Social capital practices as adaptive drivers for local adjustment of new public management in schools

Kristian Gylling Olesen, Peter Hasle, Ole Sørensen

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New public management (NPM) reforms have typically undermined teachers’ autonomy, values, and status in society. This article questions whether such reforms automatically have these outcomes or whether and how possibilities for local adjustment of such reforms may prevent negative outcomes. Drawing on empirical case studies from two Danish municipal schools and the concept of organisational social capital, we investigate how two reform initiatives – ‘student plan-based school–home collaboration’ and ‘teamwork’ – were locally adjusted into collaborative practices. The analysis demonstrates surprising local adjustments of the reform initiatives, while also revealing some ambiguities. The results demonstrate that some reform initiatives can lead to new collaborative leadership and management practices in schools that solve the central school leadership and management tasks of coordination and planning. This indicates that collaborative leadership and management practices may emerge from NPM reforms, and that such practices can prevent negative outcomes of such reforms.
TidsskriftSchool Leadership & Management (Print)
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)333-352
StatusUdgivet - 26 maj 2016


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