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  • 1. Barry, Jim
    et al.
    Berg, Elisabeth
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human Work Science.
    Chandler, John
    Luleå tekniska universitet.
    New public management and social work In Sweden and England: Challenges and opportunities for staff in predominantly female2008In: International journal of sociology and social policy, ISSN 0144-333X, E-ISSN 1758-6720, Vol. 28, no 3/4, p. 114-128Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - This paper aims to explore the issues for middle-level social work managers arising from the development of the new public management, with its emphasis on the intensification of work, the measurement of performance in service delivery, and cost efficiencies. This is commonly thought to have affected those working in human services such as social work adversely. This paper explores the nature of these consequences, from the point of view of those centrally placed in its implementation. Design/methodology/approach - The methodology adopted in this paper is designed to acknowledge and explore the perceptions of middle-level social work managers as they contribute to the social construction of the new public management. This is accomplished through in-depth interviews with a sample of their number in Sweden and England. Findings - The findings reveal that social work managers are not only comfortable dealing with budgets but also enjoy the autonomy this affords them in their relationship with their subordinates. The findings also reveal that they appreciate the benefits of the more generalised knowledges of management, used in their work with junior colleagues, who they attempted to lead rather than manage and who they respected as colleagues. This has further implications: the possibility of new career opportunities for these predominantly women managers. Originality/value - The managers in social work see the knowledges gained from their position as managers as transferable to other areas of the public and private sectors, thereby opening up new career opportunities. They were also found to enjoy dealing with budget issues, contrary to earlier studies.

  • 2.
    Berg, Elisabeth
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human Work Science.
    To be or not to be: a lecturer in higher education in Sweden2001In: International journal of sociology and social policy, ISSN 0144-333X, E-ISSN 1758-6720, Vol. 21, no 11/12, p. 57-74Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article considers changes which occurred during the 1990s in Universities in Sweden with the main discussion focusing on the way in which these changes have affected the work situation for lecturers from a gender, management and organisation perspective. The empirical data used to inform the article consists of depth-interviews with male and female lecturers in junior and middle-management positions at one University in Sweden. The article explores the issues examining in particular the ways in which women and men conform to the stereotype of ‘abstract worker' on which the new public management appears to rely. The abstract worker in conceptualised as a person who does not, and indeed should not for purposes of a career, have any personal responsibility outside of work. In this conceptualisation loyalty to the employer is the most important priority for the abstract worker with responsibility for children and the family counting heavily against those with career aspirations. The gendered implications of this and other issues arising from the recent changes in University life in Sweden are examined in the article.

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