Professional judgement – cohesive management, leadership and organization within the social field

The balance between the need for control and autonomy is one of the big dilemmas in professional management. Professional employees typically wish for a high degree of autonomy, while the centrally placed officials in municipalities, regions, and state wish for a tighter control in order to secure the economy and an even quality in public service.

Together with Ann Hermansen and Simon Østergaard Møller I am finishing writing a book dealing with the way these dilemmas are unfolding in practice. We are aware of the fact that much has already been written – but at the same time we recognize the need for an input demonstrating how management and leadership are able to support rather than counteract each other in a system where professionals feel that management requirements undermine their professionalism, while the responsible leaders and politicians experience a lack of knowledge and control of the areas, they are responsible for. We argue that sound management and leadership are important, supporting rather than undermining a sound professional practice, because a proper functioning public sector is dependent on teachers, pedagogues, social workers, psychologists, doctors and other professionals in the frontline of the welfare state making the “right decisions” in their interactions with the citizens. But how do you make this a starting point in your thinking about leadership – and which implications does it have for managerial priorities? Initially we think it is imperative making a sound problem analysis and asking the right questions rather than resorting to the favourite fix as the first thing.

The book will come out at the end of the year at Djøf’s Forlag

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If you work in a municipality, in a private organization, if you are looking for a partner or are curious to know more, then contact us!