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Audit Culture and the Case Worker: A Study of the Public Employment Service and the Social Insurance Agency

This project aims to study and compare audit culture and its implications for caseworkers in the Swedish Public Employment Service (PES) and the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (SSIA). This includes:

1) to study and compare the current system of governance and monitoring of the two agencies (from political decisions and steering of the agencies, organizational policies and technologies down to the governance and control of the individual caseworker);

2) to investigate the implications of these forms of governance for the individual caseworker, her professional role and identity as well as her emotional experiences and management.

The project combines theories on organizational governance with theories on the self-governance of individuals, including theories on emotion management in organizations. Empirically, the project combines different data sources, such as interviews with management at all levels in the two agencies and with caseworkers in one local office, policy documents and mapping of policy and monitoring technologies, staff training material, organizational routines, in combination with ethnographic observations by shadowing caseworkers in their daily work (excluding direct client encounters). The project explores what audit culture does to the organization and to the individual in the organization. Comparing the two agencies also enables us to see if audit culture plays out differently in different welfare bureaucracies and if so, why.

Project time: 2015-2018

For more information, contact Kerstin Jacobsson

Page Manager: Anders Östebo|Last update: 3/23/2015

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