Driving out the fake out of public administration

Driving the fake out of Public Administration: Detoxing HR in the Canadian Federal Public Sector

Printed book to shopping bag INVENIRE BOOKS Order ebook

 by Ruth Hubbard and Gilles Paquet 

Much of the waste in public administration is ascribable to the displacement of the primary concern for performance and coordination by a primary concern for redistribution. In each sphere of activities, it has led to unreasonable rules inspired by egalitarianism that have triggered permanent allocational malefits. The failure to confront the progressivist ethos and culture has rendered any action on the managerial front ineffective.
First, the authors underscore the seemingly unanimous diagnosis of waste and dysfunctions in Canada’s federal public service, and show that efforts to correct the situation have failed. This failure is ascribable to a fundamental incapacity to deal concurrently with the ill-advised managerial decisions of governments and the perverse progressivist philosophy inspiring them.
Second, an MRI of the human resource (HR) regimes has been sketched as a guide to the detoxing and modernisation of the HR regimes. It was used to spell out some guidelines for the modification of management structures and competencies, and to probe the cultural underground of moral contracts that would need to underpin the new arrangements.
The conclusion hammers home that prototyping refurbished structures and rules may succeed in breaking out momentarily from ill-inspired initiatives like the Pearsonian mental prison of the model employer, but that it would prove futile and temporary unless one can tame the progressivist cosmology that will bring those ill-inspired schemes back from their ashes.
Some modest general propositions are put forward.

Ruth Hubbard is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Governance of the University of Ottawa. She served for more than a decade as a federal deputy minister in the Government of Canada.
Gilles Paquet is Professor Emeritus at the Telfer School of Management and a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Governance of the University of Ottawa. He is also Editor in Chief of www.optimumonline.ca, an electronic journal on governance and public management, reaching 10,000 subscribers. For more information, see his website at www.gouvernance.ca.

5½ x8 ½ 237 pages paperback 15.95 October 2016
ISBN 978-1-927465-35-6 (paperback).–ISBN 978-1-927465-34-9 (html)


  • Preamble The Storyline: It Is All a Matter of Coordination
  • Introduction: The Priority Should Be Performance, Not Being a Model Employer
  • Chapter 1 Cat’s cradling: the capacity to cope
  • Part I Cleansing the Augean Stables
  • Chapter 1 Tinkering Can No Longer Suffice
  • Chapter 2 Failure To Confront
  • Part II Modeling
  • Chapter 3 An MRI of HRM in the Public Sector
  • Part III Prototyping
  • Chapter 4 Social Architecture and Competencies
  • Chapter 5 An Agenda for Cultural Change in the Federal Public Service
  • Conclusion Killing Two Birds with One Stone: a Mental Prison and a Cosmology
  • Progressivism and the age of unreason
  • Containing the Pearsonian conceit
  • Harnessing the progressive deceit
  • The revolutionary philosophy of equability


Quality Paperback , 5½×8½” 237 pg, Publication date: October 2016, ISBN 978-1-927465-35-6: $15.95

Ebook: You can get “Driving the fake out of Public Administration” in three e-book formats (ISBN 978-1-927465-36-2 each $9.99):

  • Kindle (Mobi) -click to go to Amazon order page: mobi
  • Epub (for Apple Ipad, Android, Kobo, Nook, Sony readers, Adobe Digital editions…
  • PDF (various devices including PC and Mac). Click below to order from Commoners