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Tiga eller tala? En studie om socialsekreterare; yttrande- och meddelarfrihet för offentligt anställda samt tystnaden i svensk förvaltning

Jannert, Terese LU (2012) SOAM11 20121
School of Social Work
Abstract
Author: Terese Jannert
Title: ”Remain silent or speak up? Freedom of information, codes of silence, and the case of social workers in Sweden’s public management”. (translated title)
Supervisor: Katarina Jacobsson
Assessor: Sune Sunesson
___________________________________________________________________________
The objectives of this thesis are twofold. First, this study examines how social workers with decision-making authority construct the freedom of information for civil servants. Second, the thesis analyzes how the social workers account for the prevailing code of silence in Sweden’s public management. The point of departure for the thesis is Swedens’s freedom of information act derived from the Swedish constitution. The purpose... (More)
Author: Terese Jannert
Title: ”Remain silent or speak up? Freedom of information, codes of silence, and the case of social workers in Sweden’s public management”. (translated title)
Supervisor: Katarina Jacobsson
Assessor: Sune Sunesson
___________________________________________________________________________
The objectives of this thesis are twofold. First, this study examines how social workers with decision-making authority construct the freedom of information for civil servants. Second, the thesis analyzes how the social workers account for the prevailing code of silence in Sweden’s public management. The point of departure for the thesis is Swedens’s freedom of information act derived from the Swedish constitution. The purpose of the act is to facilitate transparency and media communication with the public in order to expose cases of unethical conduct, waste, and corruption in the public sector. Civil servants who choose to make use of this right are further protected by legislation that forbids employers from searching for information that would identify who supplied information to the media. The following research questions were selected to achieve the purpose of this thesis: How do social workers view utilizing the freedom of information for civil servants? How do social workers reason in relation to bringing forward both internal and external criticism regarding public management? How do social workers explain the code of silence in public management and refraining from participation in public debate regarding social work issues? The study employs a social constructionist approach, which utilizes a symbolic interactionist perspective and interviews with twelve social workers to address the research questions. The study shows that social workers are unfamiliar with the content of the freedom of information act. The lack of knowledge of the freedom of information act is significant because it means that they do not have the knowledge to fully use this legal right. The social workers are primarily relating the freedom of information to severe ills and resorting to whistle blowing which most are very reluctant towards. Social workers do not see the value of the act as producing debates or claming a space in the public sphere. The thesis finds that social workers do not use the freedom of information act due to the stigma attached with “going public”, fear of reprisals, distrust of the media, and/or to demonstrate their institutional loyalty. The thesis also finds that the code of silence in the public sector is understood by the social workers as a part of the social worker’s identity and that civil servants abide informal rules and norms which limit or prevent their use of the freedom of information act. (Less)
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author
Jannert, Terese LU
supervisor
organization
course
SOAM11 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
public management, silence, Freedom of information, social worker, social construction, accounts
language
Swedish
id
2798069
date added to LUP
2012-06-18 09:28:23
date last changed
2012-06-18 09:28:23
@misc{2798069,
  abstract     = {Author: Terese Jannert
Title: ”Remain silent or speak up? Freedom of information, codes of silence, and the case of social workers in Sweden’s public management”. (translated title)
Supervisor: Katarina Jacobsson
Assessor: Sune Sunesson
___________________________________________________________________________
The objectives of this thesis are twofold. First, this study examines how social workers with decision-making authority construct the freedom of information for civil servants. Second, the thesis analyzes how the social workers account for the prevailing code of silence in Sweden’s public management. The point of departure for the thesis is Swedens’s freedom of information act derived from the Swedish constitution. The purpose of the act is to facilitate transparency and media communication with the public in order to expose cases of unethical conduct, waste, and corruption in the public sector. Civil servants who choose to make use of this right are further protected by legislation that forbids employers from searching for information that would identify who supplied information to the media. The following research questions were selected to achieve the purpose of this thesis: How do social workers view utilizing the freedom of information for civil servants? How do social workers reason in relation to bringing forward both internal and external criticism regarding public management? How do social workers explain the code of silence in public management and refraining from participation in public debate regarding social work issues? The study employs a social constructionist approach, which utilizes a symbolic interactionist perspective and interviews with twelve social workers to address the research questions. The study shows that social workers are unfamiliar with the content of the freedom of information act. The lack of knowledge of the freedom of information act is significant because it means that they do not have the knowledge to fully use this legal right. The social workers are primarily relating the freedom of information to severe ills and resorting to whistle blowing which most are very reluctant towards. Social workers do not see the value of the act as producing debates or claming a space in the public sphere. The thesis finds that social workers do not use the freedom of information act due to the stigma attached with “going public”, fear of reprisals, distrust of the media, and/or to demonstrate their institutional loyalty. The thesis also finds that the code of silence in the public sector is understood by the social workers as a part of the social worker’s identity and that civil servants abide informal rules and norms which limit or prevent their use of the freedom of information act.},
  author       = {Jannert, Terese},
  keyword      = {public management,silence,Freedom of information,social worker,social construction,accounts},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Tiga eller tala? En studie om socialsekreterare; yttrande- och meddelarfrihet för offentligt anställda samt tystnaden i svensk förvaltning},
  year         = {2012},
}