Den gode medarbejder: En analyse af hvordan den gode medarbejder træder frem, når tillid er styringsteknologien

Morten Bruun Søgaard, Brian Lambrecht, Klaus Herholdt Froberg & Luise Riishede

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


Purpose The overall motivation of this thesis is driven by a common interest in our master-group; namely how actors can be seen as subjects, depending on the type of leadership and especially steering-technologies the actors operates in. The point is that steering-technologies always constructs certain meaningfulness, create contingency. That everything could be different, yet not at all. Steering-technologies make the construction of certain roles possible, and create certain conditions for steering. Our main question throughout the thesis is how the steering-technology “Management by trust” can be the source of creation for expectations of “the good employee” as a subject. We see that steering-technologies are not innocent. Throughout the thesis we ask of the concepts and communication that relates to “the good employee”. The idea of “the good employee" we consider to be a semantic construction that changes over time. Certain meaningfulness in the idea of “the good employee”, is not static and changes depending on which steering-technology that are applied in the public sector. Data, method and theory Our empirical data is based on analyzes of text, being a policy document, job advertisements, as well as four qualitative interviews, conducted in a semi-structured interview form. First we analyze a policy document in the form of “Moderniseringsredegørelsen af 1983” (Ministry of Finance, 1983). Secondly we look at Job postings from 1984, 1994 and 2014. All gathered from newspapers, magazines and on the Internet. The selected ads are limited to clerical and social-educator positions. Thirdly we analyze semi-structured qualitative solo interviews of 4 anonymous public managers at a strategic level. The theoretical basis of the master thesis primarily offsets in a Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen understanding and use of the German sociologist Niklas Luhmann's system theory, with a Foucauldian understanding of power. We choose in our analysis, to sit up by Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen's understanding and application of the semantic analysis strategy. With a semantic analysis, we can see how the formation of meaningfulness is generalized and takes the form of concepts that are available for communication of “the good employee” when “managing by trust”. Conclusions In our master thesis we can, on an overall perspective, conclude that in our selected time period of 30 years, steering is not seen as direct coercion, but rather as steering, which requires freedom. It is also a steering that arranges how freedom becomes possible, in a certain way. In 1983, the idea of “the good employee” are employees who allow themselves to impose individual responsibility and are motivated by individual compensation, in order to become better qualified and more productive than other public employees. In our 30 year historical perspective through job advertisements, we find that in 1984 there is an expectation that “the good employee”, possesses formal qualifications and thus is qualified for the position. In 1994 we see expectations of personal skills explicitly are being defined. We find, for example, that “the good employee” must be able to enter into relation with other people. “The good employee” must in 2014 possess multiple personal skills, be able to create dialogue and cooperation with others, and constantly show commitment and good humor. It is in 2014 no longer sufficient for “the good employee” to attend work only to perform a predefined task. When the strategic management level talks about “the good employee”, paradoxes can be observed in that the “good employee” must deliver higher quality for less money, within an indefinable frame of expectations. “The good employee” is expected to both keep within the frame, and take on the freedom to challenge the frame. “The good employee” is expected to be able to work in a constant and never-ending process of change. It is expected that the good employee never will be satisfied with him or herself, the level of knowledge or working practices, never to find peace, and always will be heading towards something new. The employee must burn for learning, and the flame must never burn out. We see in our analysis, that there are multiple expectations for the good employee, when 7 an organization is “managed by trust”. “The good employee” must be able to observe himself, in his own work, and here to see how anything can be done smarter, for the benefit of all. The employee is expected to take responsibility for being the bearer of its own infinite potential. We have shown that the good employee is expected to step into many different and complex roles, in which the employee is expected to be able to cope in multiple relationships and diverging dialogues. An employee must therefore be both one and many. The outlook for “the good employees” becomes such that they are responsibility-taking, self-managing and self-responsible for ensuring that tasks are performed correctly and that the organization will have met its needs. “The good employee” must therefore even figure out what specifically is expected in the situation, and so it must be done with personal enthusiasm. “The good employee” must show enthusiasm and commitment, while the organization is always in motion and in a state of chaos. “The good employee's” personality is made subject to steering.

EducationsMaster of Public Administration, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages104