Skip to main content

LUP Student Papers

LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

Identifying Power Structures in a Municipal Network: The Decision-making Process Behind Buying Ängelholm-Helsingborg Airport

Nieminen, Otto LU and Tapaninen, Emma Susanna LU (2021) SMMM20 20211
Department of Service Management and Service Studies
Abstract
Small regional airports are known to be economically unsustainable. When the previous private owner of Ängelholm-Helsingborg Airport announced their intention to shut the airport down, seven municipalities in northwestern Skåne decided to buy it. This has raised debate about whether municipalities should allocate resources to an economically and environmentally unsustainable business. The purpose of this study is to identify power structures in a municipal collaborative network, Familjen Helsingborg, and find how they affect decision-making. Additionally, municipalities’ ways to rationalise buying the airport and the roles of different stakeholders are examined. An inductive approach and a qualitative method were chosen for this research.... (More)
Small regional airports are known to be economically unsustainable. When the previous private owner of Ängelholm-Helsingborg Airport announced their intention to shut the airport down, seven municipalities in northwestern Skåne decided to buy it. This has raised debate about whether municipalities should allocate resources to an economically and environmentally unsustainable business. The purpose of this study is to identify power structures in a municipal collaborative network, Familjen Helsingborg, and find how they affect decision-making. Additionally, municipalities’ ways to rationalise buying the airport and the roles of different stakeholders are examined. An inductive approach and a qualitative method were chosen for this research. Eight local politicians from northwestern Skåne who represented municipalities of different sizes, as well as stances for and against airport ownership, were interviewed. Different narratives were identified and thematically analysed to gain insights into the network. The dominant narratives that emerged from the empirical data include rationalising for and against airport ownership, collaboration in Familjen Helsingborg and the airport holding company, and power structures in these networks. The narratives reveal that the municipal collaboration is successful due to a lack of clear power asymmetries and an open discussion culture. This is made possible by long personal relationships and trust that comes with them, as well as actively maintaining equality between municipalities of different sizes. The politicians, both for and against buying the airport, rationalised their stances using mostly the economic value, or lack of it, that the airport generates for the region. Symbolic values were also used, but only to support the more tangible economic rationalising. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Nieminen, Otto LU and Tapaninen, Emma Susanna LU
supervisor
organization
course
SMMM20 20211
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
9050486
date added to LUP
2021-06-10 13:21:50
date last changed
2021-06-10 13:21:50
@misc{9050486,
  abstract     = {{Small regional airports are known to be economically unsustainable. When the previous private owner of Ängelholm-Helsingborg Airport announced their intention to shut the airport down, seven municipalities in northwestern Skåne decided to buy it. This has raised debate about whether municipalities should allocate resources to an economically and environmentally unsustainable business. The purpose of this study is to identify power structures in a municipal collaborative network, Familjen Helsingborg, and find how they affect decision-making. Additionally, municipalities’ ways to rationalise buying the airport and the roles of different stakeholders are examined. An inductive approach and a qualitative method were chosen for this research. Eight local politicians from northwestern Skåne who represented municipalities of different sizes, as well as stances for and against airport ownership, were interviewed. Different narratives were identified and thematically analysed to gain insights into the network. The dominant narratives that emerged from the empirical data include rationalising for and against airport ownership, collaboration in Familjen Helsingborg and the airport holding company, and power structures in these networks. The narratives reveal that the municipal collaboration is successful due to a lack of clear power asymmetries and an open discussion culture. This is made possible by long personal relationships and trust that comes with them, as well as actively maintaining equality between municipalities of different sizes. The politicians, both for and against buying the airport, rationalised their stances using mostly the economic value, or lack of it, that the airport generates for the region. Symbolic values were also used, but only to support the more tangible economic rationalising.}},
  author       = {{Nieminen, Otto and Tapaninen, Emma Susanna}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  note         = {{Student Paper}},
  title        = {{Identifying Power Structures in a Municipal Network: The Decision-making Process Behind Buying Ängelholm-Helsingborg Airport}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}