Ledningsfunktion i omvandling : Om förändringar av yrkesrollen för första linjens chefer inom den kommunala äldre- och handikappomsorgen

Sammanfattning: During the 1990s many of the local authorities have been forced to reduce expenditure on the care of the elderly and people with disabilities, and many organisational changes have been carried out. New problems and their solutions are often related to leadership and management. This dissertation deals with three trends in the development of the organisation: The first trend is a market orientation, one example of which is the attempt to increase effectiveness and efficiency by utilising a purchaser/provider model in the organisation. Here the needs assessment model is studied. The second trend is the response to the pressed situation due to heavy workloads that staff members and their managers express, exemplified by self-managing work teams and a year-based working hour system. Here called flexible work organisations. The third trend focused in this dissertation is the decentralisation of social services. It is connected to increased demands on involvement in, and participation from those who use the services, i.e. the elderly and people with disabilities. The aim of this dissertation is to shed light on how politicians and managers view, experience and describe management and leadership in three types of local authority organisations. The focus is on the demands on managers and how the working conditions for managers are described in the different organisations. The material includes three different empirical methods. The first is a questionnaire to politicians and local authority officials, mainly managers at different levels in the care of the elderly and persons with disabilities. The second method consists of qualitative interviews with politicians and managers. The third method involved a document study of local authority documents, e.g. official guidelines, plans and evaluations. The method of analysis, a ?qualified content analysis? is inspired by discourse analysis and focuses on a comparison between the different local authorities, between politicians and managers and between women and men. This dissertation shows that the organisational changes brought about unexpected consequenses for management and that the demands differ between politicians and managers and between different organisations. Politicians and higher-level management expect the managers to manage the organisation, and employees expect them to lead. The solution seems to be a high level of competence, but which competence is needed? There are two different ideals for leadership. One is associated with focus on effectiveness and efficiency and the other associated with focus on communication. The dissertation highlights the conditions of a management, which is currently being pushed further down in the organisation. The dilemma of leadership ? being a manager or a leader will not disappear. Somewhere in the organisation the perspective of effectiveness and efficiency and the perspective of communication have to meet. It might be seen as a dilemma that will not go away ? only be placed in different levels in the organisation.