Midlevel public officials do not understand the consequences of New Public Management

Vision no 3 2019. Jonas Froberg is a playwright, who this autumn will stage his play: “The Swedish coup d’état” (Den Osynliga Statskuppen) about the management of Gothenburg City. Here is a link to a new interview in Vision, a Swedish union magazine for midlevel public management.

Vision: Is the play based on reality?
Jonas: In 2008 I was asked by the Mayor of Gothenburg to mirror how the City lives up to its own mission statements. What I discovered, is the foundation of the play. So yes, the play is based on reality.

Vision: What did you discover?
Jonas: Mid level management knows how to run, but does not really understand the consequences of NPM, New Public Management – a system of control that governs all cities in Sweden. It leads to bureaucratisation, de-professionalisation and a cleaning out of all other values than the strictly economical.

Vision: Why a play?
Jonas: We want to tell what we have experienced. For us, it is a labour of mourning.

Vision: Who do you want to come?
Jonas: Midlevel city officials, to help them deal with NPM, to reflect upon the system and take back the initiative.

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