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  • 1.
    Hultkrantz, Lars
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Vimefall, Elin
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Social Investment Funds in Sweden: Status and Design Issues2017In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 2001-7405, E-ISSN 2001-7413, Vol. 21, no 3, p. 85-108Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Long-term investments in individual and social human capital such as preschool, school, family support, early-intervention for youth at risk and other programmes that are part of the welfare services provided by local government in Sweden are generally managed with one-year-ahead budget planning. In the light of criticism that the resulting resource allocation is biased due to short-sightedness, silo mentality and risk aversion, in recent years more than a fifth of Swedish municipalities have established “social investment funds” for promoting investment and innovation views on such measures. This article provides a background on the motives and current status of these funds at the national level and describes in more detail the design and project funding in two cases. Two critical design issues are discussed; whether investment returns should be paid back to the fund and whether assessment should be made of societal benefits other than costs avoided.

  • 2.
    Karlsson, Tom S.
    et al.
    School of Public Administration, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Olsson, Jan
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Considering (New Public) Civil Servants: Emerging Roles and Contexs2018In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 2001-7405, E-ISSN 2001-7413, Vol. 22, no 3, p. 3-16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Public organizations In the 21stcentury, are increasingly complex in terms of multiple institutional rules, norms, and practices. This complexity constitutes a difficult challenge for civil servants to find and determine appropriate identities, roles and relationships in their everyday work.  For this special issue we made a call for scholars to contribute new addressing the roles of civil servants within increasingly complex public sector organizations, focusing on a couple of interrelated research questions:

    • What is the nature of public administration taking into consideration increasing institutional complexity in terms of persistent bureaucratic traditions, new public management solutions, participatory ideals, activist sentiments among officials and so forth?
    • What are the consequences of this institutional complexity for the possibility of preserving a coherent, rule-governed public administration and what does public mean today in public administration?
    • What types of roles are civil servants playing in relation to different institutional rules and norms and various categories of actor (politicians, citizens, organizations) and how do they handle frictions and conflicts?
    • What type of conceptions of civil servants’ roles are developing, including public service ethics? What alternative and contesting role-conceptions and ethics are prevalent and supported?

    This introduction should be understood as being both a summary of the current state of research in relation to civil service – its predicaments and challenges – as well as being a suggestion for future attention among scholars and practitioners. We have thus written this introduction not only with the purpose of summarizing the main components inherent in the six articles that are included in this special issue but with the hope of also spurring discussions concerning what civil service has been, currently seems to be and might become in the future.

  • 3.
    Nyström Höög, Catharina
    et al.
    Department of Scandinavian Languages, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Björkvall, Anders
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Keeping the Discussion Among Civil Servants Alive: ‘Platform of Values’ as an Emerging Genre Within the Public Sector in Sweden.2018In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 2001-7405, E-ISSN 2001-7413, Vol. 22, no 3, p. 17-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A defining feature of contemporary public authorities in Scandinavia end elsewhere is the production of texts labelled platform of values or core values. Previous research has pointed to at least three factors contributing to this development: an increased interest in the ethics in the public sector, new forms of management and control, and the importance of the external promotion of public authorities. This paper presents an analysis of how different groups of civil servants in Sweden perceive and use "platform of values" texts as part of their professional practices. The paper draws on two types of data - a focus group with senior HR officers and a quantitative survey to civil servants. Critical Genre Analysis is presented as a methodological framework for understanding "value texts" as social actions. The results show that platform of values practices are connected to the creation of the "ethically aware" public servant; that neither their connection to control over civil servants nor to the external promotion of the authority are directly recognised, whereas their connection to goal achievement is; and that the role of the "value texts" as such has been somewhat overrated in previous research - it is the dialogue about the values that matters.

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