Public sector challenges in different administrative regimes: Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand




government performance, citizen satisfaction, citizen survey, service quality, effectiveness


When public sector challenges are manifold, the citizens act as an important source of performance feedback on government practices. In this article, we explore current public sector challenges as perceived by citizens of five countries (n = 4,182)—Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. We analyze to what extent citizens rate a list of public sector topics as major challenges for the public sector as a whole, and for cities and municipalities. The findings indicate that citizens from all five countries are concerned about high-quality public infrastructure and an efficient and effective public service provision. However, some differences regarding the rating of public sector challenges were identified among the countries. For example, Danish citizens score transparency about public performance substantially less challenging than citizens of other countries. Based on a detailed discussion of our findings, we provide directions for (comparative) public administration research and policy development.

Author Biographies

Lisa Hohensinn, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business

Lisa Hohensinn is an assistant professor at the Institute for Public Management & Governance, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria. She has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, Suffolk University Boston, and University of Mannheim. Her research interests include digital government, government openness and transparency, public trust in the political-administrative system, and comparative public management.

Jurgen Willems, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business

Jurgen Willems is professor for Public Management & Governance at the WU Vienna University of Economics and Business. He is also academic director of the Executive MBA program on Healthcare Management at the WU Executive Academy. His teaching covers various management topics, including Organizational Behavior, Management & Digital Transformation, and Public and Nonprofit Governance. His research covers a variety of topics on citizen-state and citizen-society interactions.


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