Anyone who develops policy in the government is very likely to meet opposition from those for whom the policy is intended, and even from those for whom this policy is not intended at all. This thesis originated in the amazement of a spokesperson/communications advisor who, as a ‘policy repairer’, was often asked whether a planned measure, provision or service could be presented in a way that would prevent disappointment, allay irritation or avoid conflict. Rather than make policy understandable, you can make understandable policy. In 2012, communication is no longer the pejorative of an isolated discipline or department, which does not detract from the fact that communications professionals are urgently required to contribute to process-related (or better: process-rich) planning and landing of government policy. In part one two theoretical studies explain the key themes of government, work and resistance. In particular, we reflect on work situations whereby either the necessary evil must be applied or bold decisions taken. Part two consists of an empirical part containing two practical studies on workmeaning and on ‘system tensions’ resulting from the convergence of multiple interests and various specific characteristics of the government. In the third part, a conceptual model is presented and examined on the basis of case studies. This research supports the effectiveness of the coping strategy ‘empathising’ and the conclusion that ‘distancing’ is not an option while countering can fulfil a fall-back function, if compliance with agreements is involved. Finally conclusions provide a balance for the explorations and research. There is a great tendency towards communicative confrontation (‘comfrontation’) as soon as personal resources (extraversion, friendly attitude, care, intellectual autonomy and openness), professional ambition (‘secular calling’) and political realisation (knowledge of the (three) system tensions and control of the (five) strategies to bring others to bear) are available. This phasing shows how recognising resistance, acknowledging doubt, facilitating overtures, and defining a shared perspective lead to embedding. For the further development of political professionalism four competencies come to the fore. In doing so, an appeal is made for the creation of ‘communisprudence’: the systematic evaluation of best and bad practices.
|Award date||27 Apr 2012|
|Place of Publication||Enschede, The Netherlands|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Apr 2012|