Managerialism and professionalism, again

Linking back to my last post on this topic, Leaderlog has an interesting piece on Why managerialism trumps professionalism. Key point:

Where professionalism at its best is meant to be a mechanism for making things happen with the least interference (which makes a lot of sense in a period of expanding public health and education), when political pressure swings around to preventing things from happening, an internalised ethos is no match for promises of transparency and control.

4 thoughts on “Managerialism and professionalism, again

  1. This reminds me of the old neoliberal line, wherein the answer to neoliberal failures was always … more neoliberalism. As Blake wrote, ‘if only the fools will persist in their folly, eventually they will become wise’ (or words to that effect).

  2. Thanks for the link John!

    CS is right that it is a self perpetuating process, which also relates to other issues such as work intensification, risk perception (how can an organisation insure itself against the risks created by increased autonomy?). That question is what would have to happen to seriously turn the tide against NPM and managerialism. Perhaps the erosion of professionalism is a structural change/ power-shift from which there will be no turning back.

  3. Actually the biggest confirmation of Pr Q’s professional>managerial thesis is the recent fiasco in Iraq.
    The professional experts who weighed in on the matter all opposed the war for, more or less, the right cost/benefit reasons:
    oil industry (Arabist lobbyists)
    military (joint chiefs of staff)
    intelligence (CIA) and
    diplomatic (council of foreign relations)
    It was the managerial apparatchiks, who had political appointments to the national security apparat, that deliberately misled or ineptly handled the rationale and execution of the war.

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