Perspectives Across Frontiers
New Horizons in Public Policy series
Edited by Leo W.J.C. Huberts, Jeroen Maesschalk and Carole L. Jurkiewicz
Chapter 7: The Swiss Federal Administration in the Context of Downsizing: Public Servants’ Perception about their Work Environment and Ethical Issues
Yves Emery and Carole Wyser To tell public servants that they are highly valued at the same time as many of them are being ‘let go’ may strike at least part of the audience as ironic, or worse. Pollitt and Bouckaert (2004: 172) INTRODUCTION Long inspired by the Weberian ideal-type (Weber, 1971), the management of public organizations has undergone a profound transformation, notably through the development of new public management (NPM) (Pollitt and Boukaert, 2003). The changes that have taken place since the early 1980s are so profound that the foundations of the bureaucratic model are being completely redeﬁned, leading many analysts to speak of a change of paradigm. In many OECD countries (PUMA, 2001; Reichard, 2002; Bossaert, 2005), the traditional conditions of civil service employment have been fundamentally challenged by the application of new public management principles: the abolition of the ‘status’ of public servants, the introduction of practices geared towards performance and new organizational values emphasizing quality, competitiveness and public entrepreneurialism (du Gay, 2000; Emery, 2000). In this new environment, which one might call post-civil service (Emery and Giauque, 2005), the added introduction of downsizing programmes makes it diﬃcult for employees to cope with the daily workload. All these changes have a signiﬁcant impact on the staﬀ, and are likely to lead to various ethical problems. However, there have been very few studies looking at these dynamics (Knudson et al., 2003). There lies the main interest of this contribution. 101 102 Integrity, rationality and e...
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