Managing for Results: Lessons from public management reform in Malaysia

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    48 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyse Malaysia's shift towards results-based management in two key areas of the public service: budgeting and human resource management. More specifically, it shows how and to what extent the values of results-based management have been incorporated in the Malaysian public sector and describes their constraints and challenges. Design/methodology/approach: The paper adopts a combination of descriptive and analytical methods and is mainly based on secondary sources of data and information. While it provides a systematic and comprehensive review of recent reform initiatives, it also focuses on the discrepancies between policies and practices in terms of actual implementation. Findings: Although Malaysia has followed the global trend by introducing results-based management in public governance, evidence shows that the implementation of the new approach is far from satisfactory. The paper argues that while personnel management and budgetary reforms have helped overcome many of the anomalies of the traditional approach, the current practice in these areas continues to suffer from major inadequacies and limitations. Practical implications: The issues and challenges identified in the paper and the policy implications proposed should aid the formulation of strategies and measures intended to support results-based management in Malaysia and other similar contexts. Originality/value: The paper adds to the limited knowledge in this field. Managing for results is new in Malaysia and hence scholarly literature on the subject is scarce. The findings of the paper and the lessons drawn would be of practical significance to all those interested in this area - especially the policy makers and practitioners in Malaysia's public service. They are also expected to have wider relevance to public governance in other similar contexts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-53
    Number of pages16
    JournalInternational Journal of Public Sector Management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


    • Budgetary control
    • Human resource management
    • Malaysia
    • Public administration
    • Public sector reform


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