Do public organizations with similar tasks or structure differ across states with respect to their autonomy and control? If so, why? By comparing the autonomy, control and internal management of state agencies, this book shows how New Public Management doctrines actually work in three small European states with different politico-administrative regimes. Using a unique set of similar survey data on 226 state agencies in Norway, Ireland and Flanders, this study explains differences in agency autonomy, control and management by referring to international isomorphic pressures, state-specific politico-administrative regimes and characteristics of agencies. Therefore, organization theory and neo-institutional schools are used to formulate four competing theoretical perspectives and hypotheses are tested through simple and advanced statistical techniques. By comparing practices between states and between types of agencies, this study substantially enhances scientific knowledge about why public organizations are granted autonomy, why they are controlled in specific ways, and how autonomy affects internal management.