Studies on Innovative Practices
Edited by Mattias Elg, Per- Erik Ellström, Magnus Klofsten and Malin Tillmar
Chapter 12: Women small-business owners challenge regional gender contracts?
In the past 25 years, New Public Management (NPM) ideas have circulated internationally and thus become a global trend (Sahlin-Andersson, 2002). Even though there are differences in how and to what extent these neoliberal, market-based ideas have been adopted, they have had an impact on public sector organizations, especially in the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries (Hood, 1995; Sahlin-Andersson, 2002; Pollitt and Bouckaert, 2004). This chapter presents a longitudinal quantitative study as an example of gendered consequences of the currently ongoing restructuring of the Swedish public sector. NPM concepts influenced by the management of private sector organizations and the market are spreading (Czarniawska and Joerges, 1996) through the municipalities of Sweden. These ideas are seen as solutions to create efficiency and introduce free choice into public organizations (Forssell and Jansson, 2000), but also as a means to solve other problems in society like gender equality (Wottle and Blomberg, 2011). Parallel to these ideas, entrepreneurship and small-business ownership have come to be of greater interest to politicians and researchers (Sundin, 2008).
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