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Between rationalization and mystification Selection of professionals, calculation, proliferation and rarefaction

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Gustaf Kastberg
Publicerad i New Public Sector Seminar
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Förvaltningshögskolan
Språk en
Ämnesord public sector; calculation; profession
Ämneskategorier Studier av offentlig förvaltning

Sammanfattning

This paper is about a hard choice for managers, that of selecting professional staff for promotion. Creating a process of selecting and promoting is a process of valuing and categorizing. By illuminating the process of selecting professionals, we contribute to the literature on how rationality is introduced and tensions are handled. We could discern three categories of activities conceptualized as visualization, manipulation and corroboration. The rationalized process led to, instead of the identification of the “perfect one”, the result of a decision the actors could accept. The process of rationalization meant silencing. By bringing up different criteria, a variety of concerns where considered and dismissed. The three concepts of visualization, manipulation and corroboration show how this was by no means an easy thing to do and how the heavy “investments” in a rational process also created space for judgment based decisions. Just as rationality has to be introduced through active elaborations, incalculabilities has too, and our study illuminates how this was done in one case. The interpretation made is that the introduction of a rational model also facilitated the co-existence of mysticism as a practice in the selection process.

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