Publieke dienstverlening onder druk | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 28, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0169-2216
  • E-ISSN: 2468-9424


Public services under pressure. Loyalty conflicts of educational managers

Public services under pressure. Loyalty conflicts of educational managers

Work in public professional services, such as health care and education, has become pressurized. Managing such work has especially become contested. According to many, professionals are hindered by widespread managerial systems and techniques. Managers are blamed for this. We lack empirical proof, however. Are managers, such as health care or school managers, intentionally hindering professionals with their managerialism? This article presents the outcomes of (PhD) research on the loyalties and loyalty conflicts of school leaders. We show that school leaders are highly loyal to teachers, pupils and parents, and that they make many sacrifices to uphold normative orientations and affective feelings concerning educational processes. But not under all circumstances. Oppositions between professionalism and managerialism do not so much occur between professionals and managers, but inside managers. This has consequences for debates on public professional services, as well for practical reform.


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