Public sector in Tanzania and the legacy of new public management: a focus on human resource management


  • Frank Jones Mateng’e Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


Human Resource Management, New Public Management, Personnel Management, Public Service Reforms - Tanzania


Tanzania is one of the African countries that have been reforming their public service over the last three decades within the framework of New Public Management (NPM). While previous studies have well documented the history of public sector reforms in Tanzania, the adoption and application of NPM, its scope, and limitations, none of them provides insights into recent developments that suggest reversals from NPM and what those reversals mean for human resource management (HRM) practices in the public sector. This article identifi es those developments in HRM practices that point to reversals from NPM and examines their implications for the management of public sector employees. In doing so, the article analyses the extent to which NPM has shaped the management of human resources in the public sector. Data collection was based on a systematic review of secondary sources particularly from government reports, journal articles, textbooks, and online resources. A thorough content review of these sources helped to inform this study’s analysis of practices and developments notable in the public service that are counter to the NPM ideals. Findings indicate that although the NPM movement has left a legacy in Tanzania, it has not been able to sustainably transform HRM practices in the public sector to meaningfully refl ect the HRM thinking. The HRM practices are rather characterized by reversals and inconsistencies oscillating between the ideals of NPM and those of traditional public administration. The article concludes by highlighting some implications for HRM in the public sector in Tanzania.