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  • Ценностные ориентиры и опыт неолиберальных реформ в российских регионах: дилеммы социального менеджмента

Article

Ценностные ориентиры и опыт неолиберальных реформ в российских регионах: дилеммы социального менеджмента

The article offers sociological perspective on the reform of social services in the Russian regions frames of the New Public Management (NPM) in the context of the developing inter-sector cooperation in the emerging quasi-markets of social services. These reforms imply not only the renewal of management philosophy and tools, but also changes at the cultural level. In this regard, the study is aimed at identifying how social managers explain the need for a transition to new relations, what tools they have, what value contradictions arise in the field of decision-making on the issues of reforming the system of social services and in the practice of management.

The study is based on the analysis of semi-structured interviews with regional administrators and managers of social services of various legal forms. Interviews address the challenges faced by the informants during reforms in the framework of the new social management (NPM). These reforms not only modify management philosophy and tools but also restructure the worldviews and practices of service providers and users. In this regard, the study is aimed at identifying how NPM values are interpreted by the actors of transformation of social service system in the Russian regions. The study was conducted within the critical and interpretative traditions of sociology of management and showed that heads of organizations and regional administrators share values of and put into practice the tools of the new public management, but they are faced with the immanent inconsistency of this doctrine. Client-centeredness and initiative are not so easy to bring in concert with the requirements of efficiency. Decentralization does not help avoid close monitoring, while quality of services is difficult to maintain under the conditions of rationalization. Nevertheless, the discourses of budget saving and humanization of services do not always contradict each other, as managers strive to compromise different logics in the relationship between the state, an organization, employees and clients.