Professions in Policy and Knowledge Transfer: Adaptations of Lean Management, and Jurisdictional Conflict in a Reform of the French Public Service

Abstract : The question of how lean management has been transferred to public services and adapted in differing professional and international contexts, though important, is underresearched in sociology and political science. This article addresses one main issue concerning lean: what role do professions play in the transfer and implementation of policy and knowledge? This article draws on policy transfer theories and the sociology of professions to examine how consultants and the French state agency in charge of “modernizing the administration” worked to implement lean management within national and local French public services, including the judicial system. This led them to take principles and methods developed in the private and corporate sectors and translate them to public, professional, and state rationales. Lean is a multipurpose management tool, and so easier for professionals to appropriate despite “jurisdictional conflicts” (Abbott 1988), either with consultants or else between professional groups. The article shows how the transfer of managerial instruments, rationale, and know-how can, in many cases, challenge professionalism and generate resistance
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Submitted on : Monday, November 30, 2015 - 4:13:23 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 1:04:03 AM

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Cécile Vigour. Professions in Policy and Knowledge Transfer: Adaptations of Lean Management, and Jurisdictional Conflict in a Reform of the French Public Service. International Journal of Sociology, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2015, 45 (2), pp.112-132. ⟨10.1080/00207659.2015.1061855⟩. ⟨halshs-01235760⟩

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