Managerialism in Social Work

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This British evidence fits with the range of evidence from the USA and other countries assembled dismiss the thesis of the managerial revolution and establishes that the claim of separation of ownership and control is well described as a ‘pseudo fact’. He points out that ‘growth, sales, technical efficiency, a strong competitive position are at once inseparable managerial goals and the determinants of high corporate profits’. These corporate profits are the prerequisites of high managerial income and status. The high status and material rewards which can be achieved by the membership of a managerial occupation are dependent on the contribution made to profit achievement or at least to the continued survival of the corporation in a context where too great a deviation from profitable performance would lead to collapse or takeover. The ownership of wealth and the control of work organizations are closely related, on the basis of this kind of evidence. It is the case, however, that ownership of enterprises is far more dispersed than it was in the past with the growth of an ‘impersonal’ structure of possession which has not, however, ‘resulted in a loss of power by wealthy persons’. both managers and owners play their parts in the same ‘constellations of interest’ which are dominant. Moreover, similarly and uses the term ‘ruling class’ to cover the economic, cultural and political ‘bloc’ created by the alliances arise between capitalist and middle-class managerial class interests. Apart from this is inevitably played by interlocking company directorships whereby the ‘pattern of meetings’ which these involve are ‘reinforced by a network of kinship and friendship’. The importance of kin networks is shown by Marceau’s (1989) research on European business graduates. She demonstrates how the ‘international business elite’ which she sees emerging uses kin networks as sources of prestige, information, and finance. Power, managerial careers, wealth ownership, and prestige are all closely interlinked in practice.
The British scholar Christopher Pollitt (1990) has given this question considerable thought and has done some valuable work that is especially instructive here. In a searching critique of managerialism and its influence on the British and American public services, he builds an intriguing argument that managerialism needs to be understood as an ideology, and one with some concrete and immediate consequences (xi). Pollitt asserts that managerialism consists of a set of beliefs, values, and ideas about the state of the world and how it should be. He identifies five core beliefs of managerialism. The main route to social progress now lies through the achievement of continuing increases in economically defined productivity. Such productivity increases will mainly come from the application of ever-more-sophisticated technologies. These include information and organizational technologies as well as the technological `hardware’ for producing material goods.