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Access to justice for disadvantaged communities$
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Marjorie Mayo, Gerald Koessl, Matthew Scott, and Imogen Slater

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447311027

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447311027.001.0001

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Alienation and demoralisation, or continuing labours of love?

Alienation and demoralisation, or continuing labours of love?

Chapter:
(p.103) Eight Alienation and demoralisation, or continuing labours of love?
Source:
Access to justice for disadvantaged communities
Author(s):

Marjorie Mayo

Gerald Koessl

Matthew Scott

Imogen Slater

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447311027.003.0009

This chapter brings together the evidence on the impact of these changes on staff motivation and commitment. The New Public Management has been criticised for assuming that people in general – and public service professionals more specifically – can't be trusted, needing the discipline of targets and close monitoring. This negative approach fails to take account of the actual motivations and values of those involved, it has been argued, motivations and values that may actually be undermined by the imposition of target-type cultures, such as those associated with the New Public Management. The research did indeed identify examples of disaffection and demoralisation among Law Centre staff and volunteers. Some were so alienated that they were actually leaving, feeling that it was becoming impossible to work in ways that were consistent with their professional values any longer. More widely though, there were inspiring examples of continuing commitment amongst staff and volunteers, giving of their time as ‘labours of love’. This was despite the pressures and dilemmas that they were experiencing, dilemmas that would have been less draining for them personally if they had not been investing so much emotional labour in the process.

Keywords:   alienation of Law Centre staff, labour of love, emotional labour, professional values

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