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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Archetypes of the Network Age: Articulating the New Public Service Reality

Report by Elisabeth Richard

In this study, Elisabeth Richard looks at the federal government in the network age, and examines how archetypes serve as useful tools in efforts to articulate change and set the learning agenda for the federal public service of the future. She argues that archetypes are increasingly used to assist the process of change in complex organizations. According to Richard, archetypes encompass job descriptions and competencies, but go far beyond, in terms of the true nature of their functions.

Richard identifies 10 archetypes in this study, based on the real-life experiences of 100 practitioners. She suggests these archetypes describe, in human terms, the challenges, complexities and constraints facing a new generation of front-line and back-office public servants whose roles and occupations are being transformed in a network age. These 10 archetypes are: the front-line worker, the caseworker, the expert, the information synthesist, the policy analyst, the communications officer, the consultation officer, the cluster manager, the regional program manager, and the integrator.

Richard argues that, considered together, these 10 archetypes help capture the new public service reality. Based on her analysis of these archetypes, she suggests that knowledge management is at the centre of vision for the future in the network age. She concludes that maintaining Canada’s high standard of service delivery in the public sector will require the continuous capacity of public service employees to innovate and to bring e-government strategies to maturity.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Elisabeth Richard;
Publisher: Public Policy Forum [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2003; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Public Administration / Bureaucracy
Policy Articles / Science & Technology / E-Governance
Policy Articles / Public Administration / Bureaucracy / 2003
Policy Articles / Science & Technology / E-Governance / 2003
Policy Articles / Public Administration
Policy Articles / Science & Technology


Keywords / Tags:

e-government; network-age government; public service; public service archetypes; public service delivery; public service innovation;