Public policy and the arts : a case study of the impact of managerialism on the operation of the Music Office

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Public policy and the arts : a case study of the impact of managerialism on the operation of the Music Office


Author: Chow, Chung-fai
Title: Public policy and the arts : a case study of the impact of managerialism on the operation of the Music Office
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2000
Subject: Hong Kong (China). Music Office
Public administration -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Management
Pages: 103, xv, [19] leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Established since 1977, the core service of the Music Office is to provide an Instrumental Music Training Scheme for the young people of Hong Kong. In 1993, the Arts Policy Review Report proposed transferring the services of Music Office to non-government organisations. It followed that in August 1995, a new Music Office was formed under the joint management of the Municipal Councils. All music professionals were re-employed on non-civil service contracts under a new management structure. The wind of change is better explained within the public sector reform context. This paper traces the historical and theoretical underpinnings of public sector reform and the global impacts on public administration in Hong Kong. The elements have been changed from "efficiency" concerns in the early-90s to "serving the community" in the mid-90s, and to "managing for results' and "improving productivity" in the late-90s. Structural changes are supposed to lead to modified behaviour of the music professionals so as to improve performance. With rising customer expectations, it is believed that the provision of a quality service will be a key success factor. The primary research interest is to assess the performance of the new Music Office using cost-effectiveness, management flexibilities and product innovation as the yardstick. A framework is also suggested for the evaluation of public service quality, looking from both producer and consumer perspective. The findings indicate that there is increased accountability, increased transparency and responsiveness, but only marginal improvement in cost-effectiveness. It corresponds to the observation that NPM is only half-heartedly applied in Hong Kong. It appears that the political interplay continues after 1997 and 'overall effectiveness' is again used as a political device to legitimate intervention and change of district organisation. In reviewing stakeholders' influence in the quality making, the finding confirms that 'quality' is neither fixed nor politically neutral. For the trainees, surveys to three advanced level orchestras (n=97) were conducted, using a modified SERVQUAL instrument. The result indicates a negative score on all dimensions and orchestral members in different Streams have different emphasis. For the administration, it deserves a re-thinking on the role of Government in the music education service and further relaxation of management control in return for higher professional accountability is recommended.

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