Økonomistyring og faglighed på anbringelsesområdet

Hans Eriksen

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


It seems that the Municipality of Brøndby has managed to tighten financial management in the area of children’s social care, without negatively affecting, neither the social workers’ well-being, nor the quality of their work. On the contrary, I took the liberty even to claim that social workers seemed to have boosted their professionalism. But since this seemed to be too good to be true, I stated my problem for this masters-thesis as: What may have caused the apparent increase resource awareness among social workers: 1. Have they been forced to think like economists or, 2. has their profession's view changed. As a theoretical apparatus in relation to analyzing the social workers way of thinking, I chose that part of the motivation theories that deal with public service motivation. As my theoretical apparatus for the organizational analysis, I chose state models. Through combining these theoretical apparatuses, I concluded that if the social workers had been pressured to think like economists, it would result in displacement of their public service motivation. However, if they had taken financial management into their profession's view, their public service motivation would be intact or even enhanced. I chose to use the social workers' perception of the fulfillment of the needs for competence, autonomy and social relations as an indicator of their public service motivation. The empirical analysis did not give a clear answer to the stated problem. I found evidence that the social workers in Brøndby are at a reasonably high level in relation to the fulfillment of the three needs, and I therefore concluded that they have a high degree of public service motivation. However, the analysis also showed that their public service motivation may well have decreased. It was only in relation to the perception of competence that it fairly clearly seemed that the level was at least as high in 2013 as it was in 2009. Analysis of the experience of autonomy showed a mixed picture, and in relation to social relations, it was clearly negative. It is of course only on the average level, that the answer is unclear. At the individual level the social workers all have appear to have had an increased or a decreased public service motivation as a consequence of the tightening of financial management. So all in all, the answer to the question is that some social workers have been forced to think like economists, and others have changed their profession’s view.

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages44