Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Social Welfare


Mimi Abramovitz

Committee Members

Daniel Gardner

James Mandiberg

Subject Categories

Social Policy | Social Welfare | Social Work


Managerialism, New Public Management, Substance Abuse, Social Work Practice, Human Services


Neoliberal economic policies have led to changes within the field of human services in the United States since the mid-1970s. These policies, which seek to reduce the role of thefederal government through tactics such as privatization, continue to be evident across human services organizations today. This policy approach is operationalized through New Public Management (NPM), which is also referred to as ‘Managerialism’, and is characterized by output-orientated, quantitative focused, performance based measures and evidence-based practice. These characteristics have impacted the workforce in human service organizations. Using qualitative semi-structured interviews of front line workers, this dissertation will examine the effects of Managerialism on workers in the sector of substance abuse treatment within the larger human services context. These front line workers offer a unique perspective since substance abuse treatment is an area within social service delivery that has seen many policy transitions towards a Managerialism model.