Policy Alienation: Analyzing the Experiences of Public Professionals with New Policies
Rotterdam: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Forthcoming
372 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2012 Last revised: 8 Apr 2013
Date Written: 2012
Many professionals show resistant to implement changes, such as new governmental policies. This can have severe consequences for organizational and policy performance. However, there is no theoretical framework for analyzing this topic. We build a theoretical framework of ‘policy alienation’. Policies in healthcare, social security and education are analyzed, using both qualitative and quantitative techniques. We selected policies which had a high degree of policy alienation, as well as policies which were more positively received. The conclusions challenge common assertions about the reasons for resistance of public professionals towards policies. For instance, professionals often agree with the business goals of new policies. They are unwilling to implement such a policy not because it focuses on business goals, but because it would not achieve those business goals. Furthermore, we nuance the impact of participation. It is more important for professionals that a policy is developed which is meaningful for society and for their own clients, than that they have influence in its shaping.
The results of the study have implications for public administration scholars, public professionals, change managers and policymakers. In order to improve its academic and practical significance, an instrument is developed to measure the degree of policy alienation. This instrument can be used to understand and improve organizational and policy performance.
Keywords: Change management, public administration, policy implementation, new public management, scale development, public professionals
JEL Classification: D73, D78, J2, J28, J58, J68, M12, M00, M12, O2, O32, O3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
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By Lars Tummers