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Personnel resistance in public sector reform

Bringselius, Louise LU (2010) The International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) 2010
Abstract
Observations from three case studies of public sector reforms are reported. These observations concern managerial attitudes to personnel resistance, and they reveal how management talks of resistance either as an emotional reaction or as a personality trait with certain employees. Based on these assumptions it is considered legitimate to disregard employee objections. Personnel were invited to the managerial decision making process, but this functioned rather as therapy than as a channel for actual employee influence. Findings are problematic, because they challenge the ethics of the public official in modern democracies and hinder attempts at whistle-blowing. A framework distinguishing between four interpretations of resistance and... (More)
Observations from three case studies of public sector reforms are reported. These observations concern managerial attitudes to personnel resistance, and they reveal how management talks of resistance either as an emotional reaction or as a personality trait with certain employees. Based on these assumptions it is considered legitimate to disregard employee objections. Personnel were invited to the managerial decision making process, but this functioned rather as therapy than as a channel for actual employee influence. Findings are problematic, because they challenge the ethics of the public official in modern democracies and hinder attempts at whistle-blowing. A framework distinguishing between four interpretations of resistance and corresponding decision making strategies is suggested. The framework can be used to understand and discuss different interpretations of resistance and choices pertaining to employee influence in the decision making process. It also highlights important differences as concerns how resistance tends to be understood in change management theory, as compared to how it must be understood in order to allow whistle-blowing in public sector reform. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
keywords
decision making, whistle-blowing, reform, resistance, public management, ethics
conference name
The International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) 2010
project
Från många till en? Ett forskningsprogram om Försäkringskassans förändring och dess konsekvenser.
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
323564e0-e885-4d16-ab78-29842cb1d118 (old id 1567075)
date added to LUP
2010-03-22 10:29:52
date last changed
2016-04-16 10:50:37
@misc{323564e0-e885-4d16-ab78-29842cb1d118,
  abstract     = {Observations from three case studies of public sector reforms are reported. These observations concern managerial attitudes to personnel resistance, and they reveal how management talks of resistance either as an emotional reaction or as a personality trait with certain employees. Based on these assumptions it is considered legitimate to disregard employee objections. Personnel were invited to the managerial decision making process, but this functioned rather as therapy than as a channel for actual employee influence. Findings are problematic, because they challenge the ethics of the public official in modern democracies and hinder attempts at whistle-blowing. A framework distinguishing between four interpretations of resistance and corresponding decision making strategies is suggested. The framework can be used to understand and discuss different interpretations of resistance and choices pertaining to employee influence in the decision making process. It also highlights important differences as concerns how resistance tends to be understood in change management theory, as compared to how it must be understood in order to allow whistle-blowing in public sector reform.},
  author       = {Bringselius, Louise},
  keyword      = {decision making,whistle-blowing,reform,resistance,public management,ethics},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Personnel resistance in public sector reform},
  year         = {2010},
}