Introduction The relationship between work organization and psychosocial well-being factors usually assessed in the relationship between managers, those responsible for the organization, and employees. In a systemic view, this subdivision is certainly simplistic, but there are situations in which it is also misleading. This is particularly the case for managers in the public sector, such as municipal managers, whose autonomy is confronted with the political dimension, represented by councillors. In this paper, we want to highlight the relationship and the representation of authority, as a modulator of health and organization. Method. Training activity, articulated in frontal lessons and activities in small and large groups with the managers (N17) of a large municipality in northern Italy. Results. Political interference in work management and organization is not an openly discussed topic but it emerges as a background that is (almost) forgotten. In a specific training activity, in which the two groups experimented two different ways of exercising authority, it emerged that, although the ability to respond correctly to the delivery of work was preserved in both groups, the possibility of accessing more creative solutions and better results linked to a more supportive than directive relationship with authority.Conclusions The possibility of entering a dialogical rather than obedient relationship with authority seems to promote better and more creative performance. Designing work organization in functional terms does not seem to be reconcilable with immediate responses to political urgencies.

Representations of authority and work organization in public sector. A difficult balancing between political pressure and authority deployment

Angela Carta
;
Stefano Porru
;
2022

Abstract

Introduction The relationship between work organization and psychosocial well-being factors usually assessed in the relationship between managers, those responsible for the organization, and employees. In a systemic view, this subdivision is certainly simplistic, but there are situations in which it is also misleading. This is particularly the case for managers in the public sector, such as municipal managers, whose autonomy is confronted with the political dimension, represented by councillors. In this paper, we want to highlight the relationship and the representation of authority, as a modulator of health and organization. Method. Training activity, articulated in frontal lessons and activities in small and large groups with the managers (N17) of a large municipality in northern Italy. Results. Political interference in work management and organization is not an openly discussed topic but it emerges as a background that is (almost) forgotten. In a specific training activity, in which the two groups experimented two different ways of exercising authority, it emerged that, although the ability to respond correctly to the delivery of work was preserved in both groups, the possibility of accessing more creative solutions and better results linked to a more supportive than directive relationship with authority.Conclusions The possibility of entering a dialogical rather than obedient relationship with authority seems to promote better and more creative performance. Designing work organization in functional terms does not seem to be reconcilable with immediate responses to political urgencies.
work organization; psychosocial risk factors; management
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1058503
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