Kvalitet og ledelse: Muligheder og betingelser

Mark Philip Jacobsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This master thesis concerns the construction and current state of quality and management in public welfare services. Focusing on the use of standards for quality (quality standards) in caring for the elderly, we show, how the application of a specific managerial tool, has numerous consequences for the organisation in which it is applied. The thesis uses as case the current quality standards for the eldercare in Høje-Taastrup municipality. In this thesis we use the work of Niklas Luhmann and in doing so apply a systems theoretical approach to the aforementioned matters of quality and management. The premise is simple: we observe society as communication, and we take for granted that the observed emerges only as consequence of a particular distinction made by the observer. Rather than taking a more traditional approach to management we analyse quality standards as steering technology, meaning steering technology is the point of entry for the analysis. In doing this quality as well as management becomes a matter of steering technology. Other than steering technology the thesis applies such terms as difference minimizing, causality, organisation, decision and construction of individual to the analysis. Our analysis shows how the quality standard is implemented and applied in various ways, on different levels in the eldercare. From a steering optimist point of view quality standards are viewed as a meaningful tool which enables the linkage between political purposes, civil servants, careworkers and citizens, in a unified pursuit of quality. But rather than being a tool which coordinates the eldercare in a common understanding of quality our analysis points towards their being three different usage’s of quality standards, with three different ensuing consequences for management. This is substantiated by three separate steering technology analyses of how the quality standard is applied with regards to civil servants, careworkers and the elderly. The key points of the analysis are discussed with reference to three different major issues: a diagnostic, a theoretical and a strategic. Based on the analysis and discussions the thesis concludes that, when quality standards are applied in the eldercare, it risks the disablement of potential valuable communication between civil servants, careworkers and citizens.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2008
Number of pages140