Moderne dagtilbudsledelse mellem fornuft og følelser: Et kritisk blik på Kvalitetsreformens problematisering af ledelse

Frederik C.E. Brünner

Student thesis: Master thesis


In this thesis it is investigated how local management in the Danish public daycare sector is being modernized through the recent Quality-Reform's thematization and problematization of management. It is explored why the implementation of this reform, unlike earlier reforms, has not been dependent on the extensive use of hierarchy, rules or micromanaging from central government agencies, but instead has relied on involving and empowering local middle managers. In this regard a paradox is explored: The empowered managers, who are all trained daycare educators (pædagoger), were very aware and outspoken about the dangers of setting quality standards for children's competencies - e.g. stigmatization and social exclusion -, but at the same time they seemed to overlook the fact that they were in the midst of implementing the same kind of quality standards regarding how they themselves must be competent in different areas. To understand this paradox the thesis investigates how the technical and creative use of different discursive and social techniques such as partnerships is used to translate political rationalities regarding public sector effectiveness to be in line with the personal objectives and beliefs of local managers. Further it looks at how different discourses and rationalities found within the neo-liberal political movement such as New Public Management and Human Resource Management interact with the discourses, rationalities and practices in the daycare sector and how this interaction creates new forms of self-governing, which may result in new social pathologies such as stress. To shed light on the above issues two theoretical perspectives are combined - both of which draw heavily on the works of Michel Foucault. Norman Fairclough's Critical Discourse Analysis is combined with Nikolas Rose and Mitchell Dean's governmentality perspective.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages106