Table of Contents

Managing Social Issues

Managing Social Issues

A Public Values Perspective

Edited by Peter Leisink, Paul Boselie, Maarten van Bottenburg and Dian Marie Hosking

Western societies face complex social issues and a growing diversity of views on how these should be addressed. The traditional view focuses on government and public policy but neglects the initiatives that non-profit and private organizations and local networks take. This book presents a broader variety of viewpoints and theories. Looking at various cases, the authors analyse conflicting values and interests, actors’ understandings of the public values related to social issues, and their action to create what they regard as public value. Drawing together these perspectives the authors point the way to how government and the private and voluntary sectors can work in tandem to resolve social issues.

Chapter 11: How public middle managers relate to the institutional values their organizations represent

Marja Gastelaars

Subjects: business and management, corporate social responsibility, public management, politics and public policy, public administration and management, public policy


In this chapter, I discuss the various ways in which middle managers in and around the public domain present themselves as being ‘somewhere in the middle’ of their organizations. This is because the notion of ‘middle manager’ is quite ambiguous itself. In the public realm, like elsewhere, they are those managers whose activities are primarily focused on the day-to-day operations of their organizations, but in most cases they are no longer called supervisors. Accordingly, their day-to-day negotiations are not purely operational anymore either. They are often expected to deal with their organization’s accountability systems as well (see also Child and Partridge 1982) and some of them now even manage from a little further up the hierarchy of their organizations. In the public sector this repositioning is expressly related to the introduction of the principles associated with New Public Management (NPM; see Noordegraaf 2011).

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