameInternational Series on Public Policy
ISSN (Print)2524-7301
ISSN (Electronic)2524-731X


  • Blue Ocean Strategy
  • Value creation
  • Urban Transformation Centre
  • Community Rehabilitation Program
  • Malaysia


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