Advanced

I marknadens namn : mångtydiga reformer i svenska kommuner

Blomquist, Christine LU (1996)
Abstract
This dissertation reports on a study of reform processes in public organisations. It describes how two municipalities planned and attempted the introduction of the purchaser-supplier model. This type of reform reflects one important contemporary idea - that of the market as an all-encompassing institution. The study focuses on the very process of reforming, with the aim of providing an alternative, i.e. non-normative presentation of this process. This is done within the framework of institutional organisation theory.



In order to account for the fact that changes are not only deliberate, but also adaptive and unpredictable, the reforms are interpreted as processes of translation. The concept of translation makes it... (More)
This dissertation reports on a study of reform processes in public organisations. It describes how two municipalities planned and attempted the introduction of the purchaser-supplier model. This type of reform reflects one important contemporary idea - that of the market as an all-encompassing institution. The study focuses on the very process of reforming, with the aim of providing an alternative, i.e. non-normative presentation of this process. This is done within the framework of institutional organisation theory.



In order to account for the fact that changes are not only deliberate, but also adaptive and unpredictable, the reforms are interpreted as processes of translation. The concept of translation makes it possible to grasp the ambiguity, dynamism and complexity of the reforming process.



The notion of translation allows a theoretical link to be constructed between stability and change. The study shows that while change is brought about and reflected in a change of language, the established images of the organisation are reproduced in this process. It was possible to discern a conflict between the explicit desire to be specific and thus distinguish oneself from others, and the fear that the process might lead to a situation were municipalities become more like other organisations. This conflict is interpreted as a tension between the creation of a particular and a universal identity. Thus, it is argued that an important outcome of reforms is not only that they create new activities but that reforms create new identities. It is shown how reforms reshape the actors', i.e. the individuals' and organisations', opinions of themselves and, accordingly, their opinion of the appropriate way to act.



The plurality of meaning explains the fact that an organisation can have multiple identities. Plurality of meaning thus creates an ambiguity that extends the range of action, since actors can choose an appropriate identity to act upon. The emerging organisational identity influences the kind of translations that will be carried out in the future. Interpreting reforms as identity-transforming processes moves the focus of attention from the short-term to the long-term consequences of change. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • unknown], [unknown
organization
alternative title
In the name of the market. On the ambiguity of reforms in Swedish municipalities.
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Political and administrative sciences, public organisations., identtity, translation, reform processes. ambiguity, Institutions, institutional and organisational change, Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap
pages
233 pages
publisher
Nerenius & Santérus
defense location
Crafoordsalen, Lunds universitet
defense date
1996-04-19 10:15
external identifiers
  • Other:ISRN: LUSADG/SAEK--96/1031--SE
ISBN
91-88384-83-7
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
6b0a25cf-a5cb-48a8-bc0f-682f81f618d3 (old id 17791)
date added to LUP
2007-05-24 10:28:57
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:02
@misc{6b0a25cf-a5cb-48a8-bc0f-682f81f618d3,
  abstract     = {This dissertation reports on a study of reform processes in public organisations. It describes how two municipalities planned and attempted the introduction of the purchaser-supplier model. This type of reform reflects one important contemporary idea - that of the market as an all-encompassing institution. The study focuses on the very process of reforming, with the aim of providing an alternative, i.e. non-normative presentation of this process. This is done within the framework of institutional organisation theory.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
In order to account for the fact that changes are not only deliberate, but also adaptive and unpredictable, the reforms are interpreted as processes of translation. The concept of translation makes it possible to grasp the ambiguity, dynamism and complexity of the reforming process.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The notion of translation allows a theoretical link to be constructed between stability and change. The study shows that while change is brought about and reflected in a change of language, the established images of the organisation are reproduced in this process. It was possible to discern a conflict between the explicit desire to be specific and thus distinguish oneself from others, and the fear that the process might lead to a situation were municipalities become more like other organisations. This conflict is interpreted as a tension between the creation of a particular and a universal identity. Thus, it is argued that an important outcome of reforms is not only that they create new activities but that reforms create new identities. It is shown how reforms reshape the actors', i.e. the individuals' and organisations', opinions of themselves and, accordingly, their opinion of the appropriate way to act.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The plurality of meaning explains the fact that an organisation can have multiple identities. Plurality of meaning thus creates an ambiguity that extends the range of action, since actors can choose an appropriate identity to act upon. The emerging organisational identity influences the kind of translations that will be carried out in the future. Interpreting reforms as identity-transforming processes moves the focus of attention from the short-term to the long-term consequences of change.},
  author       = {Blomquist, Christine},
  isbn         = {91-88384-83-7},
  keyword      = {Political and administrative sciences,public organisations.,identtity,translation,reform processes. ambiguity,Institutions,institutional and organisational change,Statsvetenskap,förvaltningskunskap},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {233},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xbaa9788)},
  title        = {I marknadens namn : mångtydiga reformer i svenska kommuner},
  year         = {1996},
}