New Public Professional Organisationalism Towards new professional, managerial and cliental roles as exemplified in Swedish schools

Sammanfattning: This thesis aims to deepen our understanding of public professional organisationalism. Whereas new professionalism is an established concept used to describe changes in the roles of professionals, there is a lack of studies on organisationalism that include the roles of managers and clients. In this thesis, it is argued that new roles for professionals in the studied organisations are accompanied by new roles for managers and clients. To capture this ‘newness’, insights from this thesis are abstracted into the ideal type of New Public Professional Organisationalism (NPPO), which consists of seven components: the interconnectedness of domains, hybridisation of logics, de-hybridisation of tasks, dispersed autonomy, distributed control, co-constructiveness and interrelational trust. NPPO serves as a contrast to how relations between professions, managers and clients are often portrayed in the literature by emphasising harmony rather than conflict between actors. Empirically, this thesis focuses on school organisations in Sweden where first teachers have been introduced. This, it is argued, has led to elite positions for some teachers, which has created a hierarchy in the profession where first teachers are involved in more domains and engaged in managerial work to a larger extent. In this thesis, such stratification is considered to have intensified a movement where professional, cliental and managerial roles are evolving. The thesis is part of a larger research project studying the “first teacher reform” and consists of a compilation of the introductory chapter and four published papers. The first paper addresses how the introduction of elites affects the division of labour. The second paper centres on how first teachers inhabit their new role and highlights their agency in shaping this role in relation to their managers and colleagues. The third paper elaborates on various first teacher types and outlines how these affect the teaching profession from a wider perspective. The fourth paper investigates the role of first teachers in strengthening professional control vis-à-vis clients. Since first teachers are connected to different domains within their organisations, the relationships between professionals, managers and clients can be illuminated by focusing on this group. Based on the findings of the aforementioned papers this thesis concludes that professional, managerial and cliental roles generally became more intertwined, which is an observation that has not been coherently captured in the existing literature and motivates the creation of NPPO. The thesis uses a qualitative approach and is based on in-depth studies of seven different schools in three municipalities in Sweden. The research techniques used include interviews, observations and shadowing.

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