The historical development of public service delivery closely relates to the iterative progression of public administration, at least its evolution over four primary models: old public administration, new public administration, new public management and new public service.

The “old” public administration view was strongly influenced by German sociologist, philosopher and political economist Max Weber’s nineteenth-century idea of a modern bureaucracy that emphasizes hierarchy and meritocracy (Robinson, 2015). Through centralized control, clear rules and guidelines, an articulated separation between policy-making and its implementation and a clear organizational structure, a bureaucracy is expected to work efficiently and effectively. Bureaucratic rules and compliance by executors to their organization are the chief elements of public service delivery in the old public administration approach (Sager and Rosser, 2009).