Professor Michael Barzelay

Professor Michael Barzelay

Professor of Public Management

Department of Management

+44 (0)20 7955 7396
Room No
NAB 3.19
Key Expertise
New public management, executive leadership, public management

About me

Michael Barzelay has been teaching and researching about public management since 1985, when he joined the faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School after completing his PhD in Political Science at Yale.  Since 1995, he has been on the LSE faculty, with his professorship in public management located in the Department of Management.  Michael headed this department in 2013-15. 

Michael has served in editorial roles for leading scholarly journals that cover public management: Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, and International Public Management Journal, as well as newer journals, including Perspectives on Public Management and Governance and Policy Design and Practice. 

Michael’s first book was The Politicized Market Economy: Alcohol in Brazil’s Energy Strategy.  
His best known book inside and outside the academy remains Breaking Through Bureaucracy: A New Vision for Managing in Government, published early in his career and translated into Chinese and Spanish.  Within the academy, his book New Public Management: Improving Research and Policy Dialogue which originated in Michael’s Wildavsky Lecture at University of California, Berkeley, is nearly equally widely cited.  He has had a long-running article-based research project on public management policy-making and change, collaborating with academics in Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the US. In that connection, he has also written about how to do case study research projects.

Throughout the past 20 years Michael has been working on research to expand professional knowledge about public organizations and professional practice within them.  The first big step in that direction was Preparing for the Future: Strategic Planning in the U.S. Air Force, which received the Louis Brownlow Book Award from the US National Academy of Public Administration.  An important further step was “Learning from Second-hand Experience: Methodology for Extrapolation-Oriented Case Research.” The culmination of this work is Public Management as a Design-Oriented Professional Discipline, published by Edward Elgar in September 2019.  This manifesto book presents a full-fledged design for public management being a professional discipline that expands professional knowledge through research and that strengthens problem-solving competencies about public organizations and especially their management, through the discipline’s teaching and learning enterprise.  Michael has been sharing these ideas as they developed over the past several years through an LSE Knowledge Exchange and Impact funded project, especially in developing faculty who can provide leadership in strengthening the design-oriented professional discipline of public management with a focus on Latin America.


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Information Systems and Innovation Faculty Research Group

Expertise Details

New public management; executive leadership; public management; administrative reform; governmental oversight; strategic planning; customer service; performance management

My research