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ERIC Number: EJ811115
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1598-1037
Competence Development in the Public Sector: Development, or Dismantling of Professionalism?
Hjort, Katrin
Asia Pacific Education Review, v9 n1 p40-49 Feb 2008
For more than a decade, competence development has been a key concept of modern management in both the private and the public sector, but to some extent its meaning and practice have been different in the two sectors. In the public sector in particular, competence development has been closely related to a number of other buzzwords characterizing dominant Neo-Liberal political conceptions, such as Lifelong Learning, New Public Management, Market Orientation and Decentralization. From an idealistic point of view, competence development is intended to promote professionalism, understood as knowledge creation, self-management and the ethical commitment of civil servants. However, the development has increasingly involved elements of supervision, declining flexibility and time consuming evaluation, which may have contributed to the de-qualification and de-motivation of civil servants. It is therefore a basic question as to whether the learning activities normally labelled as competence development are part of a developing or a dismantling process in relation to professionalism in the public sector. This paper seeks to deal with this question in so far as it relates to the case of Denmark, which is usually regarded as a significant example of the so-called Nordic Welfare State Model, implying the strong, democratic and service-minded role of the public sector. (Contains 1 table.)
Education Research Institute, Seoul National University. Department of Education, 599 Kwanak-Ro, Kwanak-Gu, Seoul 151-748, South Korea. Tel: +82-2-880-5896; Fax: +82-2-889-6508; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark