As policymakers and scholars evaluate possible ways forward in the reform and renewal of public services by governments caught up in a recessionary environment, this book aims to offer something different – a comprehensive analysis of the development of the ‘Scandinavian’ way of modernizing public-sector management. No book has yet provided an inside view of the development and character of New Public Management (NPM) in Scandinavia. Although there is a general perception that there is a clear-cut ‘Scandinavian’ model of public policy and management, this book offers a more nuanced interpretation, illuminating subtle distinctions in political, social and economic context which are significant in identifying receptive contexts for the adoption of modernization policies.
Organized into three main themes in the modernization of the welfare state – management, governance and marketization – the contents revolve around unique empirical accounts, revealing distinctive Scandinavian characteristics of reform initiatives. The received wisdom may be a hesitant follower of the UK and the USA. But this book offers an alternative interpretation, revealing an edginess in certain Scandinavian settings, particularly in Sweden, which is a largely unrecognized.
Without compromising the welfare state, it may be a bold frontrunner in the development of New Public Management.
Table of Contents
1. Making Sense of Public Sector Reforms: Scandinavian Perspectives
2. New Public Management in a Scandinavian Context
Hans Knutsson, Ola Mattisson, Salme Nasi, Kari Nyland & Peter Skarbak
Part 1: Management
3. Shaping NPM: Social Democratic Values at Work
Tom S. Karlsson
4. Challenging the Myth of NPM in Denmark – An Argument from the Health System
Nikolaj Kure and Margit Malmmose
5. Process-orientation and Management Control in Health Care Organizations
6. The Welfare Sate that Wanted to Keep Track of its Citizens: Personal Identity
Numbers as Administrative Technology
Part 2: Governance
7. The Unfolding of Agency Autonomy over Time: The Swedish Social Insurance
8. Audit in a Trusting Climate
Age Johnsen, Kristin Reichborn-Kjennerud, Thomas Carrington, and Kim Klarskov
9. Local Government Cooperation – A Better Way to Respond to Conditions?
10. What About the Boards? Issues of Transparency and Accountability in Board
11. Leadership and Strategy in a Transforming Academic Field.
Part 3: Marketization
12. Market Solutions
13. Introducing Quasi-markets in Primary Care: The Swedish Experience
Anna Hager Glenngard & Anders Anell
14. Managing Profits and Professionalism in the Swedish School System
15. Welfare Choices: A Story of Market Forces and Social Progress
Irvine Lapsley is director of the Institute of Public Sector Accounting Research at the University of Edinburgh Business School, UK.
Hans Knutsson is a senior lecturer at the School of Economics and Management at Lund University, Sweden.
It is a common mistake to equate ‘New Public Management’ with the ideas and practices of the Anglo-American world. This book provides a valuable corrective to that view by analysing the development of New Public Management from a Scandinavian perspective. It brings out the Scandinavian historical roots of some important ideas about modern public service management, traces their dynamics and brings out the special social context that shapes their outcomes. Anyone interested in how to make public services work effectively should read this book.
Professor Christopher Hood, Emeritus Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford, UK