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Public Sector Reforms in the United Arab Emirates: Antecedents and Outcomes

Author: ABU ELIAS SARKER and ALAA ALDIN ABDUL RAHIM A. AL ATHMAY
Published in PAQ, Vol. 43 No. 3

Drawing upon an extensive review of litertaure, this article has proposed a conceptual model in order to provide an exploratory analysis of the antecedants of public sector reforms and their subsequent outcomes. It challenges the conventional wisdom of the difficulties in implementing market-oriented reforms in countries with the overlapping of formal and informal institutions. In doing so, this article has elaborated four antecedents- global forces, state leadership under developmental neo- patrimonialism, strategic partnerships and organizational factors. Based on the secondary sources of data and information, the findings reveal that state leadership of the United Arab Emirates has played a critical role in orchestrating the whole reform process, garnering other antecedents and selecting the implementable items of refoms and that, the outcomes of reforms have been impressive. The outcomes include, among others, economic diversification, deregulation, increased local and foreign private investment, and increased managerial efficiency and effectiveness of public service service delivery. The current study makes two unique contributions. First, it shows that even under a neo- patrimonial state, quality outcomes are possible. Second, it is a unique compresensive research on public sector refroms in the United Arab Emirates.

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