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Article
Publication date: 24 February 2020

Tomi J. Kallio, Kirsi-Mari Kallio and Annika Blomberg

This purpose of this study is to understand how the spread of audit culture and the related public sector reforms have affected Finnish universities’ organization…

Abstract

Purpose

This purpose of this study is to understand how the spread of audit culture and the related public sector reforms have affected Finnish universities’ organization principles, performance measurement (PM) criteria and ultimately their reason for being.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying extensive qualitative data by combining interview data with document materials, this study takes a longitudinal perspective toward the changing Finnish higher education field.

Findings

The analysis suggests the reforms have altered universities’ administrative structures, planning and control systems, coordination mechanisms and the role of staff units, as well as the allocation of power and thus challenged their reason for being. Power has become concentrated into the hands of formal managers, while operational core professionals have been distanced from decision making. Efficiency in terms of financial and performance indicators has become a coordinating principle of university organizations, and PM practices are used to steer the work of professionals. Because of the reforms, universities have moved away from the ideal type of professional bureaucracy and begun resembling the new, emerging ideal type of competitive bureaucracy.

Originality/value

This study builds on rich, real-life, longitudinal empirical material and details a chronological description of the changes in Finland’s university sector. Moreover, it illustrates how the spread of audit culture and the related legislative changes have transformed the ideal type of university organization and challenged universities’ reason for being. These changes entail significant consequences regarding universities as organizations and their role in society.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Book part
Publication date: 4 January 2016

Teresa Carvalho and Rui Santiago

The reforms that have been promoted in public organisations in developed countries since the 1970s are said to impose changes in professional bureaucracies by promoting…

Abstract

The reforms that have been promoted in public organisations in developed countries since the 1970s are said to impose changes in professional bureaucracies by promoting self-governance and institutional autonomy and by challenging professionals’ status and their values and standards. Taking the specific case of Portugal, this paper intends to contribute to understanding to what extent professional bureaucracies, like hospitals and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), have been affected by changes in state policies and how the professionals involved have responded to these organisational changes. Based on an empirical qualitative study the paper concludes that there are significant differences in the way the state changed the regulatory framework and the professional archetypes in hospitals and HEIs and that professionals give heterogeneous responses to these changes.

Details

Towards a Comparative Institutionalism: Forms, Dynamics and Logics Across the Organizational Fields of Health Care and Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-274-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Christian Maravelias

This article develops a framework for understanding autonomy and control in post‐bureaucratic organizations. It reviews two dominant discourses on post‐bureaucracy – the…

Abstract

This article develops a framework for understanding autonomy and control in post‐bureaucratic organizations. It reviews two dominant discourses on post‐bureaucracy – the managerial discourse and the critical management discourse. Whereas the one pictures post‐bureaucracy as an emancipating regime based on the personalities and social networks of individuals, the other pictures it as a totalitarian regime, which subordinates individuals’ thoughts, emotions and identities to its instrumental schemes. Both discourses are criticized for being grounded in a view of post‐bureaucracy as a “total” organization. An alternative conceptualization is developed, which shows that post‐bureaucracy neither emancipates individuals from control, nor captures them in totalitarian control. A distinguishing characteristic of post‐bureaucracy is that it displaces the responsibility for setting limits between professional and non‐professional concerns from the organization to the individual. Via a case study it is shown how this implies a specific form of control that does not restrict individual freedom, but uses it as its prime vehicle.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Book part
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Abstract

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Bureaucracy and Society in Transition
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-283-3

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Book part
Publication date: 5 April 2012

David Courpasson and Stewart Clegg

Many bureaucracies still exist, and not just in the public sector. Increasingly, however, we would argue that they are more likely to evolve towards polyarchic forms…

Abstract

Many bureaucracies still exist, and not just in the public sector. Increasingly, however, we would argue that they are more likely to evolve towards polyarchic forms because of the growing centrality of stakeholder resistance, especially that which is premised on empowerment of key employees. We suggest that managerial responses to this resistance are transforming bureaucracies through process of accommodation: upper echelon managers invent responses to contentious acts and voices so as to reintegrate ‘resisters’ while rewarding them for contesting decisions in a cooperative way. Understanding these processes help us understand why traditional bureaucracy is currently transforming itself as a result of the emergence of new forms of resistance in the workplace.

Details

Rethinking Power in Organizations, Institutions, and Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-665-2

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Helen Dickinson, Iain Snelling, Chris Ham and Peter C. Spurgeon

The purpose of this paper is to explore issues of medical engagement in the management and leadership of health services in the English National Health Service (NHS). The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore issues of medical engagement in the management and leadership of health services in the English National Health Service (NHS). The literature suggests that this is an important component of high performing health systems, although the NHS has traditionally struggled to engage doctors and has been characterised as a professional bureaucracy. This study explored the ways in which health care organisations structure and operate medical leadership processes to assess the degree to which professional bureaucracies still exist in the English NHS.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the qualitative component of a research into medical leadership in nine case study sites, this paper reports on findings from over 150 interviews with doctors, general managers and nurses. In doing so, the authors focus specifically on the operation of medical leadership in nine different NHS hospitals.

Findings

Concerted attention has been focussed on medical leadership and this has led to significant changes to organisational structures and the recruitment and training processes of doctors for leadership roles. There is a cadre of doctors that are substantially more engaged in the leadership of their organisations than previous research has found. Yet, this engagement has tended to only involve a small section of the overall medical workforce in practice, raising questions about the nature of medical engagement more broadly.

Originality/value

There are only a limited number of studies that have sought to explore issues of medical leadership on this scale in the English context. This represents the first significant study of this kind in over a decade.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1999

Geraldo Flowers, Delia Kundin and Ralph S. Brower

This paper examines how administrators in two very different Florida state agencies implemented performance-based program budgeting. It identifies the key organizational…

Abstract

This paper examines how administrators in two very different Florida state agencies implemented performance-based program budgeting. It identifies the key organizational conditions that facilitate and inhibit implemen-tation and propose implications for generalizing these observations to other settings. The study concludes that agency variables make implementation much more difficult in some settings and that a one-size-fits-all approach may contribute to a variety of delays and conflicts in the implementation process.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Harro M. Höpfl

The purpose of this paper is to provide a re‐examination of the Weberian corpus.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a re‐examination of the Weberian corpus.

Design/methodology/approach

Discusses the Weberian corpus and the discrepancies and lacunae in Weber's accounts. Outlines “Weberian” bureacracy in the post‐bureacracy literature, the use and utility of ideal types and the problems of ideal typifications.

Findings

The so‐called “Weberian ideal type” which is the standard reference point in bureaucracy versus post‐bureaucracy discussion is only ambiguously related to what Weber himself wrote. Usually “Weberian” bureaucracy is equated with rule‐governed hierarchy. This is a gross over‐simplification of Weber's thought, but his “ideal type” demands radical re‐tooling in order to be usable. The components he itemized and the importance he attached to them are inconsistent, they are abstracted from exemplars which Weber privileged without explanation, and he gave no unambiguous criteria for deciding which components this ideal type should include or exclude. Moreover, he equated bureaucratic organization with modernity, when on his own account there were fully bureaucratic organizations centuries before “modernity”. His ideal type thus cannot yield a clear distinction between bureaucratic and “post”‐bureaucratic organizations, unless “bureaucracy” is flattened into “hierarchy”, and “post”‐bureaucratic into “non‐hierarchical”. But hierarchy cannot be eliminated from complex organizations, and bureaucracy can be re‐theorized to include any non‐contradictory attributes. Therefore, there can be adaptations of bureaucracy, but ex hypothesi there cannot be a “post‐bureaucratic era”.

Originality/value

The paper shows that Weber's ideal type can be re‐theorized to include any “non‐contradictory attributes”.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Abstract

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Richard A. Culbertson and Julia A. Hughes

The voluntary hospital trustee has traditionally seen issues of medical care, including those of patient safety, as falling within the delegated sphere of the medical…

Abstract

The voluntary hospital trustee has traditionally seen issues of medical care, including those of patient safety, as falling within the delegated sphere of the medical staff. This customary distancing of the trustee from direct involvement in patient safety issues is now challenged by unprecedented scrutiny of hospital safety results through voluntary disclosure or mandatory public reporting. This new climate, fostered by the Institute of Medicine's To Err is Human and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 100,000 Lives campaign, has complicated the role of the trustee in satisfying the traditional “prudent person” test for meeting fiduciary obligation as the trustee's breadth of involvement expands. Viewed theoretically, Mintzberg models the hospital as a case of a professional bureaucracy, in which the professional staff is responsible for standard setting and regulation. This traditional role of the professional staff is potentially assumed by others lacking technical background. Trustees are now asked to examine reports identifying physician compliance in attaining safety standards without education in the practice supporting those standards. Physician board members, whose numbers have increased in the past decade, are often sought to take the lead on interpretation of patient safety standards and results. The very public nature of patient safety reporting and its reflection on the reputation of the organization for which the trustee is ultimately accountable create a new level of tension and workload that challenges the dominant voluntary model of trusteeship in the United States health system.

Details

Patient Safety and Health Care Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-955-5

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