Quotation Knassmüller, Monika, Veit, Sylvia. 2016. Culture matters - the training of senior civil servants in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Teaching Public Administration. 34 (2), 120-149.




Senior civil servants (SCS) are powerful actors with great responsibilities in the field of policymaking and management. Due to public sector reforms that are New Public Management oriented, specialised education and structured training programmes for (future) SCS as well as fast-track systems for high-potential employees have become increasingly important in many Western democracies over the last two decades. However, in several middle European countries SCS are hardly ever training participants, and furthermore, training systems have not been subject to larger reform efforts. In this article, the training of SCS in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland is explored, and we discuss how the observable patterns of training policies can be explained. We argue that the existence or lack of desired human resource measures such as fasttrack programmes might be explained by the dominant cultural orientations in these countries. In order to systematically address, further analyse and account for observations such as the fast-track example, we apply and explore the potential of grid-group typology, developed by anthropologist Mary Douglas as part of the cultural theory approach.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Teaching Public Administration
Language English
Title Culture matters - the training of senior civil servants in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland
Volume 34
Number 2
Year 2016
Page from 120
Page to 149
Reviewed? Y
URL http://tpa.sagepub.com/content/34/2/120.full.pdf+html
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0144739415620949
Open Access N


The Administrative Leadership Culture Project (ALCP)
Teaching and Training in Public Administration
Knassmüller, Monika (Details)
Veit, Sylvia (University of Kassel, Germany)
Institute for Public Management and Governance IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5324 Organizational research (Details)
5351 Public economy (Details)
5352 Human resource management, personnel management (Details)
5945 Organisational development (Details)
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