Confronting New Policies
Chapter 5: The impact of New Public Management and professionalism on policy alienation
The previous chapters provided a background of the alienation concept (Chapter 2), defined and conceptualized it (Chapter 3) and provided a quantitative measurement instrument (Chapter 4). This background is useful for the current chapter, whose goal is to identify the most important factors that influence the degree of policy alienation felt by public professionals. In other words, why do professional feel alienated from a policy? This goal is achieved using a qualitative comparative case study, allowing us to study whether the factors that influence the degree of policy alienation are similar across different public domains. This is theoretically relevant, as it contributes to the debate on pressured professionals. Indeed, although scholars such as Exworthy and Halford (1998; see also Noordegraaf, 2007) note that there are a number of factors creating professional pressures, this has yet to be examined thoroughly on the level of actual policy implementation. This chapter studies in detail various national, organizational and policy factors that could influence the degree of policy alienation felt. First, I will discuss the possible influence of New Public Management and professionalism on policy alienation, which results in a theoretical framework linking possible antecedents to policy alienation. Using case studies of insurance physicians and secondary school teachers implementing policies, I will determine the most important factors influencing policy alienation.
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