This article seeks to explain the attitudes of civil servants to the preparation of redesigning the civil service system. The starting point for this study is the perplexing point that the plans to reform the Lithuanian civil service system, which was designed to enhance the influence and role of top managers, resulted in the civil servants themselves as the plan‘s most conspicuous opponents. The article provides explanations to this puzzling situation, drawing on contractualization as the radical reform model or public management model. An attempt is made to find some support for performance contracts, as well as the objectives of rotation implementation and the creation of a higher civil service system. The article argues that civil servants may regard contracts and other managerial elements as a way of realizing other objectives in the reform that they value.