Making work invisible: New public management and operational work in critical infrastructure sectors

Studio Apertura

Based on a study of reliability consequences of New Public Management (NPM) reforms in Norwegian critical infrastructure sectors, this article suggests that the discourse of work found in NPM renders essential aspects of operational work invisible—including practices that are known to be of importance for reliability. We identify two such organizationally ‘invisible’ characteristics of operational work: the ongoing situational coordination required for keeping a water supply system or an electricity grid running, and the aggregating operational history within which this happens.