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Offentlig kultur i omvandling?: Om prestationsfinansiering och konkurrensutsättning av offentlig serviceverksamhet
Örebro University, Department of Social and Political Sciences.
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Public culture in transformation? : Financing public services by results and exposing them to competition (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to examine whether introducing organisational ideas, first used within the private trade and industry sector, in public affairs will have any effect on public culture. In focus for this study are financing by results and exposure to competition, which are standards institutionalised in the environment of the public organisations.

A result of the study is that the adoption of the standards financing by results and expo-sure to competition to a greater extent was based on a logic of appropriateness than on a logic of consequentiality. These very standards were considered the most appropriate and the obvious solution irrespective of how the problem was formulated. One reason for this might be that many other organisations already had introduced these standards, or were considering doing so. The adoption therefore gave legitimacy.

The adaptation of the standards to the organisation’s previously adapted standards resulted in increased uncertainty in the operational situation. As a consequence, the way in which the formulation of needs was viewed changed. The outcome of the adaptation can be described as a transformation. It thus differs from the kinds of outcome that are most often described within institutional organisation theory, namely coupling, rejection, decoupling and translation. Common to these is the assumption that the adaptation essentially only affects the actual adopted standards; that they will either be integrated into the organisation without problem or be rejected or remoulded until they fit in. Transformation on the other hand implies that it instead is those standards that already have been adapted that will be transformed. The standards strong enough to achieve this are specifically geared towards resource mobilisation.

Transformation tends in turn to result in a shift of the organisation culture, from being more hierarchical towards being more egalitarian or individualistic, in certain cases drawing towards fatalistic. The public culture that is presented in the Swedish constitutional laws and specific legislation can be described as egalitarian. To the public administration this culture is manifested through an administrative mission – considering everyone’s equality before the law and observing objectivity as well as impartiality – and an administrative-ethical mission – producing community values as opposed to private ones. The citizens’ personal notions of their needs (the demand) must be balanced against socially acknowledged needs, i.e. needs for those utilities that we together in a political process have agreed to help providing each other with. These utilities should be allocated based solely on the level of need.

A conclusion of the study is that the transformation process can lead to strategical priorities that challenge the public culture’s administrative-legal as well as administrative-ethical mission. However, if the values of the public culture are not fulfilled, the citizens’ confidence in public affairs might be undermined.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsbibliotek , 2003. , p. 311
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 7
Keywords [en]
Statsvetenskap, Institutionalised standard, Institutional organisation theory, Cultural theory, Public culture, Organisation culture, Financing by results, Exposure to competition, Legitimacy, statskunskap
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-34ISBN: 91-7668-353-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-34DiVA, id: diva2:136681
Public defence
2003-10-31, Hörsal D, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2003-10-06 Created: 2003-10-06 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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