Purpose This paper aims to understand how training programs fostering discourses centred on individuals' identity construction may turn resistance into a generative and enabling force to elicit more relationally and negotiated solutions of change. Design/methodology/approach The study used Foucault's conceptualisation of "regimes of truth" to show how even potentially resistant public managers may generatively contribute to change processes if given the chance to restate the macro discourses of the hegemonic new public management movement at their own micro level. It relied upon an ethnographic approach based on verbal interviews, photo-elicitation, DiSC behavioural tests and observation of 29 Italian public managers participating in a training course. Findings The findings allow us to unveil how helping public managers to think about their self-identity in new ways enabled them to approach changing processes differently turning their resistance efforts into a generative force. Originality/value The paper offers a noteworthy contribution to the literature on public sector change by examining neglected issues relating to the identity of change agents and the implications of their multiple roles. It presents an alternative to the deterministic view of resistance as impeding or dysfunctionally shaping change under the new public management approach. This has important implications for both practice and policymaking.

Shifting identities in the public sector: Portraying the ‘new’ public manager in the Italian setting / Spanò, Rosanna; Tomo, Andrea; Parker, L. D.. - In: QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING & MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 1176-6093. - 19:1(2022), pp. 45-76. [10.1108/QRAM-02-2021-0032]

Shifting identities in the public sector: Portraying the ‘new’ public manager in the Italian setting

Spanò Rosanna
;
Tomo Andrea;
2022

Abstract

Purpose This paper aims to understand how training programs fostering discourses centred on individuals' identity construction may turn resistance into a generative and enabling force to elicit more relationally and negotiated solutions of change. Design/methodology/approach The study used Foucault's conceptualisation of "regimes of truth" to show how even potentially resistant public managers may generatively contribute to change processes if given the chance to restate the macro discourses of the hegemonic new public management movement at their own micro level. It relied upon an ethnographic approach based on verbal interviews, photo-elicitation, DiSC behavioural tests and observation of 29 Italian public managers participating in a training course. Findings The findings allow us to unveil how helping public managers to think about their self-identity in new ways enabled them to approach changing processes differently turning their resistance efforts into a generative force. Originality/value The paper offers a noteworthy contribution to the literature on public sector change by examining neglected issues relating to the identity of change agents and the implications of their multiple roles. It presents an alternative to the deterministic view of resistance as impeding or dysfunctionally shaping change under the new public management approach. This has important implications for both practice and policymaking.
2022
Shifting identities in the public sector: Portraying the ‘new’ public manager in the Italian setting / Spanò, Rosanna; Tomo, Andrea; Parker, L. D.. - In: QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING & MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 1176-6093. - 19:1(2022), pp. 45-76. [10.1108/QRAM-02-2021-0032]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/866321
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