ABSTRACT The process of translating a common idea label to specific action is under-theoretised and lacks empirical studies in the convergence litterature. When studying convergence in public sector reform, the literature has so far focused more on what countries say they do than on what they do. This distinction also reveals the difference between two kinds of convergence - convergence in label and convergence in action. Not only must this distinction be taken seriously, we also need to focus more on the aspect of the reform process that actually shapes the idea and determines how it is to be applied in a particular national context. Thus, we need knowledge on the translation process from label to action. This paper examines competency frameworks for senior civil service personnel using quantitative data from OECD countries in juxtaposition with a case study of Great Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark to show that the conditions for the two kinds of convergence are not the same, underlining the importance of studying the reform process as a whole when assesing convergence.
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Leading the Future of the Public Sector: The Third Transatlantic Dialogue, 2007