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Janine O’Flynn

Professor of Public Management

ANZSOG and The University of Melbourne

Melbourne School of Government

Faculty: Subject/program leads

VIC, Australia

Areas of expertise

  • Performance management
  • Public sector reform
  • Public service delivery
EMPA Faculty Janine O'Flynn

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Find out more about ANZSOG’s Executive Master of Public Administration

Janine joined ANZSOG in mid-2018 as Professor of Public Management on secondment from the University of Melbourne. Her research interests are in public management and, in particular, reform and relationships. This covers topics as diverse as the creation and evolution of public service markets, collaboration and joined-up government, and devising effective performance management systems. Increasingly she is exploring the intersection of public management practices and morality in areas of policy complexity. Her collaborative research projects have received several academic awards including: best articles in Public Administration Review and Review of Public Personnel Administration; best book award at the Academy of Management; and best several best paper awards at Academy of Management.

She has been an editor of the Australian Journal of Public Administration (2015-2021) and she sits on the editorial boards of several journals including: Public Administration Review; Public Administration; Public Management Review; International Journal of Public Administration; Policy Design and Practice; Journal of Public Affairs Education; Global Public Policy and Governance; and Halduskultuur: The Estonian Journal of Administrative Culture and Digital Governance. In 2018, she joined the Apolitical Future of Government Editorial Board. Previously she was a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Management & Organization, Teaching Public Administration and Canadian Journal of Public Administration. She regularly review for leading journals in the field.

Her teaching focuses on management issues in the public sector and the challenges faced by contemporary leaders in pursuit of public purpose. She has worked extensively with experienced professionals from across the world in both executive education and postgraduate programs and has been recognised for teaching excellence through various college, university and national level awards. As a keen observer of international practice in public management, she had the opportunity to provide expert advice to a range of policy makers including in Australia, Chile, Bhutan, New Zealand, the United States of America, Vietnam, Canada, China and Singapore.

She is proud to have been appointed a fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria) in 2013 and between 2012-2018 she was an elected member of the executive board of the International Research Society for Public Management. From 2018 to 2020, she was an invited member of the Advisory Board of the Australian Public Service Centre for Leadership and Learning and from 2019-2020 a member of the Infrastructure Victoria Expert Panel on the Role of Infrastructure in Addressing Regional Disadvantage. In 2020 she joined a network of practitioners and academics attached to the Agile Government Center, sponsored by the United States National Academy of Public Administration and the IBM Center for the Business of Government. In 2021 she was invited to join the Centre for Public Impact Australia Research Committee and she was elected to the Public Management Research Association Board.

In 2019, she co-authored a major research paper to inform the work of the Independent Review of the Australian Public Service: 2030 and Beyond: Getting the Work of Government Done.

Together her various activities across research, education and engagement seek to better understand how government works and to contribute to improving the outcomes of those activities.

ANZSOG programs

Prof O’Flynn teaches in the following ANZSOG courses:

Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA)- Delivering Public Value (subject leader)

Selected publications

For a complete bibliography, please see Prof O’Flynn’s CV.

Publications: Books

Under contractO’Flynn, J. Markets for Misery: Profiting from Vulnerability and Misfortune, Polity Press.

Dickinson, H., Smith, C., Yates, S. and O’Flynn, J. (eds.). Research Handbook on Public Management and COVID-19. Edward Elgar.

2016Dickinson, H. and O’Flynn, J. Evaluating Outcomes in Health and Social Care Policy Press, Bristol

2014O’Flynn, J., Blackman, D., and Halligan, J. (eds.) Crossing Boundaries in Public Management and Policy: The International Experience Routledge, London.

2012Alford, J. and O’Flynn, J. Rethinking Public Service Delivery: Managing with External Providers Palgrave, Basingstoke.

2008O’Flynn, J. and Wanna, J. (eds.) Collaborative Governance: A New Era of Public Policy in Australia? ANU Press, Canberra.

Publications: Book Chapters

O’Flynn, J. (forthcoming). High Performance Government, in B.G. Peters and I. Thynne (eds). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Oxford University Press.

Dickinson, H. and O’Flynn, J. (2021). The Changing Nature of Work: Time to Return to Performance Fundamentals? in D. Blackman (ed) Handbook on Performance Management in the Public SectorEdward Elgar.

Drew, J. and O’Flynn, J. (2021). A Test of Wills? Exploring Synecdoche and Gaming in the National Literacy and Numeracy Performance Monitoring Regime, in D. Blackman (ed) Handbook on Performance Management in the Public SectorEdward Elgar.

Lucas, P., O’Flynn, J. and Poole, A. (2021). Trajectories of Reform: Where (and Whom) Are the Public Servants? in H. Dickinson, H. Sullivan and H. Henderson (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of the Public ServantPalgrave.

O’Flynn, J. and Poole, A. (2021). Trajectories of Reform: An Introduction, in H. Dickinson, H. Sullivan and H. Henderson (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of the Public ServantPalgrave.

Poole, A., O’Flynn, J. and Lucas, P. (2021). Public Sector Reform and the Public Servant,  in H. Dickinson, H. Sullivan and H. Henderson (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of the Public ServantPalgrave.

O’Flynn, J. (2019). Hybrids: Smart, Dumb, Solution or Problem?, in J. Koppenjan, P. M. Karré and K. Termeer (eds.)  Smart Hybridity: Potential and Challenges of New Governance Arrangements  Eleven International Publishing.

Halliday, D. and O’Flynn, J. (2018). Economic Rents, Rent-Seeking Behaviour, and the Case of Privatized Incarceration, in D. Boonin (ed) The Palgrave Handbook on Philosophy and Public Policy, Palgrave.

Buick, F., O’Flynn, J. and Malbon, E. (2018). Boundary Challenges and the Work of Boundary Spanners, in H. Dickinson, C. Needham, C. Mangan, and H. Sullivan (eds.) (Re) Imagining the Future Public Service Workforce, Springer.

O’Flynn, J. (2018). Lessons from the Experience of Australian Public Sector Reform, in I. Aninat, and S. Razmilic (eds), Un Estado para la Ciudadanía. Estudios para su modernización [A State for Citizenship: Studies in Modernization], Centro de Estudios Públicos [Center for Public Studies), Santiago, Chile. (Spanish only; English version available on request).

Publications: Journal Articles

O’Flynn, J. (forthcoming). Where to for Public Value? Taking stock and moving onInternational Journal of Public Administration. DOI: 10.1080/01900692.2021.1884696

O’Flynn, J. (2021). Confronting the Big Challenges of our Time: Making a Difference During and After COVID-19Public Management Review, 23(7), 961-980.

O’Flynn, J. (2019). Rethinking Relationships: Clarity, Contingency and Capabilities. Policy Design and Practice, 2(2), 115-136.

Blackman, D., Buick, F., O’Flynn, J., O’Donnell, M. and West, D. (2019). Managing Expectations to Create High Performance Government. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 39(2), 185-208. Winner of Best Article Award in ROPPA for 2019.

Drew, J., O’Flynn, J., and Grant, B. (2019). Performing What? Exploring and Expanding the Notion of Synecdoche in Performance Management PracticePublic Administration Quarterly. 42(3), 395-424.

Ugyel, L. and O’Flynn, J. (2017). Measuring Policy Success: Evaluating Public Sector Reform in Bhutan. International Journal of Public Administration, 40(2), 115-125.

O’Flynn, J. (2016). From Headline to Hard Grind: The Importance of Understanding Public Administration in Achieving Health OutcomesInternational Journal of Health Policy and Management, 5(7), 439-442.

Blackman, D., Buick, F., and O’Flynn. J. (2016). From Engaging to Enabling: Could an Asset-Based Approach Transform Indigenous Affairs?. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 34(8), 1632-1651.

Buick, F., Blackman, D. O’Flynn, J., O’Donnell, M. and West, D. (2015). Effective Practitioner-Scholar Relationships: Lessons from a Coproduction Partnership. Public Administration Review, 76(1), 35-47. 5-year impact factor 5.274 (2019). Awarded the Louis Brownlow Award for Best Article.