When the Private Mindset Seeps into the Public Sector: Destabilization of Collectives and the Reflux of Participation

“Special Report”: Being Part of the Working World
By Sabine Fortino

This article examines the impact of new public management (NPM) practices on the work of public agents and the autonomous collectives of employees in this sector. By successively studying the new professional prescriptions and the management techniques which individualize employees and threaten the professions’ specificity, we show how NPM makes a professional group vulnerable by overcoming the capacities of resistance. Also, we argue that the definition of work’s meaning and finalities plays a key role in the current difficulties of employee participation.


  • New Public Management
  • management practices
  • transformations of work
  • suffering collectives
  • competition
  • impeded participation
  • conflicts about work’s meaning
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