Francesca Peruzzo, Emiliano Grimaldi, Alessandro Arienzo, Giuseppe D’Onofrio, Claudio Franchi & Pietro Sebastianelli (2022) New public management reforms and industrial relations in the Italian education system. A cultural political economy approach, Journal of Educational Administration and History
This article focuses on the relation between new public management (NPM) reforms and changing patterns of industrial relations (IRs) and social dialogue in the Italian education system. Drawing on data from the research project ‘Social dialogue and industrial relations in education: The challenges of multi-level governance and privatisation in Europe’ (IR-EDUREFORM), it uses cultural political economy to explore the effects of autonomy, evaluation, and management as policy technologies on teacher unions’ collective bargaining, workplace representation and industrial action. Through the Italian case, the study analyses how NPM reforms operated three distinctive transformations: decentralisation of bargaining to school level, juridification and individualisation of industrial action and a shift from collective to professional unions. Beyond critically exploring the implications of NPM reforms and the processes of decollectivation and individualisation of IRs and social dialogue in education, the study also highlights some potential for the emergence of novel sites for collective representation.
KEYWORDS: Industrial relations in education, social dialogue, NPM, teacher, unionscultural political economy