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What do we mean when we talk about ‘hybrids’ and ‘hybridity’ in public management and governance?

Skelcher, Christopher (2012) What do we mean when we talk about ‘hybrids’ and ‘hybridity’ in public management and governance? Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Institute of Local Government Studies. (Unpublished)



The public administration literature uses the concept of hybridity to describe situations where policy designs involve the interaction of government, business, civil society, and not-for-profits. Yet the concept lacks a theoretical context and poses the empirical problem of distinguishing between hybrid and non-hybrid forms. This paradox – a concept that is widely used but seems to play no useful function in theory building or advice to policy-makers – is explored through a discussion of five theories. Transaction cost economics, management theory, archetype theory, and institutional theory begin to resolve the theoretical and empirical problems, but significant difficulties remain. Cultural theory offers a productive solution to the paradox by understanding hybridity as a process through which new possibilities for public administration and governance can emerge within a diverse and plural society.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Institute of Local Government Studies
Date:March 2012
Keywords:hybrid, management, governance, public
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Copyright Holders:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1601

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