NPM resistance: A political intervention

Kari Nyland, Per Christian Ahlgren, Irvine Lapsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This study examines a case of resistance in a world of NPM practices (Lapsley, 2009; Hyndman and Lapsley, 2016) where the calculative practices of new managerialism dominate the landscape of public services (Kurunmäki et al. 2016; Shore and Wright, 2015). Our case revolves around a large Norwegian Health Authority in which Ambulance services had been outsourced for an extended period of time, as a prevalent feature of a neoliberal NPM agenda. In 2011, politicians as representatives on the board of directors decided that all ambulance services should be reintegrated as part of public health services. The decision to insource was politically motivated and the process of promoting this agenda of change was driven by a tactic where accounting numbers were deliberately disconnected from the decision-making process and disregarded. This case shows a story of how a political intervention successfully challenged the neoliberal thinking that underpins NPM. Whilst accounting and its calculative practices have been demonstrated as a central feature of NPM enactment, this case illustrates how the tactical use and non-use of accounting became a strategy for the successful rejection of core features of NPM.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
Issue number4
Early online date7 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • healthcare
  • neoliberal
  • NPM
  • politicians
  • resistance


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