Working in a Merciful and Contested Organization: The Case of Municipal Parking Officers

Dorte Boesby Dahl

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    his paper is about the work and management of parking patrol officers in a Danish municipal department responsible for parking law enforcement. The job as a parking officer is un-skilled and fairly light in terms of physical demands, but quite demanding in terms of contact and coping with disgruntled car-drivers. In recent years the municipality has developed a strict policy in regard to parking, increasing both the enforcement of parking rules and the prices for parking. Alongside this development, the municipal department has become renowned for management’s active and ambitious work to improve the working environment for parking officers, and to employ diversity management. Regarding parking officers as street-level bureaucrats (Lipsky 2010), the paper addresses the characteristics of their work and the challenges posed to the individual employee and manager. Becoming a parking officer is not only a matter of being able to cope with people on the street, but also being able to cope with colleagues and managements’ particular expectations to your personality. Since the department of parking is part of a public organisation these expectations become all the more complicated (Hoggett 1996). They rely not only on the revenue from parking tickets and organizational credibility, but also on the availability of unskilled work for job-seekers and integration and retention efforts in staff-management.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2012
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventThe 6th Nordic Working Life Conference. 2012: Changing the World of Work - Helsingør, Denmark
    Duration: 25 Apr 201227 Apr 2012
    Conference number: 6


    ConferenceThe 6th Nordic Working Life Conference. 2012
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