Under New Public Management: Institutional Ethnographies of Changing Front-Line Work

Paperback
The institutional ethnographies collected in Under New Public Management explore how new managerial governance practices coordinate the work of people doing front-line work in public sectors such as health, education, social services, and international development, and people management in the private sector. In these fields, organizations have increasingly adopted private-sector management techniques, such as standardized and quantitative measures of performance and an obsession with cost reductions and efficiency. These practices of new public management are changing the ways in which front-line workers engage with their clients, students, or patients. Using research drawn from Canada, the United States, Australia, and Denmark, the contributors expose how standardized managerial requirements are created and applied, and how they affect the practicalities of working with people whose lives and experiences are complex and unique.