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New public management reform and the construction of organizational identities

Per Skålén (Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 May 2004

4357

Abstract

An underlying and fundamental aim of the new public management (NPM) reform program is to transform the organizational identity of public organizations into a business‐like identity. In this paper the construction of organizational identity as an effect of NPM initiatives is analyzed from a sensemaking perspective. The study draws on data from a two‐and‐a‐half‐year study of the introduction of NPM at the public health care authority in the region of Värmland in Sweden. It is concluded that NPM creates heterogeneous, conflicting and fluid organizational identities rather than the uniform and stable business identity it is supposed to.

Keywords

Citation

Skålén, P. (2004), "New public management reform and the construction of organizational identities", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 251-263. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513550410530171

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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