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Professionalism and Organizational Performance in the Wake of New Managerialism

Ahlbäck Öberg, Shirin and Bringselius, Louise LU (2015) In European Political Science Review 7(4). p.499-523
Abstract
With New Public Management came the idea that public organizations should be led by professional managers, rather than by professionals. This has been referred to as new managerialism. This article explores how new managerialism may affect professional autonomy in a public organization that enjoys a high – and constitutionally protected – degree of organizational autonomy. A framework distinguishing between organizational and occupational professionalism is adopted, in a 10-year case study of the Swedish National Audit Office (SNAO). The study shows how the autonomy of professionals at the SNAO was highly restricted, while management control systems were continuously expanded. At the same time, SNAO performance has been reduced. For... (More)
With New Public Management came the idea that public organizations should be led by professional managers, rather than by professionals. This has been referred to as new managerialism. This article explores how new managerialism may affect professional autonomy in a public organization that enjoys a high – and constitutionally protected – degree of organizational autonomy. A framework distinguishing between organizational and occupational professionalism is adopted, in a 10-year case study of the Swedish National Audit Office (SNAO). The study shows how the autonomy of professionals at the SNAO was highly restricted, while management control systems were continuously expanded. At the same time, SNAO performance has been reduced. For example, the SNAO has been criticized for its high overhead costs. The study presented in this article, shows the complex interplay between professionalism, new managerialism, and organizational performance. Based on the findings from this study, the article maintains that it is equally important to consider how autonomy is distributed within agencies, as it is to consider how autonomy is distributed between the political sphere and the administration, when trying to explain organizational performance. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
professionalism, managerialism, professional autonomy, organizational autonomy, organizational performance, supreme audit institution, SAI
in
European Political Science Review
volume
7
issue
4
pages
499 - 523
publisher
Cambridge Journals
external identifiers
  • wos:000362971800001
  • scopus:84944278712
ISSN
1755-7747
DOI
10.1017/S1755773914000307
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
72e44636-e506-4556-84bf-77424db5d19b (old id 4466300)
date added to LUP
2014-06-17 10:21:58
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:31:13
@article{72e44636-e506-4556-84bf-77424db5d19b,
  abstract     = {With New Public Management came the idea that public organizations should be led by professional managers, rather than by professionals. This has been referred to as new managerialism. This article explores how new managerialism may affect professional autonomy in a public organization that enjoys a high – and constitutionally protected – degree of organizational autonomy. A framework distinguishing between organizational and occupational professionalism is adopted, in a 10-year case study of the Swedish National Audit Office (SNAO). The study shows how the autonomy of professionals at the SNAO was highly restricted, while management control systems were continuously expanded. At the same time, SNAO performance has been reduced. For example, the SNAO has been criticized for its high overhead costs. The study presented in this article, shows the complex interplay between professionalism, new managerialism, and organizational performance. Based on the findings from this study, the article maintains that it is equally important to consider how autonomy is distributed within agencies, as it is to consider how autonomy is distributed between the political sphere and the administration, when trying to explain organizational performance.},
  author       = {Ahlbäck Öberg, Shirin and Bringselius, Louise},
  issn         = {1755-7747},
  keyword      = {professionalism,managerialism,professional autonomy,organizational autonomy,organizational performance,supreme audit institution,SAI},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {499--523},
  publisher    = {Cambridge Journals},
  series       = {European Political Science Review},
  title        = {Professionalism and Organizational Performance in the Wake of New Managerialism},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755773914000307},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2015},
}