Management och motstånd : Offentlig sektor i omvandling - en fallstudie

Sammanfattning: This case study focuses on the intentions of public sector transformation. In particular, on a Swedish public authority, the National Rail Administration (NRA) this is studied and analysed. As in other parts of the Swedish public sector, the management of this authority is planning and executing ‘marketisation’ reforms. Parts of NRA’s monopoly are to be ended and to be guided by the market. The aim of the study is to examine how conflicts between management and employees are shaped according to the changes taking place. Firstly, the study assesses how management interprets the new demands put upon the organisation and translates them into action. These actions illustrated as changes from 'monopoly to market' in order to be a legitimate business competitor; from ‘bureaucracy to flexibility’ in order to enhance competence and changing employees' identities from 'technique to tactic' in order to serve the customer properlyThe study then examines the management-driven implementation of these reforms; and how the employees respond to the changes from a resistance perspective. The discussion highlights what happens when the new management-driven organising principles meet the old, technology-oriented principles of employees. This contributes to a deepened understanding of why organisational changes made in the name of ‘market’, ‘flexibility’ and ‘customer’ meet resistance in the public sector. From a resistance perspective the changes are understood as ‘rationalisation’, work intensification’ and increased ‘individual control’, which per se leads to undermining of the traditional safety culture and technical skills. The customer orientation is met with highly ironic attitudes and interpreted as ‘infantilisation’ of the employees.The concluding remarks are that conflict and antagonism is ever present in organisations and in this case manifest in three domains, legitimating, restructuring and revaluating, and between management perspective and resistance perspective.