Purpose: This paper seeks to outline the various elements of a public sector excellence awards programme, the Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP), a unit reporting directly to the cabinet of the Dubai Government. It identifies how the programme seeks to overcome latent contradictions. Design/methodology/approach: The approach relied on interviewing within DGEP, document analysis, conversations with public sector managers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and more general observations of the nature of government in the UAE and especially Dubai. The notion of hybrids in governance is used to unpack the various components of the DGEP and their roles in its overall functioning paying particular attention to the monarchical context of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. Findings: The study found that the monarchical context of public sector management in Dubai acts as a strong influence to counteract the frequently observed inertia of public administration with regards to quality management initiatives. It traces how changing political priorities have been reflected in a changing portfolio of excellence award categories. Originality/value: The paper describes an unusual case of an integrated excellence management approach to a whole government. It identifies monarchical context as an aid to pursuing a modern management approach, speculating that this might be a special case of a more general condition that might aid innovation in public sector contexts. The paper also suggests the usefulness of the notion of hybrids for the public sector governance literature.
- Public sector
- United Arab Emirates
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Public Administration
- Political Science and International Relations
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law