Policy alienation and work alienation: Two worlds apart?
Abstract The notion of work alienation has been fascinating scholars and practitioners for a long time. In recent years, a related concept has been developed in the public administration discipline: policy alienation, which examines the alienation of public professionals from the policy they have to implement. In this paper, our goal is to study the distinctiveness (or similarity) of work alienation and policy alienation. Furthermore, we examine a number of effects of work and policy alienation. Based on a theoretical framework and a survey of 790 Dutch midwives, we show that work and policy alienation are clearly distinct concepts. Furthermore, we show that work alienation has a strong impact on work level outcomes, such as work effort and intention to leave the organization. Policy alienation strongly influences the intention of a worker to resist a new policy, and the related behavior. Hence, work and policy alienation have important but separate effects. This study underscores the usefulness of work and policy alienation for sociological and public administration research