Rethinking managerialism in professional work: from competing logics to overlapping discourses

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelPeer review


In economically constrained public welfare provision, professionals with administrative assignments must allegedly adjust their actions in response to a persistent dilemma: whether to serve ‘professional’ interests in autonomy, collegiality and service quality, or ‘managerial’ interests in organizational productivity and economic efficiency. Conventionally, it is assumed that professionals resist managerial requirements as alien intrusions on their professional autonomy. According to recent studies, however, professionals can also engage in ‘hybrid’ activities and strike a balance between professionalism and managerialism. This article offers a complementary perspective to both resistance and hybridity, and examines professionalism and managerialism as overlapping discourses. When professional and managerial discourses overlap, employees can act in a manner that allows for multiple interpretations. Beyond hybrid—that is, part professional and part managerial—their actions can appear as either professional or managerial, depending on the eye of the beholder. We illustrate these arguments in a study among social care professionals in Finland.
TidskriftJournal of Professions and Organization
Sidor (från-till)20-35
Antal sidor16
StatusPublicerad - mar 2017
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 5144 Socialpsykologi

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