Micro-Dynamics and Macro-Effects
Edited by Magdaléna Hadjiisky, Leslie A. Pal and Christopher Walker
Chapter 2: Lean management in the French state and judicial system: resistance and reform
This chapter focuses on how, and by whom, Lean management was transferred from the private to the public sphere and conceived as a relevant tool to reform the French state, and more specifically the French judicial system. The chapter undertakes a precise context-tracing analysis, which pays attention to the leading role actors play in seizing opportunities, and selecting and adapting policy and managerial instruments. From a theoretical perspective, this chapter highlights the multilayered process of translations through which an idea is transposed to fit into its new context (Callon, 1999; Morris and Lancaster, 2005). It examines the conditions for transfer, the content of the policy and the depth of the changes introduced. This chapter shows that the concrete ways the transferred policy is implemented has a crucial impact on whether or not it is successfully appropriated. Therefore, transfer analysis should consider the historical development of the process, possible alterations in content and in the meaning of what is transferred, as well as the counter-translations proposed by various agents that challenge the transfer process. The greater the distance between the rationale of the transferred policy instrument and the professional and administrative recipient setting, the more the need for adjustment and translation becomes evident. This chapter finds that policy transfers from the private to the public sector are best facilitated by transfer agents who have both the experience and understanding of the specificity of the concerned policy field and professional cultures. Moreover, transfers may lead to a shift in the balance of power between professional groups, as well as within the same group. Keywords: France, justice, legal professions, Lean management, policy instrument, state reform
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