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Sources of dissension: The making and breaking of the individual customer
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is well known that both management and professional work in areas such as health and aged care rely upon division of individuals into categories of for example diagnoses or costs and revenues. The present paper, however, wish to turn this around and ask: what happens if individuality, the indivisible wholeness of the person, is taken seriously in such practices? When every human being is interpreted as unique and special, and her wholeness is supposed to be realised in the relationship between professionals and the individual customer? The paper analyses two rivalrous programmes – the programmes of efficiency and individuality – and their operationalisations in the Swedish aged care, and show how these programmes and their corresponding technologies are sources of dissension that can be used to problematise how aged care should be conducted. However, such dissension also opens up spaces of freedom, which allows care practitioners to conduct their work differently.

Keyword [en]
Management Control, Governmentality, Dissension, Individualisation, Aged care
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117032OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-117032DiVA: diva2:809852
Available from: 2015-05-05 Created: 2015-05-05 Last updated: 2015-05-06
In thesis
1. Managing Multiplicity: On Control, Care and the Individual
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing Multiplicity: On Control, Care and the Individual
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This is a thesis about managing multiplicity. It analyses how people working in municipalities are managing, controlling, and caring for the complex and contradictory world they live in. Building on more than 100 interviews and observations, the thesis examines the multiple realities of those who work in public sector organisations. By studying (1) the work of managers on different organisational levels, controllers, professionals responsible for the care of others and, to a lesser extent, politicians; (2) the management control systems that are used in the work, and (3) the ongoing debates and legislations directed towards the management of care practices, the thesis makes an effort to analyse how the realities of these individuals; those active in controlling and caring, are constructed.

The thesis makes several contributions to the literatures on management control and public management. Where earlier studies are either based on a functionalist conception of management control and public management (in which performance measures and control systems are tools in the hands of managers, that enable them to control other practices), or focused on understanding how control contributes to the construction of reality (making reality ontologically coherent, and therefore controllable), the present thesis argues that management can be approached and analysed as a practice devoted to managing ontological multiplicity, rather than as an activity devoted to control other practices or making reality controllable.

By using the concept of ontological politics, the thesis shows that control often fails to make reality controllable, which makes the practice of management reliant on alternative ways to manage. The alternative to control that is analysed in the thesis is care, and the thesis argues that care could be seen as a way to manage, rather than as something that should be controlled: care is complementary to control when it comes to management. The thesis explicates how management by care is done in relation to management by control, and how they may become resources for each other in managing the complex and contradictory public sector.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University, 2015. 82 p.
Keyword
Management control, Local governments, New Public Management, Ontological politics, Care
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117034 (URN)978-91-7649-171-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-06-11, Gröjersalen, hus 3, Kräftriket, Roslagsvägen 101, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Accepted. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-05-20 Created: 2015-05-05 Last updated: 2017-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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