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dc.contributor.authorOrr, Kevin
dc.contributor.authorBennett, Mike
dc.identifier.citationOrr , K & Bennett , M 2021 , ' Imagine there’s no heaven : imaginaries of local government austerity ' , Organization , vol. First Online .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 275775096
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 239cb8be-2a7e-4ace-947e-4c6d142640e8
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-3024-3997/work/101958888
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85117498943
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000710612400001
dc.description.abstractThis article critically analyses the management of public sector austerity. Focusing on the case of UK local government chief executives, we develop the concept of austerity imaginaries. We provide four examples of these based on extensive interviewing. Offered as a theoretical concept, austerity imaginaries involve shared understandings of the role and potential for local government during times of acute fiscal pressure. We contribute empirical knowledge about the local dynamics of austerity and contribute to critical scholarship in this field. We argue that a simple thesis of ruination and destruction can obscure the creative work involved at the front line and we advocate the value of engaging both critically and empathetically with the everyday meanings in action of public managers working in circumstances far from their choosing. At the same time, the imaginaries reveal the insidious ways in which neoliberal assumptions about the public sector appear to delimit the scope for action.
dc.rightsCopyright © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages.en
dc.subjectPublic sectoren
dc.subjectHD28 Management. Industrial Managementen
dc.titleImagine there’s no heaven : imaginaries of local government austerityen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Managementen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for the Study of Philanthropy & Public Gooden
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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