The influence of regulative contents, stakeholders, and formalization on managerial autonomy perceived at the front line
In collaboration with Senior Researcher Bente Bjørnholt and PhD Student Stefan Boye, Associate Professor Nana Wesley Hansen, has contributed to the journal Public Administration Management with an article on ‘ The influence of regulative contents, stakeholders, and formalization on managerial autonomy perceived at the front line’
In the literature, the relationship between regulation and managerial autonomy at the front line remains unsolved. However, while policies, regulation, and reforms aim to increase managerial autonomy, the article argues that the impact of regulative changes relies on whether the individual public managers themselves perceive increased managerial autonomy. Thus, the perceptions of managerial autonomy are prerequisites for the use of the autonomy, i.e. the specific managerial behaviour. Moreover, little research has investigated the autonomy of frontline managers, where multiple layers of management, stakeholders, and the employees’ response to changes may influence how regulation affects the perception of managerial autonomy.
The article investigates the link between regulation and managerial autonomy by matching a panel of content coding of local regulation (N = 194) to a panel survey with five waves (n = 2,332) measuring perceived managerial autonomy of school managers in Denmark. The findings show no link between the specific content of the regulation and perceived managerial autonomy, whereas unilaterally decided regulation and formalized regulation decrease managerial autonomy. The results underline the regulatory process matter for frontline managers’ perception of autonomy.
Read the article: Bente Bjørnholt, Stefan Boye & Nana Wesley Hansen (2021): The influence of regulative contents, stakeholders, and formalization on managerial autonomy perceived at the front line, Public Management Review.