Public management reform in the post-NPM era: lessons from Malaysia's National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS)

John Xavier, Noore Siddiquee, Mohd Mohamed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Inspired by its private sector equivalent, Malaysia introduced the national blue ocean strategy (NBOS) in 2009 to provide a leap in value in public service delivery at a relatively low cost. Despite commendable progress, the implementation of the NBOS reform has some problems. These include governance structure, uptake by collaborating organizations and the relative knowledge and understanding of the NBOS at lower levels of the hierarchy. Nevertheless, the NBOS offers an important emergent paradigm of value innovation. IMPACT: This paper provides some important learning points for civil servants, policy-makers and others who want to see public sector reforms succeed. One key message of the paper is that sustained leadership and commitment at the highest political and bureaucratic level are critical to success. An effective governance structure is also required, as well as a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches to design and execution, and a collaborative culture. Therefore, it is important for policy-makers and practitioners to engage with all stakeholders, including employees at lower levels in the bureaucracy. The mindset and knowledge of the staff at these levels should be attuned to the implementation effort. Policy planners and practitioners should also consult citizens for a better customization of the reform effort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-160
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Blue ocean strategy
  • Collaborative governance
  • Malaysia
  • Urban transformation centre
  • Value innovation
  • value innovation
  • urban transformation centre
  • collaborative governance


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