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Managing Multiplicity: On Control, Care and the Individual
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This is a thesis about managing multiplicity. It analyses how people working in municipalities are managing, controlling, and caring for the complex and contradictory world they live in. Building on more than 100 interviews and observations, the thesis examines the multiple realities of those who work in public sector organisations. By studying (1) the work of managers on different organisational levels, controllers, professionals responsible for the care of others and, to a lesser extent, politicians; (2) the management control systems that are used in the work, and (3) the ongoing debates and legislations directed towards the management of care practices, the thesis makes an effort to analyse how the realities of these individuals; those active in controlling and caring, are constructed.

The thesis makes several contributions to the literatures on management control and public management. Where earlier studies are either based on a functionalist conception of management control and public management (in which performance measures and control systems are tools in the hands of managers, that enable them to control other practices), or focused on understanding how control contributes to the construction of reality (making reality ontologically coherent, and therefore controllable), the present thesis argues that management can be approached and analysed as a practice devoted to managing ontological multiplicity, rather than as an activity devoted to control other practices or making reality controllable.

By using the concept of ontological politics, the thesis shows that control often fails to make reality controllable, which makes the practice of management reliant on alternative ways to manage. The alternative to control that is analysed in the thesis is care, and the thesis argues that care could be seen as a way to manage, rather than as something that should be controlled: care is complementary to control when it comes to management. The thesis explicates how management by care is done in relation to management by control, and how they may become resources for each other in managing the complex and contradictory public sector.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University , 2015. , p. 82
Keywords [en]
Management control, Local governments, New Public Management, Ontological politics, Care
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-71695ISBN: 978-91-7649-171-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-71695DiVA, id: diva2:1281740
Public defence
2015-06-11, Gröjersalen, Hus 3, Kräftriket, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Accepted. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2019-01-23 Created: 2019-01-23 Last updated: 2019-01-23Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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