A Critical Review for Best Practices of Public Entities in Korea

Park, Jin

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The dissemination of best practices has been a major tool for public sector reform in Asia. There are two reasons why it is an effective tool, especially for reforming public entities (PE) such as state-owned enterprises and government-funded organizations, which have more flexibility in their management than government ministries. The Korean government has collected and disseminated best practices of public entities each year. The best practices selected by the government were acknowledged, published and rewarded. However, despite efforts by the government, best practices do not seem to create as many positive externalities as they should. The first possible reason is the selection of wrong 'best' practices. The second reason for the low utilization of best practices lies in the fundamental weakness of benchmarking: modification is necessary when importing cases, but has yet to be fully applied. The Korean government has been active in disseminating Korea's best practices to other countries, but those who wish to learn from Korea's best practices will face the problems mentioned above. The purpose of this paper is to critically evaluate the best practices chosen by the Roh Moo-hyun government. This paper reviews all the 'best' practices published by the Ministry of Planning and Budget between 2003 and 2006, and selected 15 cases for review. This paper briefly summarizes each case, and will suggest major weakness or areas for development, followed by suggestions for modification in case other Asian countries wish to benchmark the best practice. The presented cases have been categorized into five areas based on David Osborne's five C strategies to reform a public organization: Core, consequence, customer, control, and culture. A typical problem is presented based on these five categories.

Issue Date
KDI School of Public Policy and Management
best practices; benchmark; Asian countries
Series Title
KDI School Working Paper 08-05
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