Monday, September 15, 2014

How newcomers become bureaucrats?

Becoming Bureaucrats Socialization at the Front Lines of Government Service

It is quite surprising how public service management usually is considered from a reductionist perspective. Some people think that if we understand the rules and incentives that underlie in public service, then we can understand its performance. The constraints to change the factors that drive performance are well known and it seems that nothing can be done to surpass inertia.
A new book provides fresh air on this issue. It argues that:
Bureacratic behavior follows a logic of appropriateness (LOA). This decision-making theory, developed by James March and Johan Olsen, suggests that organizational behavior is associated with norms that individuals develop about what constitutes appropriate, exemplary behavior
A key message:
The traditional understanding that bureacracies change people may be true but beside the point. More important , in this account, is how bureacracies find people and how people find them.
I still don't understand why most physicians-nurses-... in NHS must be civil servants. I have said that many times and nobody has been able to find an argument. In my opinion this is one of the pieces that reflects an outdated system without the possibility to break its inertia.


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